Social Media Benefits for Farmers – by Sophie Hansen of My Open Kitchen

June 28, 2018

At our June Networking event we heard from deer farmer and social media expert Sophie Hansen from My Open Kitchen. She engaged the audience and showed how farmers can embrace social media to tell their story, the art of the #felfie, and how they can create an open dialogue to build trust in online communities.

Just in case you missed it on the night ‘#felfie’ is a farmer selfie, a photo of a farmer, by a farmer, shared on social media, and there are currently over 50,000 felfies on Instagram alone!

We wanted to share some are some of the key benefits of social media and take aways presented by Sophie at the event:

  • Social Media is not all about creating new business opportunities for us farmers. Just as important are the social and mental health benefits; farming is a lonely business, sometimes farmers can work for 8-10 hours without having a conversation with anyone. But what if you had a community in your pocket? A tribe of followers, peers and supporters who are only ever a message away. It’s not about ego – it’s about supporting each other.

What happens when we have connected, engaged farmers using social media strategically and confidently?

  • They are better able to grow their businesses; connect with new customers, suppliers, peers and media.
  • They will be more connected, open to new ideas and technologies and kept more up to date with research, ideas and relevant news as they break.
  • They will receive daily endorsement for what they do and encouragement to keep doing it.
  • They will collectively inspire hundreds of thousands of people to seek their produce out, cook and share it with joy and care.

Sophie poses that social media isn’t the answer to all our problems BUT it is an affordable, achievable and powerful way to connect, increase transparency, trust and support. She finished her presentation with a powerful quote by Simon Sinek, leadership expert and the man behind ‘the concept of why’ and the second most watched TED talk of all time ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

2018 Grow Coastal Wrap & Demo Day

June 28, 2018

Demo Day Graduation event: 10am – 1pm, Tuesday 17th July at the Innovation Centre.

Words by Grow Coastal Program Manager – Jacqui Price.

It’s hard to believe that the GrowCoastal program is nearly over for another year. It’s been so much fun and a lot of hard work. The 2018 cohort of twelve companies have forged a strong bond as they’ve worked through the last eleven weeks of coaching and workshops covering pitching, legals & business structure, customer centric design thinking, brand narrative, social media, essentifrom als for food packaging, understanding different personalities and much more. They’ve supported each other with the display and sampling of their products at a variety of events including a visit from the global TCI Cluster Conference attendees, the TEQ Conversations with Industry Forum, a visit from the John Dillon Foundation SE Asian members, the Heather Mackenzie event at the Innovation Centre, and the FAN Networking event at the Big Pineapple.

Hear what some of our participants had to say about the program:

“The GrowCoastal program has given us a great focal point and shown us how we can transform and change. After our ten years of hard work, we’re taking it to the next level and turning it into something far bigger than it is now,” Nick Grivas, The Wholefood Artisan

“The GrowCoastal program is a great platform for scaling-up our business in a collaborative way – it’s been absolutely fantastic so far. The network of people we’ve met has been amazing and this is just the start of the program so I’m really looking forward to what’s coming next. There is so much education and insight into the industry,” Megan Dean, Embassy XO

Below is a list of our 2018 Grow Coastal participants who are currently madly practising their pitches for the Demo Day graduation event on the 17th July. We’d love all FAN members to join us at the Innovation Centre to hear all about the group’s journey. Please support them and welcome them into our network.

  • Barenuts – Totally bare, award-winning gourmet macadamia nuts and treats
  • Black Lemonade – Unique vegan and gluten free decadent chocolate cookies
  • Boneafide Broth Co – Organic chicken bone broth bombs and healthy savoury chips
  • Embassy XO – Steamed duck buns to die for
  • Good Harvest Organic Farm – totally local, organic, healthy fruit and vegie farm boxes
  • Hive Haven – Native Honey (Sugarbag stingless honey)
  • KOKOPOD Chocolate – Award winning premium handcrafted chocolate
  • LuvaBerry – Freeze dried strawberries made from the freshest sunshine coast produce
  • Mighty Bean – Certified Organic soy tempeh tasty treats
  • Sunshine Coast Cider – Traditionally crafted cider made with 100% apple juice & no additives
  • The Whole Food Artisan – Handcrafted artisan granola made with whole food ingredients
  • Ugly Duck Preserves – Gourmet preserves made with imperfect or surplus local produce that would otherwise go to waste

FAN Awarded Cluster Funding – New doors open for exports

June 28, 2018

(6 June, 2018) Helping local food and agribusiness operators to do business on the world stage is one of the goals of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), a local not-for-profit, industry-led cluster.

In an announcement made today by Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL), FAN has been awarded $900,000 over the next three years through the FIAL Cluster Programme. This first-of-its-kind programme provides matched funding to support new and existing clusters in their quest to address a common purpose they otherwise could not solve on their own.

The funding will help FAN with improving capabilities to engage with national and international markets and global supply chains.

“We’re delighted to go on this journey, guide and support the winners to solve common challenges, innovate, and grow the competitive advantage of their regions” said Peter Schutz, FIAL’s Chairman.

They were one of only four cluster organisations in Australia to receive funding in this inaugural national Cluster Programme.

“We are absolutely delighted that our submission has been successful”, General Manager, Emma Greenhatch said.

“In 2017, the food and agribusiness industry in the Sunshine Coast region was valued at $700m, which was an increase of $30m on 2016. It also directly employs around 5,000 people.

“This funding will allow us increase this to $1b by 2022 and see exports double to $130m in the same period.”

Today’s announcement was made at the TCI Oceania Clusters Event, which is being hosted on the Sunshine Coast with the full support of the Sunshine Coast Council. “The conference is looking at how regional clusters can help drive economic development, with the Food and Agribusiness Network a prime example of the benefits derived from industry sectors working collaboratively”, Cr Steve Robinson said.

Co-Founder and Chair of FAN, Jacqui Wilson-Smith said this funding will have far reaching consequences, “FAN believes it can create a sustainable, industry-led cluster model that pivots around a collaborative approach to addressing shared challenges and opportunities. This could be replicated in other regions around Australia and has the potential to become an Australian best-practice model for cluster development.”

This funding will allow FAN to expand its programs and services for its members and create a sustainable, industry-led cluster business model.

“Food businesses trying to expand into national and international markets all face similar challenges including consumer insights, distribution, marketing and understanding the sales channels.  We are working with our members to find solutions that will take their business to a whole new level and help them to scale quickly.”

There are many local businesses already reaping the rewards from their collaboration with other FAN members, such as Kenilworth Dairies, Green Valley Fingerlimes, QCamel, KOKOPOD Chocolate and Montville Coffee.

These local businesses choose the Greater Sunshine Coast region as the headquarters for their business and many have moved here after identifying the region as leading the way with its supportive, collaborative and entrepreneurial business community.

“By facilitating a collective response to the challenges and opportunities industry is facing, FAN can support its members to be more future focused, to increase their operational efficiencies and to develop a culture of collaboration and innovation.”

With the new airport opening up incredible opportunities for the Greater Sunshine Coast region, this funding will ensure that FAN members are ready to take full advantage of the many opportunities that will be created to get our local produce onto the plates and into stores interstate and overseas and see our food businesses shine on the world stage like never before.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Emma Greenhatch at Food & Agribusiness Network or email at [email protected]

FAN Launches New Business Development Program

June 27, 2018

**Expressions of Interest in FAN’s new business development program close on 29 June**

Do you need help to grow your sales? FAN has identified the need for tailored support for our industry members to help them to sustainably develop their businesses in local and national markets. We will be employing a National Relationship Manager to assist FAN members to develop their sales channels, volumes and capabilities.

Throughout the 12-month program, the National Relationship Manager will work one-on-one with members, delivering the following tiered services according to their needs:

Tier One – $2,500 + GST

  • Three sales strategy meetings per year
  • Events – advice around trade events, consumer events and regional events specifically targeted to the member’s business
  • Sales skills training (workshops).

Tier Two – $5,000 + GST

Tier One services plus:

  • Access to day-to-day assistance/advice via phone/email Monday-Friday, 8.30-5.00pm
  • National Relationship Manager will attend trade events with members and deliver the following services:
  • Facilitating introductions to buyers
  • Setting up meetings and ensuring each member is utilising the event for networking and pipeline building
  • Post event follow-up sessions to ensure each member achieves maximum benefit from the leads captured at event
  • Marketing channels analysis – consumer touch points vs trade. How to best target each market segment
  • Logistics – analysis at an individual business level and exploration of collaborative options
  • Pipeline management – lead capturing and managing leads
  • One-on-one sales skills training.

Successful businesses will be required to enter into a 12-month contract with FAN, with four quarterly payments to be paid in advance as follows:

  • Tier 1: 4x payments of $625 + GST (1st payment due in August)
  • Tier 2: 4x payment of $1,250 + GST (1st payment due in August)

Apply @ https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWRNKTG. 

Enquiries: Emma Greenhatch, FAN General Manager
E: [email protected]
M: 0466 634 465