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Spotlight on Sunshine Coast at Regional Flavours

Over 100,000 people attended Regional Flavours in Brisbane on the 15-16 July with foodies from all over Australia wanting a bite of Sunshine Coast Produce. FAN, in collaboration with Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast hosted a regional hub – “Flavours of the Sunshine Coast”, and attendees were drawn in by the food from our region with genuine excitement about the location it was from.

FAN General Manager Emma Greenhatch attended the event, and returned with success stories for each of our 10 FAN members who showcased their produce at the event. “They all had a phenomenal couple of days, and it was an opportunity for them to put their products in front of consumers from Brisbane and interstate. Getting these companies out of the region to showcase what they have got to national and international markets is really key and what we’re driving hard on. The exposure promotes the depth and diversity of businesses we’ve got, and will attract others to set up in the region”.

Highlights from our FAN members at Regional Flavours;

  • Woombye Cheese had their best 2 days of trading ever and sold out both days – moving more than 1,500 pieces of cheese.
  • Ten Acres sold 350 loaves of sourdough bread, and their marmalade was also a huge hit.
  • QCamel sold out of their milk with 3,000 people who have never tried Camel milk sampling their product and becoming potential new customers!
  • Kokopod’s most popular chocolate was the honeycomb, also selling out!
  • Maleny Black Angus Beef used 4,000 toothpicks, sampling their sausages and beef burgers
  • The Fresh Chai Co. sold more than 1,000 packets of chai and had 1,000 100% satisfied customers

Check out some great images from the event below.

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Connecting with our Farmers & Our Food; How to run a successful farm gate

Increasingly millennials and savvy consumers are speaking with their feet and wanting to know where their food comes from, and how it is grown and raised. They want to hear the story and the provenance! For primary producers, this provides an opportunity to hop on the band wagon and provide a unique and memorable experience for foodies looking to connect with the source.

Sally Hookey from Hinterland Feijoas is putting her local Sunshine Coast farm on the food tourist map and generating extra income in the process. Tea, coffee and chocolate feijoa cake are always on the menu at the farm’s cute little retro caravan, ‘Myrtle’ and you can purchase other gourmet feijoa products from her artisan farm gift shop. The fresh, luscious tree-ripened, certified-organic fruit is a sell out every season!

“Lots of people visit the farm every week and are interested in our lifestyle. People are wanting to connect with where their food comes from, and appreciate the opportunity to see a working farm. Our farm gate gives us a year-round offering, minimizing the risk of seasonality and diversifying our product range. We are happy to share our learnings on how farmers can look at alternative ways to market and additional opportunities for sales” – Sally Hookey

At this workshop Sally and her husband, Peter Heineger will share their journey including the challenges and rewards. FAN Director and commercial & corporate lawyer, Tony Sowden will also be providing information about the regulations and legal requirements for farm gate enterprises.

HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL FARM GATE // EVENT DETAILS
Friday 14 July
Workshop; 9:30 – 11:15am | Farm Tour; 11:15am
Hinterland Feijoas
131 Browns Road
Belli Park, QLD 4562

Tickets are available for FAN members & non-members here

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Cleantech Effect 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 cleantecheffect@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

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Sunshine Coast Embraces Circular Economy Principles

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.

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Putting the Sunshine Coast on the food map

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!

Amy Clarke 1 Comment

Big Pineapple Renewal

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.

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Local innovations reduce waste bulge

With Australians throwing out one in every five bags of groceries, Sunshine Coast food innovators are turning their minds to creating a positive out of excessive food waste.

Next week, the region’s Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN) is bringing innovators and opinion leaders together to chew over the issue at a special event called ‘Let’s Talk About Waste’.

“Food and agribusiness is one of our region’s high value industries and it’s certainly an industry with innovation on its mind,” said FAN Chairman, Jacqui Wilson-Smith. 

Local innovation examples

  • Freeze Dry Industries have created technology to freeze dry fruit that has been rejected for cosmetic reasons and turn it into a delicious new snack food.
  • Sunfresh Marketing, has this week launched a long life avocado pulp, packed in vacuum-sealed bags, with no chemicals or preservatives added. The product has been developed in collaboration with another local company, Naturo who have developed a technology called Natavo Zero using their Avocado Time Machine.

Event details

Keynote speaker will be Dianne McGrath, who is completing a PhD in Environmental Engineering at RMIT. Dianne will share the results of her hospitality sector research project, Watch My Waste (watchmywaste.com.au).

David Jouy and Jules Santisis of iconic Sunshine Coast restaurant group Ogilvie Group will also be telling the story of Maravista Farm. Maravista is a stunning 250-hectare macadamia property in the Noosa Hinterland where organic produce is grown for the group’s venues: Rickys, Locale, Wood Fire Grill and Aromas Noosa.

David Jouy is General Manager of Rickys and Wood Fire Grill and Jules Santisis is Head Chef at Aromas Noosa. The two will tell of their vision for the farm, stories of the journey so far and share news of an innovative composting initiative, currently in early stage development.

Guests will also learn about an innovative local model for sharing excess food and organic waste from gardens and farms. Helen Andrews from Spare Harvest believes it does not make sense to waste these resources when there could be someone in your community who will use them.

National interest

ABC TV’s documentary, The War on Waste has put this hot topic on the national agenda, with a whole episode dedicated to the food industry and the staggering amount of waste that ends up in landfill each year. How can we contribute to solving this problem in our region – recycling, innovative technologies, sharing excess produce, composting?

 

‘Let’s Talk About Waste’

Thursday 8th June
5:30pm – 8:00pm
The J Noosa, 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Heads

To purchase tickets visit foodagribusiness.org.au

 

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More sweet jobs ripe for the picking in 2017

The Sweetest Job campaign, which last year resulted in nearly 200 locals gaining work in the strawberry industry, has been expanded to deliver jobs in the wider Food and Agribusiness industry. The expansion follows investment by the Queensland Government under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

Sunshine Coast Council is proud to again support The Sweetest Job initiative which is being led by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Moreton Bay in partnership with Growcom, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association, the Food and Agribusiness Network, Moreton Bay Regional Council and local farmers and food processing operators.

Sunshine Coast Economic Development Portfolio Cr Steve Robinson said agribusiness injected $670 million into our local economy and was one of the seven high-value industries identified in the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy.

“The industry is vital to our local economy and it is incredibly important that we support our processors with a skilled and sustainable workforce,” Cr Robinson said.

“We saw some fantastic outcomes for strawberry growers following The Sweetest Job campaign in 2016 and 2017 will see more people employed, not just on farms, but across the agribusiness supply chain.

“The aim is to further increase the number of local people employed in seasonal work, and upskill 120 jobseekers in horticulture, logistics and food processing to meet demand for ongoing, skilled positions.

RDA Moreton Bay Chair Shane Newcombe said the new The Sweetest Job campaign and project aimed to take advantage of the wider employment opportunities available in the food and agribusiness sector and associated supply chain.

“Feedback from industry during the 2016 campaign told us that a project incorporating an industry skills component would be welcomed by local employers, particularly for meeting the need for entry-level skilled positions,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Thanks to Queensland Government investment and support from our partners, we have delivered on this with training in horticulture, logistics and food processing qualifications available for project participants.

“This is in addition to the seasonal picking and packing jobs on strawberry farms which will again be open to local Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay residents looking for work.

“For local growers, the additional Skilling Queenslanders for Work investment means there will be more resources behind the training, selection and screening of workers to ensure growers, food processing firms and other food and agribusiness employers to get the right people with the right skills.”

This year The Sweetest Job will again connect with local community organisations, Centrelink and job active clients, and other employment services providers to open up job opportunities to people who are struggling to find work.

In addition to the accredited training, there will be comprehensive support provided to help people overcome personal and work-related challenges

“Sunshine Coast Council is very pleased to be supporting this project by providing resources to support the training and development of project participants so they gain the skills local employers need,” Cr Robinson said.

Food and Agribusiness Network General Manager Emma Greenhatch said the expansion of The Sweetest Job campaign would be a great opportunity for food processing companies and industry supply chain firms, such as transport and logistics operators, to increase the skills of their workforce and benefit from associated productivity gains.

“We would love to see The Sweetest Job initiative contribute to our local food and agribusiness industry being more competitive in national and international markets,” Ms Greenhatch said.

“Success here will not only create more job opportunities for the industry, it will also grow the broader food and agribusiness economy and help to attract new investment to the region.”

Minister for Training and Skills, and Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath said the State Government had contributed $33.8 million across Queensland to help job-seekers get trained and find work.

“We want to open doors for local job-seekers who have faced various barriers in their life,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“Projects such as The Sweetest Job offer exciting opportunities for job-seekers to gain new skills and meet local industry and employer needs, and drastically increase their chances of getting employed.”

The first project intake in the Sunshine Coast region, which is now open, will focus on food processing and logistics.

The campaign is being delivered by Stones Throw, the company behind the JobShow and other innovative local employment initiatives.

Jobseekers and local employers are encouraged to register their interest at www.thesweetestjob.com.au

 

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Your network is your ‘net worth’

How often do you hear ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’?

A person’s business network can often equate to their ‘net worth’ and yet so many people have a deep-seated fear and loathing of networking!

Food Agribusiness Network (FAN) wants to flip the fear on its head with its upcoming, ‘Maximising Networking Opportunities’ workshop hosted by the food-preneur team from Montville Coffee next Tuesday.

 “FAN is all about the power of the network,” says Chairman, Jacqui Wilson-Smith.

“My experience with Gourmet Garden and now McCormick is that those who embrace sharing—rather than taking— end up forming deeper, trusted connections and find collaboration opportunities more easily.”

The team at Montville Coffee approach networking as an essential business strategy. Their efforts have resulted in collaborations with some of the region’s finest producers and restaurants, including Maleny Dairies, Wimmers, Maleny Food Co & the Bohemian Bungalow.

Montville Coffee’s Karen Barnett, Kevin Fraikin and Sean McGowan will host a light-hearted, interactive workshop exploring the concepts of trust, leadership, motivation and shared vision.

With a better understanding of how to identify others’ values and unmet needs, you will become a more effective networker.

Other FAN members, like QCamel dairy, have used FAN as a launching pad for partnerships with Maleny Cheese and Freeze Dry Industries. The collaborative teams are developing new products together, creating new categories and markets.

Limited spaces are available at the workshop, to be held next Tuesday, 30 May, 7:45am to 11:00am at Montville Coffee, 20 Balmoral Rd, Montville.

To book tickets ($25 – $50) visit www.foodagribusiness.org.au

 

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Eumundi Welcomes New Brewer to Town

Esteemed brewer Chris Sheehan is now heading to Eumundi to take on the role of Head Brewer for the new Eumundi Brewery.

Chris will be based on-site at the iconic Imperial Hotel in Eumundi overseeing the installation of the brewing “kit”, and most importantly, fine-tuning the recipes and roll-out of the much anticipated beers.

In taking on the Eumundi role, Chris is handing over the reigns as Head Brewer for James Squire and Malt Shovel Brewery in Sydney, where he has been for a number of years.

Prior to that he’s held managerial roles with the nation’s beery best: with XXXX in Brisbane (where he fell in love with Queensland); West End Brewery in Adelaide; Knappstein Enterprise Brewery in the Clare Valley; and Swan Brewery in Perth.

And he cannot wait to start his next chapter on the Sunshine Coast.

“I’m thrilled to be moving with my family to this beautiful part of the world,” says Chris. “To have the opportunity to live and make beer on the Sunshine Coast is dream job stuff for me.”

“It’s an exciting time to be a brewer in SE Queensland – with so much happening in Brisbane and on the Coast in a beer sense, says Chris. “We have a terrific opportunity to make great flavoured beers that are top quality and will be appreciated by a discerning market of beer lovers.”

“Beyond the brews, I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with both my mountain bike and surfboard!”