From farm to fork, Sunshine Coast tour takes you behind the scenes of thriving local producers

April 9, 2019

Josh Donohoe, of Creative Tours and Events, has been working with Maleny’s Brouhaha Brewery to create the Farm to Fork Tour that tells the story of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland’s community, collaboration, and most of all, its fresh produce.

“The tour is designed to take you behind the scenes of private farms and meet local producers, hear their stories and sample the amazing local produce of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.” Mr Donohoe explains.

The Farm To Fork Tour offers guests a journey through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, providing a hands-on experience at Sunshine Coast Coffee Roastery, The Falls Farm and Maleny Wagyu, before finishing at Brouhaha Brewery for a four-course degustation of the local produce paired with four of Brouhaha’s craft beers.

Guests are joined by Head Chef, James and Head Brewer, Matt, who share local stories behind the food and beer.

In the lead up to the announcement of the Sunshine Coast destination food festival, The Curated Plate, Mr Donohoe has taken two buses full of Industry Professionals, Tourism Specialists, Food and Drink Bloggers and Visit Sunshine Coast representatives and offered them a sneak peak some of the producers who will be involved with the four day food festival.

The Farm to Fork Tours are available Wednesday to Friday and are limited to an intimate group for four to ten people. Each tour runs for approximately 6.5 hours from 9:30am to 4pm, with pick up available from Caloundra, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Noosa and additional locations on request.

Tour prices range from $200 to $260 per person, depending on the numbers.

More information and bookings can be made online at https://creativetours. com.au/custom-tours/farm-to-fork/ or [email protected]

For more information and photo content, contact Josh at [email protected] or 0438823377

CC’s Big Rosella Festival

April 9, 2019

It’s that time of the year again when the Petersen’s Farm at Woolooga celebrate their annual Big Rosella Festival on Sunday 5th May 2019. On it’s 4th year, it will be a great day to enjoy a day at their farm. There are over 3,000 Rosella trees planted this season and in May the mature bushes will be loaded with the deep red rosella fruits. They also planted other crops ready for picking such as gourmet tomatoes, cape gooseberry, eggplant, chillies, snake beans, okra, cassava, red bora beans, tomatillos, choi sum, gailann, coriander, borlotti beans, butter beans and more.

The guest chefs will create delicious dishes showcasing the well-loved rosella and other homegrown produce. This year’s line up includes:
JASON FORD – Food Ambassador of South Burnett Region
JAMES BARNDEN – local head chef from Charlie’s Hotel Gympie
VALERIE FERDINANDS – MKR 2017 Runner Up

Plus their very own homecook CC Diaz-Petersen will be up on stage sharing her own twist to homecooking.

Celebrating All Things Rosella includes the popular farm tours, cooking demos and some fun games involving Rosellas. There will be a huge display of CC’S Kitchen fine food products including over 25 Rosella related products and fresh produce. CC will prepare an array of homemade food available to purchase on the day. Free face painting for the kids too.

The Big Rosella Festival will be supporting the local Gootchie CWA ladies in raising funds for their project by selling raffle tickets. Better still the ladies will be making scones and jam drops.

Make sure to book your tickets now via: https://www.ccskitchen.com.au/event/big-rosella-festival/

Entry Fee $5 and kids under 12 Free. This is a no smoking and dog family friendly event. Remember to wear comfotable shoes and a hat.

Venue: PETERSEN’S FARM
2 REILLY RD WOOLOOGA QLD 4570

Enquiries: Call CC on 0411 624 648

If your organising a bus tour make sure you pre book your tickets.

This is one of a kind farm day experience in the Gympie region and support these farmers putting up their own event.

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.

Nominees

  • ANN ROSS
  • KYLIE WATSON
  • BRENT CHAMBERS
  • BERNARD PARKER

Nominees

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.

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.

 

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.

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:

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

Cleantech Effect 2017

July 10, 2017

Following on from the inspiration shared by the Ogilvie Group at FAN’s recent ‘Let’s talk about Waste’ event, the Cleantech Effect 2017 offers a networking and educational opportunity for FAN members to discover solutions that can offer both cost savings and improved performance.

Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast invite you to:

The Cleantech Effect 2017 – “Designing Our Future”

Challenge your thinking around how we address our built environment with keynote speakers Dr Keith Suter (global futurist and media commentator) and Peter Maddison (multi-award winning architect and host of Grand Designs Australia).

Lake Kawana Community Centre
Wednesday 23 August 2017 12.00–5.30pm
Networking drinks 5.30–7.30pm
  • Connect with key decision makers and innovators in the South East Queensland Cleantech Industry.
  • Dynamic 15-30 minute sessions with experts, case studies and panel sessions.
  • Over 25 exhibitor stands sharing knowledge on smarter energy, water and waste solutions.
  • Delicious lunch of locally-sourced produce and networking drinks.

Learn how to create sustainable communities, discover the latest technologies and hear the stories from exciting new businesses that we should all be doing business with.

Cost: Tickets are an inclusive $89

For more information, exhibitor, sponsor and delegate enquiries, visit www.cleantecheffect.com

Can’t make the entire day? As a special offer, FAN members are invited to the networking and exhibitors showcase event from 5.30-7.30pm as complimentary guests – to register your interest email the [email protected]

Sunshine Coast Embraces Circular Economy Principles

July 5, 2017

The Circular Experiment is a Sunshine Coast based business formed to assist small businesses to both reduce their costs and improve their profits by better planning and management of materials and resources used during their operation through the implementation of circular economy principles; Resource efficiency, incentivised return, servitisation, return logistics, asset management, and innovative technology solutions.

The Circular Experiment is the brain child of two local Sunshine Coast sisters, Jaine and Ashleigh Morris. Ashleigh was alive with equal amounts of passion and frustration about Australia’s current economic climate and was trying to find her path moving forward, at this stage Jaine was intent on living an authentic life and giving back to her local community. In a perfect combination of timing and gumption the sisters decided that the time was now for Australia to embrace circularity and if no one else was going to step up and drive it forward then they would. From that fateful day in March The Circular Experiment, driven by Jaine and Ashleigh’s incredible hard work and tenacity, has progressed from strength to strength.

Ocean Street in the CBD of the Sunshine Coast has been selected for The Circular Experiment’s first 6-month proof of concept business project. The Ocean Street Project will work at the street and individual business level to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the application of circular economy principles. Ocean Street has over 50 diverse small businesses from cafes to hairdressers that present different inputs and outputs and require unique solutions. As these businesses are common in shopping precincts across Australia the outcomes and solutions are intended to be used to design a business model that can be applied at scale.

“Where does your product end up?” Ashleigh poses this question to businesses along the supply chain and is often met with a shrug of the shoulders or dismissive gazes. In an effort to answer his question and reduce the amount of food waste being landfilled from Ocean Street, The Circular Experiment has collaborated with Spare Harvest, a sharing platform designed to be the initial stop gap in the creation of food waste and with Earth Born in Palmwoods, to turn the remaining food scraps and biodegradable packaging into high quality compost. “Thinking about food ‘waste’ as a resource has enabled us to look at where we can create value at all stops along the supply chain and keep this resource circulating in the system – a core value underpinning the circular economy.” Jaine says.

Putting the Sunshine Coast on the food map

June 19, 2017

FAN’s intention is to put our region on the map as a producer of high quality produce and innovative food products, so we are delighted that the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Moreton Bay will be sponsoring precincts at Regional Flavours next month! Participating in an event like this not only provides an amazing opportunity for businesses to showcase and sell their products to tens of thousands of consumers, it will also drive food tourism and visitation to the increasing number of farm gate operators.

The event is Brisbane’s premier free food and wine festival and will be held on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July in Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands.

For the first time, the Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Visit Sunshine Coast and FAN will be sponsoring a ’Flavours of the Sunshine Coast’ regional hub. The hub will include 9 stallholders (all FAN members!), a marketing display and a menu hub.

Local celebrity chef Peter Wolfe will run the menu hub as well as creating a local reef fish dish on the ‘Queensland Taste’ stage.  The menu hub dishes will include a Mooloolaba prawn seagar, root vegetable soup with Woombye cheese, Maleny Black Angus Beef sliders with Bear and Ladle condiments and Ten Acres brioche buns. Other producers from our region who are supporting the event by supplying products for the menu hub include Co Yo, Belladotti, Pure Gold Pineapples, Montville Mist and Soulfish Seafoods.

FAN members at Regional Flavours

The Fresh Chai Co
QCamel
Pip’s Real Food
Ten Acres
KOKOPOD Chocolate
Maleny Black Angus Beef
The Bear and the Ladle
Hum Honey
Woombye Cheese Co

Hive Haven will also be showcasing their hive and stingless native bee honey on the Sunshine Coast’s marketing stand.

The annual event is expected to welcome more than 90,000 visitors over the two days and features free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts, delicious food, beer and wine, live music, kid’s activities and more.  Find out more here.

Come along and support our regions!

Big Pineapple Renewal

June 19, 2017

The Big Pineapple is in the throws of developing an exciting renewal plan.  This is being done in close consultation with the community with a view to developing a rejuvenated and sustainable Big Pineapple experience that will include a food & tourism hub, nature based tourism, an events space, accommodation and a travel centre.  There will be significant scope for our sector to be involved and to create new business opportunities.

KEY ANECDOTAL FEEDBACK FROM LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS RECEIVED TO-DATE

  • Support for the thematic concept of the new Big Pineapple experience – new and existing uses must all work together to succeed
  • Need for modernised major tourism offer with the Big Pineapple still a dominant feature
  • Support for major events with professional management
  • Popularity of the parfaits, and opportunity to further showcase Sunshine Coast produce
  • Support for economic contributions including local jobs and small business opportunities
  • Need to address the site’s boundaries and edges in planning.

FAN will coordinate a project briefing where industry will have the opportunity to ask questions and put forward ideas.