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”.
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.
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.
In September this year nine FAN members will head to Sydney to take part in Fine Food on a Sunshine Coast stand. The event, held between 11-14 September, is a showcase of the food industry’s latest products and attracts national and international buyers from restaurants, cafes, bakeries, retailers, caterers, bars, hotels and other food businesses.
This year Commercial Drinks, an industry event dedicated to bars and venues, will run alongside Fine Food and showcase top craft and artisan beer, wine and spirits brands. With more than 30,000 trade visitors expected to attend the event, Fine Food is a significant opportunity for our industry to spread their wings beyond the region.
In addition to being able to explore new market opportunities and gather valuable feedback about their products, the participating businesses will benefit from being exposed to over 1,000 exhibiting brands and have the opportunity to discover new tastes, learn and network.
Of the 11 companies co-exhibiting and providing product for a product display on the stand, FAN is delighted that nine are FAN members. They are:
Walter’s Artisan Bread
Kenilworth Country Foods
The Country Chef Bakery Co.
Fine Food’s Event Director Minnie Constan will be visiting the Sunshine Coast on 3 August to meet with our exhibitors and share her tips for getting the most out of the event.
Other FAN members who will have their own stand at the event include Gourmet Garden and The Fresh Chai Co.
This year’s delegation has been made possible thanks to a partnership between the Sunshine Coast Council and FAN. In future years we hope to open up opportunities for exhibitors in the Greater Sunshine Coast region.
Calling All Sunshine Coast Food & Beverage Exporters!
Date Claimer: May 2-11, 2017
Destination: Shanghai & Hong Kong
Key Event: HOFEX 2017 – The largest food & hospitality tradeshow in Asia.
Priority Sector: Food and Beverage
Supported by: Sunshine Coast Council and Trade & Investment Queensland
This export trade mission provides regional exporters the opportunity to travel to Shanghai in Mainland China where they will participate in a series of market briefings, site visits, meeting programs, a product showcase and networking event, in addition to potential opportunities for business matching and private appointments.
Delegates then have the option to showcase their Premium, Fresh and Organic Food and Beverages at HOFEX 2017 – Asia’s Leading Food & Hospitality Tradeshow in Hong Kong at the Queensland pavilion organised by Trade and Invest Queensland. (EOI_registration_Food Trade Mission to HOFEX, HK & Taiwan)
Participation in this trade mission will provide Sunshine Coast exporters the opportunity to:
- Hear from and connect with experts in the Food Service and Hospitality industries in Shanghai
- Attend site visits at some of China’s most prominent businesses
- Gain a better understanding of distribution logistics and supply chain for e-commerce in China
- Attend presentations and roundtable discussions designed to give delegates a unique and valuable insight into the Chinese market
- Gain a valuable network to assist delegates business in China.
To register your interest and further details please email: [email protected]
The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) is a newly formed membership based not-for-profit company set up by the industry to support the food and agribusiness industry within the Greater Sunshine Coast Region (Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Moreton Bay and Gympie). Major FAN sponsors in its inaugural year include Sunshine Tropical, Gourmet Garden, Wimmers, Coyo, Epicurean Products, Tropico, Buderim Ginger, RADAQUA and Nutworks
FAN Chairman, Andrew Eves-Brown, also the Chief Operating Officer for Gourmet Garden recently awarded the Outstanding Business Person of the year at the Sunshine Coast Business Awards will be hosting a FAN launch event on the 3rd of December from 4pm and local Chef Matt Golinski will be catering.
The FAN launch will be an invitation only networking event exclusively for the food agribusiness industry. It will be held at Gourmet Garden’s herb processing facility in Palmwoods. The launch will include a factory tour, opening address by Mayor Mark Jamieson, a vision for FAN by Andrew Eves-Brown and the Sunshine Coast University will share the key findings extracted from a recently conducted food and agribusiness research paper called ‘Building the Links’.
The launch will be a perfect opportunity to find out more about becoming a Member of FAN and to meet with other Members of the industry, often facing similar business issues. “It’s an excellent opportunity for local food and agricultural businesses to join FAN so that together we can help grow the industry. The Sunshine Coast epitomises the image that the food and agribusiness industry wants to portray. It represents the clean, fresh, sustainability of the area – the true Natural Advantage” said Andrew Eves-Brown, FAN Chairman.