Joe Berry Award

Where it all began

Since 1986

The Joe Berry Award was launched in 1986 by the Queensland Grocery Industry Association. The first winner was Bernie Brookes AM, Buyer, Woolworths, who wrote on Category Development.

Bernie has gone on to hold senior retail positions internationally and is the Award Patron.


The purpose of the Award to allow young executives from all parts of the industry to compete for a prestigious award. The program also allows Award sponsors to observe closely, the talent that exists across the industry.


The prize was designed to allow the winner to add further and wider knowledge of retail to their personal portfolio. The Award has been run every year since 1986.


Since 2006 the Award has had its home in Sydney and it has been expanded to cover all of Australia. The Award has grown greatly in that time and the number of sponsoring companies has also increased rapidly.

Joe Berry

The history of the award

Where it all began

Born in England, Joe Berry emigrated to Australiain 1919. From a varied career Joe became involved with Claude Fraser, generally known as the father of Self Serve groceries in this country.

Claude was the founder of BCC (Brisbane Cash & Carry) which was later to become the back bone of the Woolworths growth in the Australian grocery markets.

Modern fresh ideas
Constantly looking for new ideas, Joe’s quest for information took him on overseas study tours, particularly the United States. He was always looking for modern fresh ideas to implement in the grocery scene. Not only did Joe contribute to the growth and development of BCC, his ideas and innovations dramatically affected the industry as a whole.
Innovative Introductions

Many practices taken for granted today, such as the supermarket trolley, were initially introduced and trialed by Joe Berry in the early 1950’s.

Open front refrigeration was first commissioned by Joe Berry, along with pre packed fruit and vegetables and the common “twist-tie”. Joe later developed self-serve wholesale warehouses.

All of these innovations are now common place within the industry worldwide.

Continued contribution

Joe’s involvement in the grocery trade was continued by his son John, who was himself, a major part of the independent supermarket scene.

John talks proudly of his father’s innovative contribution to the industry and it is for this reason that the Joe Berry Awards exist, so that innovation can continue through young executives.


See past Winners and Alumni of the Joe Berry Award.

Main event

The annual Joe Berry Award Presentation Dinner.


See past essays, guidelines, and get access to live Q&A.

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