First mango tray fetches $29,000

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - Front Page - AN­DREA DAVY An­drea.davy@ru­ral­

❝ We would put plas­tic bags on our trees so the fruit bats wouldn’t get them. — Sam Thai­day

HOW much would you pay for the mango sea­son’s first de­li­cious tray?

Well, ac­cord­ing to Fruity Ca­pers owner Nuccio Ca­muglia, $29,000 is a fair price.

Know­ing all the money would go to a good cause, Mr Ca­muglia was hon­oured to make the near-$30,000 bid at the an­nual Bris­bane Pro­duce Market Char­ity Mango Auc­tion.

“This wasn’t about me, it’s about the char­i­ties that the money is going to­wards,” he said.

“I know it’s a lot of money, but in my eyes it’s $29,000 well spent.”

The auc­tion, which of­fi­cially launched this year’s mango sea­son, was a hub for sport­ing star power, with NRL leg­end Sam Thai­day and wel­ter­weight ti­tle holder Jeff Horn on hand.

The pair keenly par­tic­i­pated in a gloves-on mango eat­ing com­pe­ti­tion be­fore the auc­tion got un­der way.

Grow­ing up in north Queens­land, man­goes were a sea­sonal treat for Sam and his fam­ily.

“We would put plas­tic bags on our trees so the fruit bats wouldn’t get them,” he said.

“So as a young kid I would be climb­ing up the tree, brav­ing the green ant bites, and try­ing to do that job.

“We were al­ways wait­ing for and loved mango sea­son when I was a kid.”

Bris­bane Mar­kets chair­man Tony Joseph said the char­ity auc­tion raised more than $38,000 and pro­ceeds from the event would go di­rectly to Di­a­betes Queens­land and Life Ed­u­ca­tion.

Sam has been an avid sup­porter of pro­mot­ing healthy life­styles and fresh-food di­ets, be­ing an am­bas­sador for Di­a­betes Queens­land and also work­ing with Your Lo­cal Fruit Shop.

Through that work he met, and formed a friend­ship with, celebrity chef Matt Golin­ski.

At the event, Matt pre­pared a de­li­cious and fresh break­fast for food blog­gers and guests.

“I have met Matt and had the chance to cook with him,” Sam said.

“We have even talked about do­ing some things going for­ward, maybe even after footy.

“So it would be good to see where Matt and (my) re­la­tion­ship goes and to see what we can do… and hope­fully we can help a few along the way.”

Sam’s par­ents both have type 2 di­a­betes so he said pro­mot­ing healthy di­ets was “near and dear” to his heart.

Liv­ing on the Sun­shine Coast, Matt said he vis­ited his lo­cal fresh-fruit gro­cer ev­ery day.

“I go in there and pick out what I am going to have for din­ner ev­ery sin­gle day,” he said.

“And it’s not be­cause I am too stupid to go to the su­per­mar­ket and buy ev­ery­thing at once, it’s be­cause I want to see when the man­gos have come into sea­son.

“We talk about buy­ing fresh pro­duce and buy­ing lo­cal, and you can do that for warm and fuzzy rea­sons, for help­ing the com­mu­nity, but from a chef point of view I say that gen­uinely be­cause it tastes the best,” Matt said.


STAR POWER: Matt Golin­ski and Sam Thai­day pre­par­ing break­fast at the mango auc­tion.

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