2017 has been another huge year for FAN. We are Australia’s fastest growing food industry network with 190 members, almost double how many we had this time last year, and 45 sponsors.
In the 2017 calendar year we have delivered 16 events, attended by more than 700 FAN members and industry representatives. We’ve covered topics that are important to our members, including food industry trends, developing a food business plan, social media and soil health.
We were delighted to partner with the Innovation Centre on the inaugural Grow Coastal Food Accelerator program that 12 businesses successfully completed. We partnered with Visit Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Council to support 10 FAN members to participate in Regional Flavours in Brisbane, and had the largest regional precinct at the event. We also partnered with Sunshine Coast Council to take 13 businesses to Fine Food in Sydney, Australia’s largest food industry trade event. More than $400,000 in new sales are anticipated and many of the businesses have secured new national and international customers.
All this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our members, sponsors and partners and we thank you. It also wouldn’t be possible without our many volunteers including FAN’s Board, ambassadors and members of our Strategy and Events Committees – thank you. Thanks also to Jen Sharpe, FAN’s Marketing Coordinator and Tanya Arnold, Events Coordinator for tirelessly working to deliver a quality program.
In addition to our existing program of events and workshops, FAN’s expanding in 2018 to deliver a site tours program, and we are excited to be co-delivering the next Grow Coastal program with the Innovation Centre. A new grant from Sunshine Coast Council will help us to create a member capability directory, and FAN’s Chairman Jacqui Wilson-Smith will be launching a new online resource for FAN members, resulting from the $10k bursary she received this year for the AgriFutures Queensland Rural Women’s Award.
Being a not-for-profit, industry-led network, our members, sponsors and partners are crucial for us to be able to expand our services to assist our industry to grow. Please spread the word in 2018 and encourage other businesses to sign-up. Don’t forget to follow us on all our social channels, and if you are a member sign-up to our FAN members Facebook page.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our very clear vision and purpose:
To connect and grow our region’s food & agribusiness industry by creating a culture of collaboration, accelerating innovation and promoting trade locally and globally.
To be Australia’s leading food and agribusiness network and to actively contribute to doubling our industry’s value by 2030 for our regions.
On a personal note, it has been an absolute privilege working with and getting to know so many of the fabulous people involved in our dynamic food industry, and I am constantly amazed at the openness and collaboration that’s happening.
Thank you all for your support, and best wishes for the festive season.
FAN General Manager