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The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) marked a further milestone in its impressive and expanding membership base with the Big Pineapple joining as a Platinum Sponsor in February. By taking the highest level of sponsorship, the Big Pineapple is further announcing its intention to again become a premiere part of the Sunshine Coast food and agribusiness community.

This milestone follows the lodgement of a whole of site Big Pineapple master plan with the Sunshine Coast Council in 2017, designed to underpin the successful renewal and re-emergence of the Big Pineapple. The Big Pineapple master plan references the agriculture and food based tourism history of the Big Pineapple site and proposes new agribusiness opportunities across the 169ha site.

Big Pineapple renewal project manager Jim Costello explained, “We are delighted to formally join the Food and Agribusiness Network, as we are completely aligned to the vision of the network to advance our region’s world class food production and associated agribusinesses.

FAN Chair, Jacqui Wilson-Smith said, “The addition of the Big Pineapple as a Platinum Sponsor is a highlight for our organisation, and we are thrilled that the owners support our vision for a strong future for the food and agribusiness industry across the Greater Sunshine Coast region.

“In its heyday, the Big Pineapple played a key role in showcasing the importance of agriculture and food production in the region, and the proposed activation of the Big Pineapple as a leading food tourism and events destination will add a compelling value proposition to the region’s food tourism landscape.

Explaining the master planning vision, Mr Costello added, “Through the future implementation of the master plan we can advance repositioning the Big Pineapple as a key destination for food related tourism, which can provide an opportunity for local producers to showcase their wares.

“Food and agricultural production will be highlighted through a proposed Agribusiness Centre and Tourism Business Centre, within a Food and Tourism Hub. The hub, a first for the Sunshine Coast, has potential to bring together a variety of organisations dedicated to the business of food, focusing on food production, processing, distribution and research.

“By facilitating a hub dedicated to expanding the existing local agriculture and food businesses, aligned with universities and the private sector, we can showcase the region’s world class products to national and international markets.”

FAN’s General Manager, Emma Greenhatch added, “A key ingredient to innovation is collaboration, and the proposed food hub presents exciting opportunities to accelerate growth for our food and agribusiness industry and to showcase our capabilities on a global scale.”

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