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New Initiatives for FAN Members

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.

Tanya Arnold No Comments

Eat Local Month – Celebrate GourMAY in Gympie

Gympie Regional Council invites you to celebrate May with the finest local food and produce during Eat Local Month in the Gympie region.

GourMAY is your chance to explore, taste and experience the great flavours of the Gympie region at one of the many foodie events showcasing the wonderful diversity of produce grown right here in the region.

Chef Matt Golinski, Food Ambassador, is an inspiring part of GourMAY and encourages you to create your own paddock to plate experience, with cooking demonstrations and tempting foodie events. With long table lunches, growers markets and delicious, local seasonal produce, GourMAY is a month not to be missed!

Make your experience unique by visiting local farms, attending talks and workshops and tasting the range of signature dishes on offer at participating local restaurants and cafes.

Key Events

COOLOOLA FARM TRAIL – 5 May 2018
Pick your ideal farm gate destination, meet producers and learn more about their product direct from the farm. The participating farms are Lindols Macadamias, Purity Essential Oils, Cooloola Berries, Bio Fields, Noosa Black Coffee, Lee Fishing, Silky Oak Tea Gardens, Alba Aquaculture. Download a copy of the Cooloola Farm Trail brochure here (PDF 8MB)

MARY VALLEY FARM TOUR – 27 May 2018
Take a guided farm tour through an organic cattle and small crop farm, an organic boutique small crop farm and a working persimmonand stonefruit orchard diversifying into pork, eggs and preserves. Stop off for lunch at Kandanga Kitchen and sample produce sourced from surrounding farms.

STRAWBERRY TRAIL – 5, 12, 19 and 26 May 2018
Take a seat at the Farmers Table and enjoy a delicious strawberry inspired breakfast buffet. Stay for a farm tour every Saturday in May.

5 CHEF’S LONG TABLE DINNER – 26 May 2018
Acclaimed chef and Gympie Region Food Ambassador Matt Golinski will lead a team of local chefs to present a five course degustation experience featuring the best of regional produce. Meet the producers, hear from chef Matt Golinski and celebrate in GourMAY style!

PAELLA IN THE PADDOCK – 6, 13, 20 and 27 May 2018

GYMPIE GARDEN EXPO – 5 and 6 May 2018

And many more! For more information, visit here.

Emba Group No Comments

The Sweetest Job Project

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.

Project

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

Benefits 

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,

Emma

 

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.

Name:

Organisation:

Date:

Food & Agribusiness Network No Comments

“Sharing a Recipe for Innovation” – Gourmet Garden’s Innovation Journey

FAN’s Chair, Jacqui Wilson-Smith was the 2017 QLD AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Winner. Jacqui was awarded a bursary for $10,000, which she has channelled into producing a video documentary designed for FAN members to learn from titled “Sharing a Recipe for Innovation” .

The documentary brings to life the story of how Gourmet Garden became a customer focused, collaborative team of innovators adding value to fresh herbs & spices through the adoption of Design Thinking processes.

Jacqui says that rural woman have been sharing cooking recipes for generations, to help each other avoid common mistakes and to fast track each other to enjoy tasty results. Sharing Innovation recipes is just like that! Jacqui hopes that the initiative will inspire other FAN members to also share their innovation stories and any useful skills and learnings that they have to offer other members.

In addition to the video documentary, FAN members will have access to a Design Thinking eLearning experience and a practical guide on how to use design thinking tools when innovating for food and agribusinesses in Australia.

The eLearning and guide will be released very soon, stay tuned!

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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.

Food & Agribusiness Network No Comments

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.

[email protected]

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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 [email protected]

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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.