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FAN heads to Fine Food Sydney

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
COYO
Montville Coffee
Belladotti
QCamel
KOKOPOD Chocolate
Kenilworth Country Foods
SunLife Superfoods
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.

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Get involved in Future Careers Expo

A call out for food and agribusiness sector to get involved in the Future Careers Plus Expo to be held on 23 May at Lake Kawana Community Centre.  We are looking for about five local companies to take a booth each to profile their company and industry opportunities/trends. Hands on practical experiences or new technology that will engage these students rather than brochures and videos will be given preference.

The event will welcome approximately 1500 high school students and showcase future job opportunities and career pathways.

We are seeking to identify some cool things to touch, feel, try out, not just new technology.  Experiments showcasing product development and process would be of interest too.

For more information please contact Angela Quain at Sunshine Coast Council.

angela.quain@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

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FAN Chairman finalist for women’s award

MEDIA RELEASE

4 March 2017

Here’s a trick question – how can the Chairman of the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) become a Queensland finalist in the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2017?

Easy answer – the Chairman is a woman.

Jacqui Wilson-Smith is a Sunshine Coast business achiever whose award nomination is based on her idea of creating an online training platform for food and agribusinesses.

Jacqui is a passionate innovator which will be reflected in the pilot topic for training: “Design Thinking as an Innovation Strategy for Primary Industries”.

According to Jacqui, the learning platform will enable the creation of virtual communities where rural businesses can collaborate, learn how to speed up the pace of innovation, reduce risks and create business growth.

“The online content will be delivered in fun, engaging, digestible and extremely practical ways using multi-media such as short video documentaries, e-books, animations, podcasts, webinars, workshops and quizzes,” says Jacqui.

About Jacqui

Jacqui grew up on properties in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, where she learnt to milk a cow, crack a whip and even rode a horse to school!

She was captain of Pomona State School before heading to boarding school in Brisbane.

After uni, she worked for Buderim Ginger before moving to the UK. On return she was determined to centre her career on the Sunshine Coast.

Jacqui has 20 years’ experience in innovation and marketing with agribusinesses.

Jacqui’s leadership in local herb and spice company Gourmet Garden has seen her influence its success through her role as Head of Innovation & Marketing. Following McCormick’s acquisition of Gourmet Garden in early 2016, Jacqui was promoted to Global Innovation Manager for McCormick. She sees her role at FAN as a way of giving back and actively contributing to doubling the region’s food & agribusiness economy by 2030.

Jacqui’s output is impressive and her achievements many:

  • March 2017 FIAL Food Innovation Australia panel judge
  • Dec 2016 Appointed Global Innovation manager, McCormick
  • Oct 2016 Appointed Chairman, FAN
  • Sept 2016 GAICD, Graduate Company Director Course
  • Dec 2015 Launched FAN, co-founding board member, company secretary
  • Aug 2015 Guest Speaker, Disruptive Innovation Industry Forum, Sydney
  • March 2014 Launched Gourmet Garden’s Lightly Dried range
  • Oct 2012 Launched digital platform What2Cook.com, meal planning site
  • Sept 2010 Published first collaborative 4 Ingredients & Gourmet Garden cookbook with local author, Kim McCosker
  • Sept 2009 Appointed Head of Marketing & Innovation at Gourmet Garden

Design Thinking

In her role with FAN, Jacqui observed that due to pressing business matters it’s common for FAN members to focus on the short term, rather than dedicating time to understanding their customers and resetting their vision for innovation.

“Design Thinking is an iterative process that can be learnt,” says Jacqui, “By empathising with customers to gain insights, businesses can rapidly prototype, fail fast and ultimately innovate successfully”.

Jacqui has a track record of successful innovations in agribusiness and is keen to share her Design Thinking skills.

About the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN)

FAN is a membership-based, not-for-profit company, established to support food and agribusinesses across the entire value chain within the Greater Sunshine Coast region. Agribusiness is one of seven high value industries identified in the Sunshine Coast Council’s regional economic development strategy. FAN’s vision is to actively contribute to doubling the region’s food and agribusiness economy by 2030 and for the region to be renowned for its food culture and innovation.

FAN believes in knowledge sharing and creates opportunities for its 140 members to connect, learn, promote and grow their businesses.

Interview opportunities

Jacqui is a charismatic and passionate speaker and is available for interviews this weekend via phone or at her property in Eerwah Vale.

Media contact: Casey Macneil, Macneil & Co. marketing and design 0402 993 688 casey@macneilco.com.au

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New Food Accelerator Program launched on the Sunshine Coast

Calling all food entrepreneurs, applications are now open for a new Food Accelerator Program, a game changer for our food and agribusiness industry!

FAN is excited to be partnering with the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast (IC) to support the delivery of the Grow Coastal Program– which has been made possible by a two-year funding agreement from the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative.

Featuring a bootcamp and three-month food accelerator program, Grow Coastal will find, fund and accelerate 12 ambitious food-related businesses in the region (includes Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Moreton Bay and Gympie).

Whether you’ve got a great idea that needs to get off the ground or you’re already trading and looking to scale up, this program can help steer your venture in the right direction with tried and tested, industry-specific tools, resources and international connections.

This is a competitive program, providing more than $12,000 in direct value to the successful applicants. The registration cost per participant or team is $600.00 and all teams that reach week eight will receive $1,200 in seed funding.

Tara Mei, founder of Kitchen Table Projects, will be delivering the Grow Coastal Program. Since launching London’s first retail incubator in June 2015, Tara has supported over 500 food and drink brands from start-ups to scale-ups and she has a strong worldwide network of industry experts, food producers, distributors and buyers.

Key dates
Applications close: 27 Feb
Food Innovation Bootcamp: 11 March
Accelerator Program: 15 March – 14 June

Find out more about this groundbreaking opportunity at: www.innovationcentre.com.au/programs/growcoastal

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FAN Launches New Program

FAN has created the Mentoring for Success program to assist small FAN member companies to address a challenge or opportunity within their businesses, by providing access to experienced and skilled mentors.

Eligibility

  • Must be a member of FAN
  • Turnover under $1.5 million
  • Participants need to be prepared to provide information about their business such as financials, business plan, key challenges, value proposition etc.

Find out more at FAN Mentoring for Success Program.

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FAN Welcomes New Chairman

FAN Secretary - Jacqui Wilson-Smith

The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) Board has voted in Jacqui Wilson-Smith as its new Chairman for 2017. Outgoing Chairman and co-founder, Andy Eves- Brown will remain a Director on the Board looking after sponsorship.

Under Andy’s leadership FAN has evolved from an idea to the dynamic network that it is today, with 130 members and 40 sponsors. It has a strong profile across the Greater Sunshine Region and has been recognised as a Finalist in the 2016 Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

Of his time as Chairman, Andy says: “It has been an amazing two years since the idea of forming a food industry network for the region took hold. I can’t believe how far we have come from meeting at the Eumundi Imperial Hotel and deliberating over a name and logo, to being a very professionally run network that is full of energy and enthusiasm and is bringing true benefit to the Greater Sunshine Coast. This has only been possible with the dedication and passi0n of a very talented Board and Management team. I’m very proud of what we have achieved and strongly believe that a rotation of Chairman will ensure the network and the Board maintains the momentum we have created. I am so pleased that Jacqui has taken up the Chairmanship; her skills and ability will ensure the aspirational vision of the network is maintained.”

Jacqui, also a co-founder, brings a depth of agribusiness experience and good governance to the FAN Chairmanship, being recently admitted as a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Heading up innovation and marketing at Gourmet Garden, Jacqui is an advocate of ‘design-led innovation’, constantly pushing boundaries to deliver business improvements.  One of Jacqui’s first actions as Chairman will be to announce a new Strategy Committee.

”I am excited to take on the Chairman role and the challenge of taking FAN to the next level after such a tremendous start under Andy’s helm. I am keen to do this in a collaborative leadership style, with the support of a new Strategy Committee. Shortly, we will be calling for nominations from within the FAN membership base. This is just another great way for FAN members to be a part of creating a more prosperous food and agribusiness economy for our region.”

In other changes to the FAN Board, Tony Sowden has been appointed as Secretary, replacing Mark Peters who will retain the Finance portfolio.

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FAN Annual Survey 2016

FAN-Admin-Logo

FAN is about to celebrate its 1st Birthday! Its been a momentous 12-months with more than 130 members joining the network, 40 of which are also sponsors.

Run by the industry, for the industry, FAN wants to ensure that it continues to deliver services and activities aligned to its members and the broader industry’s needs.

We’d be grateful if you could complete this short survey so we can plan a fabulous program for 2017.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C875Q2W

Many thanks,

The FAN Team

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Sunshine Coast Business Awards – FAN Member Finalists

Congratulations to FAN’s members who have made it to the finals of this year’s Sunshine Coast Business Awards! They are:

FAN is privileged to join these companies as a finalist in the the Social Enterprise and Leadership categories.

An article in the Sunshine Coast Daily lists the 115 finalist, spanning 14 award categories and a wide variety of industries.

The winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner being held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on Saturday 5 November.

Good luck everyone!

bus-awards-finalist

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Food Network on board with provenance movement

PRESS RELEASE 16 June 2016

 

Food network on board with provenance movement

 

Australians are expressing growing concerns with where and how their food is created.

 

Recent reports show it’s also something the next generation is particularly concerned with.

 

In April 2016 ABC Rural reported “the stereotype (that young people do not care) is well out of date, with the youth of today asking more questions about their food than ever”.

 

According to Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) General Manager Amy Clarke, the organisation has begun the process of examining how to collectively promote the region’s farmers and producers.

 

“The phrase for this approach is “provenance” and we know it’s important to our next generations,” says Ms Clarke.

 

“The most famous example of provenance in action is Champagne in France. Decades ago this region took action to protect its name and method by preventing other regions or countries using the word Champagne.

 

“That has strengthened and ultimately secured the Champagne brand.”

 

To kick off discussions, FAN is hosting a forum with well-­‐known industry personality Brodee-­‐Myers Cook, editor-­‐in-­‐chief for taste.com.au.

 

FAN networking events are well subscribed so guests are asked to buy tickets online at https://www.facebook.com/events/295536657450247/

 

Harnessing Provenance

Tuesday 21 June 2016, 4pm – 7:30pm

The Ginger Factory, 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina

 

 

“FAN believes this is an important discussion to be had with industry. Provenance is about connecting consumers with their producers in a fundamental way. The consumer wants to know where their food is from, where and how it has been grown, processed and cooked,” says FAN Chairman, Andrew Eves-­‐Brown.

 

“Consumers value authenticity and will happily pay a premium if the product has strong provenance. As an industry I think we need to think about how we can communicate this better so that we can grow our sales and build our brands.

This applies at all levels, local, national and export.”

 

FAN membership base spans the depth of agribusiness industry and they encourage anyone involved from primary producers, through to processors and wholesalers, restaurants and caterers to become part of the network. FAN also represents the non-food part of agriculture so if you are a plant nursery or flower grower you are also welcome to join. www.foodagribusiness.org.au

 

For further information: Amy Clarke

FAN General Manager

Email: amy@foodagribusiness.org.au M: 0438 272 247

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Harnessing Provenance – What telling the story of your ‘provenance’ can mean for your business

Words by Petra Frieser, Local Harvest and FAN Gold Sponsor.

 

FAN (Food & Agribusiness Network) has an upcoming networking event, Harnessing Provenance, on the 21st June 2016, which explores the topic of ‘Provenance’.

With keynote speaker Brodee Myers-Cook, Editor-in-chief of www.taste.com.au, FAN members (and anyone else who would like to come along) get the opportunity to discover some of the latest food trends and the importance of harnessing provenance and the role it plays in the lifestyle, aspirations and connections of everyday Australians – your consumers and customers.

Many would wonder, “What is exactly is ‘provenance’ and why is it so important?” So I thought I would get on my soapbox and tell you what it is and why it is so important to you as both a food producer and as a consumer, and why you should get involved in this great workshop.

Quite simply, ‘provenance’ is ‘the origin or source of something’.

With regards to food, essentially this means where your food comes from, or where it is grown, raised or reared.

Provenance also relates to authenticity. In the instance of fruit and vegetables, this can also mean whether or not it is ethically grown, sustainable, environmentally friendly, minimal footprint etc. With livestock, it extends to suggest that the livestock is ethically raised, and there is a regard to animal welfare and humanity.

Telling your story has never been more important.

It is making that reconnection with the producer, making it more than just a product. It is connecting people (the consumer) with the producer, and the passion that goes behind producing quality fresh food.

People are hungry to hear your story (pardon the pun). The consumer wants to know where there food is from, they want to know that it is ethically raised/produced, sustainable, filled with nutrition, and so much more. They want to be able to make the choice and choose local if local is an option, and know that they are purchasing a quality product.

Let’s go one step further and then tell them about the passion and love that goes into the creation of this product – I haven’t met one producer who is not passionate about what they do – it is why they do it. The consumer needs to know this – everyone loves a great story!

This is also the case for any industry – not just food related industries – but where food is concerned, it is the story that restaurateurs can convey on their menus, stores can relate on their promotional material and regions can share to their visitors.

Your story of provenance needs to be strong, to connect them with what you do as a producer or business to deliver the quality product that you do. What it entails to bring that product to your plate and the passion it takes to get it there.

Generally the consumer does not think much about the process everyday produce has to go through to its final destination at the dinner table. But there is a shift in thinking. With the recent events in the milk industry, it has demonstrated just how the collective mindset can be moved to support local if they are informed.

Therefore, the most important thing that you can do for your business is to define your story, know what it is and convey it to your consumers, so that they can easily identify where your product comes from and the passion behind it that has delivered it to their plate.

Consumers want to support local, they value authenticity and will happily pay a premium if the product has strong provenance. They just need to know how.

Brodee Myers-Cook takes a look at these connections and discusses what food means to Australians today, and the shifts in food trends and how you can leverage this information to help design the story of your provenance.

Understand the current food triggers of the consumer, the rise of the ‘food’tographer’, the meaning of buzzwords such as ‘foodology’ and what it can mean for your food business.

This is a going to be a great networking event and will be the beginning of a series of networking events and workshops on the topic and I urge all of you to participate and see what telling the story of your provenance can mean for your business. If you are not a food industry – come along anyway – everyone has a story. Learn how to leverage your story to result in more sales.

Harnessing Provenance
Tuesday 21st June 2016 – 4pm
The Ginger Factory – 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina, QLD

Members: $15
Non Members $40

Click to Book Tickets

Some great stories of provenance to read so you can think about what your story is:

Tamworth Flyers

http://www.pebblesandpomegranateseeds.com.au/ethically-farmed-pork-definitely-tasting-better/

Naturaleza Farm

http://www.pebblesandpomegranateseeds.com.au/australian-grown-garlic-as-natural-as-naturaleza-farm/

Southern Cross Smallgoods

http://www.pebblesandpomegranateseeds.com.au/southern-cross-smallgoods-for-the-love-of-goat-farming/