At the 1994 Awards, both of the major prizes were won by Italian family businesses, both operating in the area of food – one in New South Wales and one in Western Australia.
Tommasso D’Orsogna, founder of D’Orsogna Bros Limited, was Western Australia’s largest Italian smallgoods producer and the winner of the Manufacturing Award. Orazio Cantarella, owner of New South Wales-based Cantarella Bros, Australia’s major supplier of pure roasted coffee and other Italian smallgoods, won the award in the Non-Manufacturing sector.
Mr D’Orsogna had been confined to an internment camp from 1940 – 1944 and was there given the job as Camp Butcher. In internment, he continued to develop his skills as a provedore and, after the war, joined with his brothers – Giovanni and Cesar – to found and develop their smallgoods company.
By 1994, D’Orsogna Bros had become the largest supplier of Italian-style meats in Western Australia, and was also supplying other states and parts of South-East Asia. They had fully integrated their business, from piggery to meat processing and distribution, and employed almost 300 people.
Their motto was simple and it still applies today: Hard work and commonsense.