Future of Farming Workshop attracts 60 local farmers

October 17, 2017

On Thursday 5th October, the Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN), Gympie Regional Council, and Sustainable Soil Solutions held the first in what is set to be a series of workshops for farmers in the Greater Sunshine Coast region.

Special thanks to all our speakers (listed below), Matt Golinski for his delicious cooking demo, and Kate Rose from Baupal Park Macadamia Farm for hosting the event. The workshop was followed by a networking BBQ that provided a great opportunity for our local farmers to connect, and welcome to our 7 new FAN members who signed up on the day!

Topics that were covered included the following:

Chemical Free Farming and the “Sum of all Parts” 
Guest Speaker #1: Andrew McLennan, Consulting Biological AgronomistChemical Free Farmers Association
Removing synthetic inputs from production systems is only one component of the transition towards sustainable farming. Attendees will learn about the intricate web of holistic farming, and just how important it is to identify and understand the “sum of all parts” in being successful at producing chemical free nutrient dense food from a sustainable source.

Drones & Farming
Guest speaker #2: Alun Morgan, Engineer & Drone Pilot, Acre Insight
An introduction into Aerial photography and mapping and how it can assist greatly in the management of farms. By combining aerial data with existing knowledge of the data from drones can be a fantastic tool for planning, design and management, as well as identifying or helping to solve existing problems.

The Spatial Hub
Guest speaker #3: Phillip Tickle, The Spatial Hub
Technology is driving enormous changes across agriculture. The Spatial Hub’s world leading technology is providing Australia’s grazing industry with new opportunities to increase sustainable production. In just 30 seconds a grazier can analyse 30 years of satellite data over every paddock, providing new insights into short and long-term land condition and productivity.

Stay tuned for more Farming Workshops to be held in 2018.

Could your business benefit from a nutritionist?

October 17, 2017

New initiative for FAN Members! The University of the Sunshine Coast is sending nutrition students to FAN in 2018. As part of their work placement program, third year bachelor of nutrition students may be able to assist your business with:

  • Product and recipe development
  • Nutritional analysis of your products
  • Compliance with food labelling law (FSANZ)
  • Provide nutrition information panels for your products
  • Marketing ideas
  • Research (for example, students could develop a portfolio of the nutritional benefits of your product/the ingredients of your product)
  • Menu design
  • Needs analysis (Are people in the community needing your product, in terms of nutrition? If so, who are they, where are they?)

If your business has a nutrition focus, and could benefit from input from a student nutritionist, you are invited to apply for the position of ‘USC Placement Partner.’ In this role you will need to provide a suitable project for the student to work on, while supervising the student. Students are required to do 75 hours of work placement within a Semester.

It is hoped that the student nutritionist will be able to provide your business with nutrition-specific knowledge and skills that may add value to your business, while the students gain a valuable workplace experience within the food industry from you.

Successful applicants will be chosen by the USC Nutrition Department in consultation with FAN, and will be based on the ability of the business to provide a unique learning experience for the students which enables the student to meet their required competencies for graduation.

If you’d like to apply, please complete a short survey here or for more information contact Emma Greenhatch at [email protected]

Showcasing the Sunshine Coast at Fine Food Australia

October 16, 2017

From the 11-14th September, 13 Sunshine Coast businesses including 12 FAN members were represented at the “Flavours of the Sunshine Coast” stand at Australia’s largest food industry trade show – Fine Food. Held at the ICC in Sydney, the opportunity was made possible through a partnership between Sunshine Coast Council and FAN.

One month on we wanted to provide a wrap report to our network and show just how beneficial working together and promoting the Sunshine Coast as a food region can be…. And it’s just the beginning!

Fast Facts:

  • Collectively more than 300 leads were generated that businesses will be following up
  • 3 businesses had immediate orders
  • Estimated +400k revenue in new sales over the next 24 months
  • New collaborations resulted between many of the businesses on the stand including It’s Sweet As now making a new coffeelicious bite using Montville Coffee
  • “The friendliest stand at the show!” – as quoted by one international buyer

But don’t just take it from us…. Here is what one of the exhibitors had to say! “Exhibiting at Fine Food Australia was a fantastic experience for our business. We made contact with some great potential customers and even received some orders while we were exhibiting. It is definitely something we would like to be a part of again. I loved that there were nine totally different Sunshine Coast businesses exhibiting that all supported each other so well.” – Kimberly Durant, Gourmet Fudge Supplies.

FAN Members that took part in this year’s Fine Food Australia included Kenilworth Country Foods, KOKOPOD Chocolate, Walter’s Artisan Produce, QCamel, Montville Coffee, Gourmet Fudge Supplies, Belladotti – Fine Foods Inspired, COYO, The Country Chef Bakery Co., Pomodoras on Obi, It’s Sweet As, and SunLife Superfoods.