Published: 20 May 2024 Updated: 22 May 2024
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DATE 22 May 2024
FEEDBACK/STORY SUGGESTIONS Dempsey Ward Communication Coordinator +61 2 6122 2134

A groundbreaking online training initiative for the food service sector aims to strengthen awareness of Australia’s wild-caught Prawn fisheries and the rich culinary diversity they offer.  

By Brad Collis 

Ocean-to-plate education on Australia’s wild caught Prawns is being incorporated into dedicated new professional development modules for chefs and restauranteurs. 

The online training modules have been developed specifically for the hospitality industry as part of an FRDC-funded project (2021-092) focused on engaging the food service sector.  

The Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries (ACPF) has collaborated with a specialist online training provider for the sector, Allara Global, and the Sydney-based seafood marketing consultancy, Fishtales, on this project.  

The training module covers topics from environmental sustainability through to the preparation and cooking of the five main Prawn species: 

  • King Prawns (Melicertus latisulcatus and Melicertus plebejus),  

  • Banana Prawns (Penaeus indicus and Penaeus merguiensis),  

  • Tiger Prawns (Penaeus esculentus and Penaeus semisulcatus),  

  • Endeavour Prawns (Metapenaeus endeavouri and Metapenaeus ensis) and 

  • School Prawns (Metapenaeus dalli and Metapenaeus macleaya). 

ACPF executive officer, Rachel King, says the 13-part online and interactive training modules were designed in response to a survey conducted as part of the project.

This found that 82% of the food service sector surveyed rely on supply chain partners for information about Australia wild caught Prawns.

Chefs and restaurateurs also expressed the need for more knowledge on the variances of each species. 

“Chefs can feel caught in the middle of ideas about a food’s environmental sustainability credentials. They are increasingly asked about seafood sustainability but don’t know where to turn to get this type of information,” says Rachel. 

“Also, we know that chefs and others in the food sector can be influential change agents to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation for different seafoods. 

“We have seen something similar, for example with Oysters, and the appreciation consumers now have for different Oyster species from different estuaries around the country.” 

Season one goes global

In April 2023, ACPF released the 13-episode series. Recognising its potential, Fishtales senior partner, John Susman, suggested collaborating with Allara Global to amplify the reach of these videos. 

Allara Global responded by integrating the videos into their existing suite of hospitality training offerings. These modules are accessible to Allara Global online subscribers and are also promoted to chefs via FRESHO, a wholesale platform with a global network of over 90,000 venues.  

Rachel King highlights the challenges of consistently delivering Prawn-specific information in traditional hospitality courses. She sees the need for innovative educational tools. CEO of Allara Global, Allara Lewis, confirms the popularity of the course and its scalability, highlighting its relevance on a global scale.  

With the Australian Government set to introduce mandatory country-of-origin labelling for seafood, Rachel believes this initiative will inspire the food service sector to value the sustainability, affordability, and culinary diversity offered by local wild-caught Prawns. 

More information: 

Related FRDC Project

2021-092: Assessing the effective approaches to engaging the food service sector