• The CEO of Haigh’s Chocolates, Alister Haigh, has received the Alfred Stauder Award for Excellence for his outstanding contribution to the confectionery sector in Australia. L-R: Ai Group head of Victoria, Tim Piper, Haigh's Chocolates CEO Alister Haigh and his wife, Sue Haigh. (Source: Ai Group)
    The CEO of Haigh’s Chocolates, Alister Haigh, has received the Alfred Stauder Award for Excellence for his outstanding contribution to the confectionery sector in Australia. L-R: Ai Group head of Victoria, Tim Piper, Haigh's Chocolates CEO Alister Haigh and his wife, Sue Haigh. (Source: Ai Group)
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The CEO of Haigh’s Chocolates, Alister Haigh, has received the Alfred Stauder Award for Excellence for his outstanding contribution to the confectionery sector in Australia.

Haigh is the fourth generation of the family to lead Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate company.

The Alfred Stauder Award recognises an individual’s significant contribution to the confectionery industry in the form of research, development and marketing of business.

It was presented at the recent Australian Industry Group’s (Ai Group) ConTech2024 confectionery industry event.  

Haigh’s great-grandfather, Alfred Haigh, established the business in 1915 and it fast became an Adelaide institution. It currently produces around 1000 tonnes of chocolate a year, with 21 stores in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, as well as online.

Ai Group's Confectionery Sector and Head of Victoria, Tim Piper, said few in Australia could lay claim to the pedigree in confectionery that Haigh has.

“The Haigh family have been great contributors to the Australian confectionery industry, and Alister has ensured this influence and contribution have been maintained and continue to expand,” Piper said.

Haigh said he was humbled by the win. He has followed his father’s footsteps – John Haigh received the award in 1993.

“It’s quite an honour to be recognised by the industry in this way.

(Left to right) Simon Haigh, John Haigh, Alister Haigh.
(Left to right) Simon Haigh, John Haigh, Alister Haigh.

“There have been many people who have helped Haigh’s to get to its current position, including my father, John and brother, Simon.

“We have all been part of growing the business and making it a recognised part of South Australian manufacturing and developing our retail outlets.”

Haigh joined the family’s company in 1974, with his brother Simon coming on board a few years later. The pair became joint managing directors since 1990, learning all parts of the business – the cooking room, the chocolate room, the enrobing line and the office – along the way.   

Haigh’s is currently undertaking its largest infrastructure investment in its 100 years plus history.

Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker, Haigh’s Chocolates, is about to embark on the largest infrastructure investment of its 108-year history. The two-year project starts this month and will ultimately double its chocolate production.
An artist's impression of Haigh's new facility
that is  currently under construction.

The Salisbury South site in Adelaide is 36,000 square metres. Two new production facilities will occupy 9000m2 and be equipped with $36 million of state-of-the-art European made equipment, including specialised panning, enrobing, and moulding lines as well as kitchen and packing equipment chosen to complement Haigh’s chocolate making capabilities. And 6000m2 will be warehousing and online fulfillment.

It's expected to be completed by mid-2025.

Piper said Haigh was heavily involved in the confectionery industry.

“He supports numerous confectionery activities in South Australia and was president of the South Australian branch of the Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia (CMA) for many years, remaining closely involved with the organisation when it moved to Ai Group,” he said.

Past recipients of the Alfred Stauder Award for Excellence include Jason Lea, of Darrell Lea; Tony Raponi, of Nestle; Neil Smith, formerly of Mondelez and John Borell, of GKC Foods.

Last year's winner was Peter Simpson, of Manildra Group.

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