Changing the Guard at the RAS
The future of WA’s Royal Agricultural Society
A changing of the guard at the Royal Agricultural Society Western Australia has occurred, with Dr Rob Wilson concluding his 3-year term at the recent AGM with incoming President elect, Paul Carter taking over the helm.
President Paul Carter is thrilled to be taking over from where Dr Wilson left off, with an invigorated and enthused focus firmly on solidifying the 15-20-year Claremont Showground concept plan, foreseeing his role as one that educates the masses in agriculture, as well as instilling the values and integrity into the youth of WA and pursuing agricultural roles as a career path opportunity. Commencing his 3-year tenure and fresh from chairing his first meeting of Council, Mr Carter recently launched the newly revamped Perth Royal Food Awards.
Under the new purpose statement of ‘Celebrating the Best in Western Australia’, Mr Carter revealed the strategy behind the new look food awards, by highlighting the change of vision and ethos to increase RASWA competitions relevance to the consuming public of WA and to the rest of Australia.
“In past years, RASWA have conducted and promoted food based competitions under the banner of RAS Premium Produce Awards. Whilst we have been extremely proud of all competitors and the competition winners, we believe it is time to re-energise and refocus our efforts to increase and improve the societies ongoing relevance to Agricultural producers and associated manufacturers of high quality products created with agricultural produce sourced from WA and other parts of Australia.”, said Mr Carter.
“Food trends confirm a consumer move towards more artisanal style production of high quality food which is being evidenced within most of our current competitions such as Wine, Beer, Bread and Pastry and Dairy products to name but a few. Our belief is that only those competitions with the highest possible integrity and increasing community profile can provide a truly independent trust mark of quality and excellence. We believe by remaining true to our ‘Royal’ competition ethos we can provide this trusted brand within an expanding competition base across an increasing variety of high quality Agricultural produce and Agricultural based products” he said.
“RASWA has in essence, upon creating the Perth Royal Food Awards, ensured winners from competitions are more easily identifiable to the consumer when selecting a product. We intend for every winner to not only share in the joy of winning a major competition amongst their peers, but also to be able to share their success with the consumers of Australia.”.
Mr Carter’s desire is for Australian consumers to be more aware of RASWA’s Royal competitions and the eventual winners when selecting a product off the shopping market shelves. This in turn demonstrates genuine value back to the farm gate and support those that have supported RASWA competitions for over 180 years.
Mr Carter has identified growth and purpose in the food awards, acknowledging the support required from the greater community to help achieve the outcomes. “We’ll be seeking greater community and government support as we look to link our program with other initiatives that identify and promote Western Australian and Australian Agricultural production. Along with greater support, we will need to continue to jealously guard the highest standards of competition and integrity of judging to a level that is befitting the brand of Perth Royal Food Awards.”, said Mr Carter.
“We all know that by supporting locally produced product we support our state, jobs, industry and Australia, but I honestly believe our locally produced product is superior and is deserving of ever increasing recognition. We plan for the Perth Royal Food Awards to provide one recognised pathway for ongoing consumer recognition of this through excellence in competition.”, stated Mr Carter.
With such a busy and exciting time ahead of RASWA, Mr Carter will be putting his energy and extensive RAS background to good use. A member since 1982 and a councilor since 1994, Mr Carter has had his fingers in many RASWA pies, including; floriculture, apiculture, entertainment/horses, horse breeding and pigeon & poultry. With a financial background and as the head of a multi-discipline practice in financial planning, Mr Carter has also lent his diverse management skills to several committees including; strategic planning, district displays, fresh produce, creative crafts & cookery, arena, horses in action, fashion parade, sheep and horses.
When Mr Carter isn’t applying himself to all things agricultural, his limited spare time is spent with his wife Leanne and the odd hockey game or two or three. An avid player and fan since his teenage years, Mr Carter’s abundance of energy clearly showcases his ability to tackle the diverse future plans of RASWA.
Paul Carter is available for interviews.