Tru Blu – The History
The success of the Australian prawn farming industry owes much to the entrepreneurial spirit and drive of Frank Roberts, who harvested the country’s first commercial crop from prawn ponds on his converted cane farm at Yamba, NSW in 1984.
The business he began more than 30 years ago continues to operate as Tru Blu Prawns, and the industry he helped to pioneer is today worth more than $70 million farm gate value nationally.
Taking on prawn farming was a high-risk venture – capital intensive with hazards that ranged from a cold snap or disease, to hungry cormorants and human poachers. While Frank Roberts was known as something of a gambler, when he made a decision he stuck by it, be it right or wrong.
And he had decided that prawn farming was the industry for him. It didn’t matter that everyone said it wouldn’t work, or that there was no long line of experienced farmers to learn from. More than once his crops were wiped out and he faced financial ruin, but he pressed on, ultimately becoming recognised as a prawn farming authority.
A long time member of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, Frank Roberts helped to lead the way for others, sharing his hard won expertise. Always the innovator, this included trialling the export of live Kuruma Prawns (Marsupenaeus japonicus) to Japan, which ultimately proved unviable.
Tru Blu – Thirty Years On
Many others have taken up prawn farming since Frank Roberts launched his new venture in 1983, and the industry has attracted significant government supported research to overcome the challenges. With improved genetics and production processes, the industry he helped to found has become one of the most productive and sustainable prawn farming systems in the world.
The business Frank started all those years ago continues to operate as Tru Blu Prawns and is now owned and managed by son Alan Roberts and grandson Brad Roberts who have inherited the family passion for prawn farming. Both Alan and Brad take great pride in producing a premium quality product and are striving towards the continuous improvement of their production and processing methods to ensure that the Tru Blu product is of the highest possible standard.
Tru Blu Prawns – The Product
The 25 hectare farm produces a single annual crop of approx. 150T between February and May, targeting larger size Black Tiger prawns, predominantly 16-20/lb and bigger, in both fresh and frozen formats.
All Tru Blu prawns are produced under a NSW Food Safe quality assurance system and the company operates under an Environmental Management System, which meets all Federal and State Department of Environment requirements.
Tru Blu Tiger Prawns are striking in appearance with the classic stripes visible on the shell and a bright orange colour when cooked. Crisp texture and deliciously sweet with a hint of salt these prawns are becoming a firm favourite of Australian prawn lovers and you can’t get more Australian than a Tru Blu prawn!