Election of Director 2018-19

November 5, 2018

Board Election

After undertaking a nomination process, the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) has received four (4) nominations for the one (1) available Member Elected Director position. The names of the Nominees are listed below.

FAN has adopted an electronic voting system for the election of Elected Directors. Accordingly, members eligible to vote will receive an email, sent to their nominated email address, entitled “Notice of Annual General Meeting & Election of Director“.

Please note, only current industry members are eligible to vote; affiliate members are not eligible to vote. Only one vote per industry member will be accepted. All votes must be cast and received by 5pm, Monday 26 November 2018.

If you have any questions relating to the voting process please email [email protected] or call 0466 634 465.




Ann Ross


Ann is a regionally renowned bee keeper based on the Sunshine Coast. Her company Hive Haven specialises in producing award winning products from both Australian stingless bees and European honey bees. Since its establishment in 2011, Hive Haven has gone from strength to strength. Ann has been recognised as being in the ‘Top 50 Australian Business Leaders of 2018’ by the Australian Small Business Magazine. The company has won several awards since inception including a Queensland Regional Award for ‘Innovative Agriculture’ and a Sunshine Coast Business Award for ‘Smart Product & Service’.

Ann attributes much of Hive Haven’s success to the support and encouragement received from the FAN community and she has been active supporter of FAN since its inception. Ann is a passionate community member and volunteer and has been active in leadership positions in the Glasshouse Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and the Beerwah Ambulance Group. Ann is highly motivated and seeks to clarify and maintain ideas, values and mission of the boards or organisations that she is involved with. Ann’s business acumen is backed by a Business Degree and she is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Kylie Watson


Kylie has extensive experience in senior management in the food and agriculture sector. As CEO of one of Queensland’s largest macadamia processors, Kylie’s experience in food manufacturing is vast, extending from strategic goal setting to new market and export development.

A Certified Practicing Accountant, Kylie also brings a wealth of financial experience from small to medium sized companies. As part of Kylie’s role as CEO of Nutworks, she has a strong understanding of the macadamia industry and has spent considerable time working closely with the local macadamia growing community. This has provided her with deep insights into the current and future challenges impacting both the macadamia and other agricultural sectors.


Brent Chambers


Brent is currently the General Manager of Sunfresh Marketing Cooperative in Coolum. The core function of Brent’s role is to create a conduit for growers to sell their commodity to wholesale markets, export markets and chain stores. Previously, Brent was the General Manager of one of the largest citrus packing facilities in Queensland, where his role encapsulated food safety, HR, marketing, finance, logistics and developing efficiencies in the packing process.

Brent has a Bachelor of Business Management and a vast knowledge of paddock to plate processes. He thrives on ensuring that growers are getting a fair deal. Brent has family roots in the country and understands the challenges faced by growers daily; this stimulates his appetite to make a change for the better in the horticultural industry.


Bernard Parker


Bernard has actively participated in FAN workshops, GrowCoastal and other FAN events since its inception. Bernard has extensive practical, business and operational board experience from working in the food industry nationally and internationally. Based on the Sunshine Coast, Bernard heads up ParkerFood Pty Ltd Food Industry Consultancy, which has local and overseas engagements. Prior to his role with ParkerFood, Bernard was the Managing Director at Bakels Research, a technology entity for a group of 40 plus companies.

Bernard is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology and has participated as Convention Technical Chair and run Food Entrepreneurs Workshops.

***MEDIA RELEASE*** 14 FAN Members Listed As Finalists in Sunshine Coast Business Awards

September 30, 2018

When the top 120 finalists were named for the 2018 Sunshine Coast Business Awards on Monday, 14 members of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) were named across various categories.

As a local not-for-profit, industry-led cluster FAN itself was delighted to make it through to the finals in the Social Enterprise category.

Emma Greenhatch, Managing Director of FAN said, “The timing is perfect in terms of the maturity of FAN.  We are about to celebrate our 3rd Birthday and now have 230 members from across the food value chain.

“And on top of that, many of our members are winning award after award on the national stage and this region is really starting to be recognized for what we deliver in terms of product and innovation in the food and agribusiness sector.

FAN works incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure their members receive every opportunity to showcase the outstanding local produce we have on the Sunshine Coast.

FAN had 14 members also make the finals which Ms Greenhatch says “is a testament to the passionate, visionary and very talented food producers we have in the region, who are coming together to help each other grow.”

Seven of the finalists were in the Agribusiness Category and included Boss Aust (GROW), COYO, Good Harvest Organic Farm, KOKOPOD Chocolate Australia, Montville Coffee, QCamel and Ten Acres.

Other members who were named finalists included:

  • Education and Training – Unity College
  • Health and Wellness –  The Milk Pantry
  • Professional Services – AWX, CFO One, East Coast Human Resource Group and Fuji Xerox Business Centre Sunshine Coast
  • Attractions – Ginger Factory

One of the goals of FAN is to help local food and agribusiness operators to do business on the world stage and they will soon to be launching two new programs that will further support members to access new markets nationally and internationally.

In addition, with the support of the Sunshine Coast Council, FAN is also developing a members’ capability directory to support their purpose to help the food and agribusiness industry to connect, collaborate and grow.

“We thank the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance and Sunshine Coast Council for their continued support of the Sunshine Coast Business Awards, as the very process of entering allows us to reflect on our businesses and celebrate our achievements”, Ms Greenhatch said.


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

**** MEDIA RELEASE **** Life is Sweet for Hum Honey as they take out more National Awards

September 30, 2018

Following hot on the heels of their recent win at Fine Food Australia for “Best New Product for the Australian Made Category, 2018”, Hum Honey has just been named Regional Food Champion Other Product Category at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.

In the lead up to taking out the place of Champion, Hum Honey was awarded the following medals:

  • Gold – Hum Honey Cold Fusion Organic Lemon Myrtle
  • Silver – Hum Honey Cold Fusion Organic Australian Lavender
  • Silver – Hum Honey Cold Fusion Organic Cinnamon Quill
  • Bronze – Hum Honey Cold Fusion Australian Organic Ginger

Managing Director and chief “Bee Girl” Leisa Sams said, “what an amazing few weeks it has been for us.  We are absolutely delighted that our products are being recognized at such a high-level right across Australia, and ever so proud to fly the flag for Regional Food for the Sunshine Coast.

“To have one of the judges describe our honey as being “like Christmas in his mouth” when he tasted it is something else.

However, Hum Honey was not the only local food and agribusiness producer to win awards at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show with The Bear and the Ladle, Barenuts, Noosa Black Coffee, Foods of Noosa and Ugly Duck Preserves also taking home another eleven medals for our region as well.

–        Ugly Duck Preserves

o   Silver Medal – Rhubarb Strawberry Fruit Spread

o   Silver Medal – Lemon Marmalade

o   Silver Medal – Aussie Stonefruit Chutney

o   Bronze Medal – Quince Paste

–        The Bear and the Ladle

o   Bronze Medal – Aztec Red Hot Sauce

–        Barenuts

o   Silver Medal – Barenuts Butter

o   Bronze Medal – Dry roasted lime & black pepper macadamias

–        Noosa Black

o   Bronze Medal – Noosa Black First Point

o   Bronze Medal – Noosa Black First Point

–        Foods of Noosa

o   Bronze Medal – Artisan Pasta Gluten Free Fettuccini

o   Bronze Medal – Artisan Pasta Gluten Free Super Greens Fettuccini

And behind the scenes, the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) is working hard to ensure FAN members receive every opportunity to showcase the outstanding local produce we have in the Greater Sunshine Coast region, whether that be through promoting awards programs like these or helping them to exhibit at consumer and trade shows.

“Helping local food and agribusiness operators to expand their markets is one of the goals of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN),” General Manager Emma Greenhatch said.

“FAN is a local not-for-profit, industry-led cluster and it is wonderful to see our members benefiting from exhibitions like Fine Food Australia and competitions like Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. With members like Hum Honey taking out some of the most prestigious food awards in the country, this reaffirms our purpose to help our members to connect, collaborate and grow.”

With the Sunshine Coast continuing to be recognized all over Australia for the quality and variety of what we produce, expect to see many more accolades being awarded to our very talented food and agribusinesses.


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

*** MEDIA RELEASE *** Smashed Avocado in a Pouch – Just One of the Sunshine Coast Flavours to be Showcased in Melbourne

September 30, 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.

And next week, FAN, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council will be taking eleven delegates to Melbourne for the annual Fine Food Australia exhibition in a bid to do just that.

Fine Food Australia is the country’s leading trade exhibition for the food service, hospitality and retail industries. This year it will be held in Melbourne from 10-13 September, attracting more than 1,000 exhibitors and 26,000 visitors.

Making it possible for our local food and agribusiness industry to be a part of this delegation, and gain exposure to broader markets, is the support they receive from FAN and the Sunshine Coast Council.

General Manager of FAN, Emma Greenhatch said, “The opportunity for our local food businesses to be able to showcase their products in person to potential buyers cannot be underestimated.  Many of last year’s delegates have had opportunities that would not have otherwise existed without this exposure, and between them generated an estimated $750,00 in anticipated sales.  It also keeps their products front of mind when future opportunities arise.

“This is the second year we have been able to support FAN members to participate in this event and really showcase all the amazing products being produced across our regions.  There is even something for Bernard Salt with Sunfresh Marketing showcasing their 100% natural Avocado Smash in long life pouches, so he can now have it on toast anywhere in the world!”, Ms Greenhatch said.

For the delegates, this event presents an outstanding opportunity they may not have otherwise been able to do. According to Kim Durant from Gourmet Fudge Supplies, “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. It was great fun and the orders have started coming in, so we couldn’t be happier”.

This year’s delegation includes:

  • The Wholefood Artisan – The Wholefood Artisan are creators of quality handcrafted granola for discerning foodies and time-poor professionals. They combine bold flavours and quality nutritious ingredients with finely tuned artisan techniques, reimagining what granolas can be. Their range of retail and food service ready products includes paleo, vegan and gluten-free options.
  • Sunfresh Marketing Co-op – Sunshine Coast based Sunfresh will be showcasing their 100% natural ‘Avocado Smash’. Avocado Smash has no chemicals or preservatives added – perfect for hospitality industries, making fresh avocado available all year round. Australian grown and produced, Avocado Smash has a long shelf life, utilizing a unique process that is a world first, enabling broad distribution in Australia and overseas.
  • The Gluten Free Food Co – The Gluten Free Food Co products are a range of gluten-free baking mixes, flour blends and pantry staples that are also free from nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, sesame and anything artificial. They recently launched a new range of vegan protein patty mixes and vegan Mac n Cheez, that have sold out across the country. They are now looking to export markets and increasing their product range.
  • Woombye Cheese Company – Award-winning handcrafted cheese made in one of this country’s most beautiful regions – the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Woombye Cheese is passionate about cheese and create and produce all their cheese by hand, using traditional methods. All their milk is sourced from small local farms at Maleny on the Sunshine Coast and is collected daily, pasteurised and then delivered to their factory in West Woombye.
  • Hum Honey – Hum Honey have a delicious range of Original and COLD FUSION® honey that are sustainably harvested from hives in the pristine Sunshine Coast Hinterland using only natural beekeeping methods. Hum Honey bees free-range on their choice of subtropical rainforest and open forest hardwoods. All Hum Honey is raw and cold extracted, free of additives, preservatives, chemical residues and antibiotics, and is never heat-treated.
  • Green Valley Agriculture – Green Valley Agriculture grow quality Australian native ‘Champagne Red’ finger limes that are available all year round. They package the finger limes in 100g and 250g punnets, as well as 2kg boxes, which are distributed all over the world.
  • Champagne Red finger limes have low seeds, a red rind and the citrus pearls inside range from champagne colour through to a vibrant red. They are a great addition to seafood, desserts, drinks and salads, and can be infused into different products, such as honey, chocolate and gin for a unique flavour and Australian native twist.
  • Chocolate Country – Chocolate Country prides itself on being a high-quality chocolate producer. They exclusively use Belgian chocolate and source only the finest natural ingredients, using local products wherever possible, to create a delicious array of truffles, chocolate slabs and novelty gifts. Their chocolatiers work in-store to hand-create their extensive range of artisan chocolates in small batches to ensure freshness, producing unique products that both look and taste divine.
  • Montville Coffee – Montville Coffee roasts and produces award-winning Specialty Coffee and Cold Brew concentrate. Their products are known for their exceptional quality and indulgent flavours, with the assurance that they are fully Organic and Fairtrade certified. Montville Coffee have twenty years’ experience serving the FMCG market in Queensland and nationally.
  • Mighty Bean Tempeh – Since 1981 Mighty Bean Tempeh has produced Australia’s finest quality Certified Organic Tempeh (ACO48P). They have developed a fermentation process which provides the most wonderfully nutritious and delicious cultured Soya bean food type called Tempeh (pronounced ‘Tempay’). Tempeh is a versatile, healthy and hearty addition to any meal.
  • Spring & Grove – Pure Australian spring water, carbonated and flavoured with extracts from apple and kiwi. Zero calories, zero sugar, zero preservatives, zero artificial sweeteners or colours.
  • Lisboa Caffe – The most iconic Portuguese sweet, this traditional custard pastry consists of a crème brûlée-like custard caramelized in a crust of puff pastry, as created over 200 years ago by Catholic Sisters at Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal.

Other local exhibitors also include The Country Chef Bakery Co who are a 100% Australian family owned business that creates some Australia’s favourite desserts and breads such as pavlova and banana bread and COYO who create innovative, naturally delicious, free from, coconut-based products, crafted using whole food ingredients. Both these outstanding businesses export all over the world and are Sunshine Coast success stories.

“Chefs, restaurateurs, airlines, hotels and many other end users are increasingly seeking food and beverage from our regions as it is very much a part of the local Australian experience people are seeking, and we are delighted the world is taking notice!” Ms Greenhatch said.


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

Contact: Emma Greenhatch
Company: Food & Agribusiness Network
Mobile: +61 466 634 465
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://foodagribusiness.org.au/

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

Revenue Growth Strategies

April 29, 2018

Many small businesses get caught up in the day-to-day management of operational and production issues and lose track of their sales activities. At least one person should have sales growth as their primary job description. Here is a range of revenue growth strategies to increase sales in your business.

  • Identify customer segments that you are not selling much to and promote all relevant products and services to them.
  • Consider contract packaging or manufacturing of other company’s products and use that contract to obtain bank leasing on more automated equipment, thus making your products at a lower cost.
  • Seek referrals from existing satisfied customers using proven referral methods.
  • Provide incentives to existing customers to buy more, buy more often, pre-pay annual purchases or buy bundles of products/services.
  • Build existing customer loyalty by means of loyalty clubs/frequent shopper and database marketing contacts (e.g. phone sales, personalised direct mail, newsletters, e-mail, web sales contacts, e-zines etc).
  • Ask existing satisfied customers for a testimonial and use this in promotional materials and sales support.
  • Conduct focus groups or customer surveys with major customer segments to find out what they like about your business and what could be improved.
  • Gather demographic information (e.g. ABS data – go to www.abs.gov.au) or other information on how to access or identify the major customer segments in order to promote more heavily to them.
  • Analyse all sorts of services provided to existing customers and make sure you are charging for them where possible (e.g. freight/delivery, phone support, maintenance, information, technical support, upgrades etc).
  • For retailers, use effective internal/external signage, merchandising and floor layout to boost add-on and introductory sales – bundling like products and services into “packages”. Put related products adjacent to each other.
  • Gather information on changing market demands to identify new groups who might need your products/services.
  • Brainstorm all the different and unusual customer groups who could be targeted.
  • Brainstorm all the different /unusual uses for your products and services.
  • Gather demographic data (industry associations, Google searches, government economic development departments etc) on your market and target segments you are not dealing with now.
  • Analyse your geographic areas of current sales to identify different regions, states or countries where you could sell.
  • Investigate who your competitors are selling to and make offers directly to these customers to convert them to you by trialling your products/services and then locking in ongoing sales.
  • Find new distribution channel options (e.g. agents, chains, e-commerce stores on-line, affiliate sales, distributors, wholesalers; allied/related products and services outlets, commission sales, telemarketing etc).
  • Find non-competitors, who sell non-competitive products and services to similar customers to yours and do joint promotions (e.g. joint mailings/campaigns, swapping databases, bundled products/services, incentives using your product or services etc).
  • Simplify existing products and services to create simpler, cheaper options.
  • Provide justifications for all the elements of your product and for service to build up the perception of the total value, then price accordingly.
  • Introduce “home brand” or low-price items to increase volume sales.
  • Develop a computerised standard costing calculator for all product lines that updates all prices when input stock prices go up. Put prices up asap.
  • Re-price old stock to new prices.
  • Re-price promotional stock once the promotion is over.
  • Eliminate excessive staff discounts.
  • Minimise heavily discounted “end of clearance sales” instead seeking other means of sales (e.g. to a discounter, to staff etc).
  • Sell accessories and add-on products and services to complement what you sell now.
  • Review competitors to see what extra products and services they carry.
  • Search the web for businesses wanting affiliates to distribute their products/services.
  • Conduct focus groups of target customers to uncover needs for products and services not currently ‘carried’.
  • Talk to suppliers/distributors and industry colleagues about extra products/services.
  • Use creative thinking and innovation to develop new products and services that solve customer problems, meet new needs or add extra functions.
  • Run staff competitions to identify new products and services.
  • Check competitor prices and match them wherever they are higher.
  • Create a price mix (like the supermarket) with some low-cost items (especially the basics) to build customer numbers and traffic but with consistently high prices for the rest of the product/service range.
  • Price consistently so that similar products and services are all around the same price.
  • Increase prices every June 30 and December 31, informing customers (if needed) that this is a regular, inflationary measure.
  • Offer low-cost add-on services (or product additions) that add value and increase the price.
  • Consider pricing above competitors to “position” yourself at the quality end of the industry.
  • Promote the higher priced, higher margin products and services to increase sales of this category.
  • Bundle up the prices of services (especially professional services) so that hourly rates are avoided and the focus is on what value you provide.


New Initiatives for FAN Members

April 28, 2018

FAN’s vision is to actively contribute to the doubling of the region’s food and agribusiness industry by 2030. A key enabler for this is facilitate new opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration both across our membership base and with the broader industry. To help support this vision we have 2 exciting new initiatives that we’ll be bringing our members over the coming months.

Capability Directory

FAN applied for and was successful in receiving a grant from the Sunshine Coast Council to develop a capability directory for members.

What will this do? It will provide you with access to the contact details for FAN members. It will enable you to see what they do and their key capabilities. Collaboration opportunities will also be included. For example, many of our members are interested in group purchasing, sharing storage or seeking commercial kitchen space.

In our industry survey conducted in early 2018, we asked what are the top 3 things that you’d like to know about other FAN members. We have also directly consulted with many of you seeking this information. We now have a defined list and during May, Kelly Gillies will be calling all FAN members to gather the information for the directory. FAN sponsor Sparx Digital will be integrating this into the members section of our website. We believe this will be a valuable resource for our members and lead to new connections and collaborations.

Please contact [email protected] or o466 634 465 for further information.

Member to Member Insights

FAN now has 210 members from across the value chain, including input suppliers, farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, exporters, logistics and services. You all have unique skill sets and knowledge and experience that can benefit other FAN members. What we’re offering is the opportunity for you to host a session on a topic that you feel would benefit other FAN members. We’ll promote this to our network and manage the RSVPs through Eventbrite.

To kick of this new Member to Member Insights initiative, FAN members Brandhouse Communications and Kenilworth Dairies will be hosting a get together on 15 May to share the Kenilworth Dairies rebrand journey. To reserve your place click here.

Places at these events are limited and available only to FAN members.

If you’re interested in hosting a Member to Member Insights session please contact [email protected] or 0432 865 492.

*topics to be approved by FAN and dates are subject to FAN’s events calendar.

The Sweetest Job Project

March 26, 2018

FAN is seeking your support to deliver a workforce project in 2018. This project follows on from the Sweetest Job project operated by Regional Development Moreton Bay and delivery partners Stones Throw Group in 2017/18, which has been highly successful in matching trained and skilled staff to jobs in the food and agribusiness industry in the region.

FAN is partnering with the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce to deliver the 2018 Sweetest Job project and we are seeking your support for this project which will provide training, skills and work experience to people in the Sunshine Coast region who are struggling to gain employment through traditional recruitment methods.


As part of this project, all candidates will complete a comprehensive skills and development program including:

  • CII in Logistics
  • Food safety / hygiene and food processing specific competencies
  • Forklift licence
  • Customer service, barista and RSA
  • First Aid & White Card
  • Teamwork, communication, time management and motivation


The key benefits for FAN members are:

  • Access to trained employees with requisite skills and work experience gained in your specific organisational context
  • An opportunity to trial staff through work experience prior to committing to taking them on as employees
  • Being able to pick the “cream of the crop”
  • More productive new employees who are able to hit the ground running, thereby reducing recruitment and upfront training costs.

We are seeking your support for this program through a Statement of Support below.  Please note that this statement of support does NOT create any obligations on your part and we would negotiate all of this with you in a way that suits your individual requirements should the project be approved.

Simply fill in your estimated recruitment needs, copy and paste your responses into a return email and send to[email protected] by 6 April 2018.

If you would like to discuss this further or have questions, concerns or queries, please call me on 0466 634 465 or project partner Kris McCue from Stones Throw Group on 0408 074 001 or email [email protected].

Thank you for your support.

Warm regards,



Sweetest Job Project: Statement of Support

Dear Emma,

I would like to confirm [business name] support for the 2018 Sweetest Job project under the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) Initiative as follows:

  1. My business will consider project participants, where appropriate, for work experience opportunities throughout the project.
  2. My estimated workforce/recruitment needs in 2018/19 are [insert number]new employees with the skills delivered under this project.
  3. We will consider project graduates for appropriate employment opportunities as a result of work experience, or through our recruitment process.
  4. I confirm that:
  • The CII in Logistics, Food safety/hygiene and food processing specific competencies, forklift licence, customer service, barista and RSA, First Aid & White Card and employability and foundation skills delivered under this project aligns to the skills needs of our business. Employees with this combination of skills are difficult to identify and these skills are in short supply.
  • We are able to provide opportunities for participants to visit our workplace and undertake some practical training components onsite.
  • We are able to deliver a participant briefing session about our employment requirements and workplace context.




Wasted Admin Hours are Going Down

March 26, 2018

Wasted admin hours are on their way down for Sunshine Coast Food Suppliers. Customers win and business red tape slashed on thanks to 100,000 Hours project.

Sunshine Coast Food businesses will be able to spend more time hiring staff and helping customers and less time dealing with boring back office paperwork thanks to a Queensland Government-backed innovation initiative.

Known as the 100,000 Hours project, the initiative has been spearheaded by Noosa Heads-based financial technology (fintech) firm Promis and already has six firms participating. It received funding through a Queensland Government Ignite Ideas grant.

Promis Co-founder Cameron Lawrence said the aim of the project is to save 1,000 Sunshine Coast businesses an average of 2.5 weeks each over the next 12 months, through using Promis’ automated invoicing and payments management tool.

“By doing this, we can unlock in excess of 100,000 hours of wasted business time in the Sunshine Coast region – time that can instead be used by these businesses hiring new staff, serving customers or expanding their services,” he said.

Mr Lawrence said the first phase of the project is currently underway, with several suppliers to the local cafe and restaurant businesses jumping on board to support the project. These suppliers include Rapid Clean, Montville Coffee, On the Spot, The Source Bulk Foods and COYO.

By the end of April, the project is proposed to be extended to restaurants and cafes.

“Within a few weeks of starting the project, we’ve had suppliers and various business community organisations joining and within the next month we are keen to roll it out to help the many time-poor restaurant and café owners and operators along the coast,” Mr Lawrence said.

Mr Lawrence has lived on the Sunshine Coast since the age of 17. He founded Promis in 2016 with fellow Sunshine Coast resident Alexander Kohl. The business is based at Noosa Heads, with an office also in the Stone & Chalk fintech hub in Sydney.

The Promis platform delivers a simple connection tool which helps businesses automate their invoice delivery and reduce the time it takes to reconcile accounts. This reduces friction and time from the supplier/ customer relationship by eliminating the invoice chasing and processing cycle.

Promis received funding in November last year via the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund to drive the 100,000 Hours project.

Queensland Innovation Minister, Leeanne Enoch said “Small business operators spend many hours every week on bookkeeping and bill payments. This will save everyone time and money and eliminates wasted effort so everyone can focus on getting back to business.”

“COYO is proud to part of the project. We look forward to being part of the collective 100,000 hours saved for the Sunshine Coast business community” said Sandra Gosling, owner and co-founder of COYO.

Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) GM, Emma Greenhatch said: “Innovation in business systems is critical to increasing efficiencies and enabling businesses to concentrate on their growth strategies. This project is an exciting initiative in this space and will benefit many of our members.” 

Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast CEO Darrell Edwards said: “We are users of Promis, and are very excited about the potential of the 100,000 Hours project as a game changer for our organisation and the coast as a whole”

More information is available about the project at www.promis.co/sc

The Sunshine Coast Loses an Icon

March 26, 2018

The Sunshine Coast has lost an icon with the passing of Helen Brierty, a ‘spirited business woman’ and the inspiring co-founder of Spirit House in Yandina.

Helen passed away after a short, aggressive battle with cancer, which she sadly lost. She was always positive about life, death, business and valued her business relationships. Her energy and dedication was proof that age was no barrier when it came to running a successful business. Right up until her passing, she never swayed from her positive outlook on life.

A keen cook, on her first visit to Thailand, Helen fell in love with the food. She created the Spirit House restaurant and cooking school with her husband Peter, working with a team of dedicated professionals to share the taste of Thai with diners and students. The award-winning Spirit House was the culmination of her business career aimed at highlighting the range of locally-grown fresh produce of the Sunshine Coast region.

Helen will be remembered as a devoted wife, loving mother and a true icon of the Sunshine Coast. Her incredible efforts have not only put Yandina and the region on the map, but inspired a legacy of passionate foodies and cooks.


Deborah Loosley Founder & Director, TRIO Marketing
Helen was truly a woman ahead of her times. She was smart (very!), savvy, inspirational, focused and a great strategist. All these skills were dispensed in a blanket of generosity, thoughtfulness and care. Despite Helen and Peter’s great success, Helen like Peter, was always magnanimous and genuinely humble. She loved helping her staff and colleagues see, and then realize their potential. Above all she had the best sense of humour and always saw the glass as ‘half full’. Helen had boundless energy and ideas…nothing was impossible! Helen’s love for business did not diminish her great love for her husband Peter, sons Acland and Blake and their families. Such big shoes to fill. Like so many, we are much, much better for knowing her. With love, thoughts and condolences.

Jacqueline Wilson-Smith Global Innovation – McCormick, Chair-Food Agribusiness Network, Director- Travellers Choice, QLD Rural Women’s Award 17
Helen was a role model for women in business and an innovative trail blazer for the greater food industry. What a wonderful legacy she has created!

Karen Fitzgerald Global Manager – Experiences at Tourism Australia
A truly amazing lady. I had the great privilege of having Helen/Spirit House as a client – she was one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. Rest in Peace.

Penny Del Castillo Director, In Design International
Sincerely one of the greatest losses the state of QLD may ever see! Helen was an absolute inspiration to so myself and many others. She was a true leader on so many levels. It was only possible to respect, admire and adore Helen! Truly, this lady was “one in a million.” My heart is heavy for all who were close to her. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Brierty family and the extended Spirit House Team at this extremely difficult time of loss. With love, hugs and condolences. 

Peter Hook Principal of Hook Communications
Helen was one of the truly great pioneers on the Sunshine Coast. Spirit House changed the face of Sunshine Coast’s food and hospitality scene. Turning an old run down farm into a slice of tropical south east Asia, with the cooking school and restaurant attracting visitors from around the world. It was wonderful that she was able to see the opening of the new bar and private dining room last year as it was testimony to her desire to continually progress and innovate. Her legacy is the Sunshine Coast’s remarkable affinity with Asian style cuisine and cooking schools. A true legend. All of us at Visit Sunshine Coast Corporate will miss her, but will remember her vitality and passion.