- Late 1980’s - Two Australian brothers (and food scientists) frustrated with the short life of culinary herbs develop the ‘Eva Fresh’ technology which extends the natural shelf life of fresh herbs, without the need of heat treatment or acidification (which can destroy delicate flavours). The Eva Fresh technology is eventually bought by Berri, a fruit juice manufacturer.
- Early 1990’s - Herb and spice industry expert, farmer and Department of Primary Industries (DPI) consultant Jane Parker is appointed to head up a project designed to research and trial new crops for farmers in Biloela in Central Queensland. The farmers begin trials of growing culinary herbs.
- Late 1990’s - Berri and Jane’s Biloela farmers join forces and the first seed (cilantro) is planted on March 1, 1998. The Tropico juice facility in Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is chosen as a ‘pilot’ herb prepping facility for its close proximity to the farms (a short 6-hour drive away).
- 1998 – Gourmet Garden launches into the Australian market with 10 Cold Blended Pastes.
- 1999 – Exporting begins with the products launched in the UK.
- 2002 – Gourmet Garden launches into the US market.
- 2004 – Gourmet Garden launches Cold Blended Pastes into Canada.
- 2005 – Gourmet Garden becomes a signatory of the National Packaging Covenant, a pledge to improve and reduce packaging waste.
- 2006 –Gourmet Garden launches into Asian market. Ground is broken on new facility.
- 2007 – New facility is opened next to existing Tropico facility in Palmwoods. Botanical Food Company Inc. is registered in US. Certified organic farming principles adopted.
- 2008 – Launch into industrial channels.
- 2009 – Launch into foodservice channels. Full USDA NOP organic certification achieved through OFC, the Australian certifying agency for the USDA.
- 2010 - Gourmet Garden launches new range of cuisine-based seasonings.
- 2011 – Major research project begins exploring consumers’ use of herbs and cooking trends.
- 2014 – Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried launches in Australia and select areas of North America
The Farm-to-Plate Story
The herbs start their life as a little seed on broad acre farms in Queensland and Victoria, Australia. The herbs are cared for, fed and are grown organically by our dedicated group of farmers who are truly passionate about producing fresh herbs that are teaming with essential oils, the key to unlocking flavour, aroma and colourful herbs. Years of research has been invested into finding the optimum conditions and care for each variety of herb.Read More