FANmail February 2023

FANmail February 2023

This post is part of our monthly FANMail newsletter for everything Sunshine Coast Food & Agribusiness.

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Dear FAN Community,

What a FANtastic turnout at our recent Member Meet Ups. A big thanks to our gracious hosts. Bryant and Susie – Eastwell Farms, the team from Brouhaha – and our valued partner EPIC Assist and  Allison and Stuart from My Berries. The learnings and insights shared at these member meet ups are invaluable – and truly appreciated by all who attend. 

Also a big thanks to Nathan and Tim from EP Foods – who graciously hosted a factory tour and shared important insights on Food Safety. After the great turnout and appetite for workshops like this – we look forward to holding more Member Masterclasses – so stay tuned!

It is another big issue of FANMail – so grab a cuppa – and enjoy.

Nicole McNaughton
Interim CEO FAN.

Table of Contents

FAN Events

Delivered by FAN and supported by Sunshine Coast Council, we currently have an opportunity for FOUR Sunshine Coast businesses to exhibit at the Naturally Good Expo, Australia’s only trade show that’s 100% devoted to all things healthy, organic and natural.

See more info here.

Express your Interest in joining FAN and Sunshine Coast Council on a day tour to Brisbane, where you will have the opportunity to see and experience best practice operations firsthand at Lang’s Gourmet and the DAF Food Precinct. There will also be time to network with fellow tour participants, and to enjoy informal discussions on processes, products, equipment, ingredients, and technologies. More info here.

Out & About

Meet the Makers

Are you a Food &/or Beverage Manufacturer? A Primary Producer? Would you love the opportunity to showcase your product to buyers who are passionate about sourcing local?

Join us at Aussie World on Tuesday 2nd May in FAN’s 5th year hosting Meet the Makers.

Get ready for more connections, more buyers, more networking, more FANtastic opportunities to meet our regions MAKERS! Discounted ticket price for Early Bird registrations before 31 January 2023.
BOOK HERE – or contact us for more info

Exhibitor Categories
Artisan pantry I Baked goods I Beans leaves spices I Brews from local crews I Delicious dairy I Farm grown fresh produce I Frozen treats I Meat and Small Goods I Organic goodness I Plant based alternatives I Sauces, jams and condiments I Savoury snacks I Spirit makers I Tasty treats I Wholesome free from

Exhibitor stands are open only to FAN Members. Stand price include tickets to the networking session for participating exhibitors. Full exhibitor details (and bump in times) and details on Information Sessions will be sent after booking.

Interested in exhibiting – please contact us [email protected].au

Join us for the Networking Session at MTM23 – 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Not exhibiting? Don’t worry, you won’t miss out! Join us for the Networking Session of MTM23 where you get a chance to meet our FANtabulous MAKERS.

FAN members and partners, industry supporters, media and passionate foodies are invited to attend this session to support our amazing makers. Maybe also bring a bag… or a beach cart (we know how tempting everything is!)

FAN Partnerships

We were proud to recently launch our partnership with KBI ensuring our members have access to discounted insurance and a dedicated team of specialists. Keep an eye on the FAN Website for current Member Deals & Offers and please reach out to the FAN team if you would like to curate an offer specifically tailored to our members.

FAN Online Resources

FAN Member Annual Survey
Feedback from our members is very important to us, so we can design our activities around what’s important to you. We kindly request 5 minutes of your time to help us finalise our 2023 program. Please see survey here.

FAN Socials
The FAN team are keen to LOVE, LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT on your socials! Head over to our FAN Social Channels and give us a follow if you haven’t already – we can’t wait to connect and keep up-to-date with your news!

Do we have YOUR logo?
When you join FAN, we place your company logo on the FAN website under Our Members. We pop a link from your logo through to your website or social media page. Let us know if you’ve updated your logo email

FAN Member Badges 2023
Be sure to show your customers and community that you’re a member of the Food & Agribusiness Network by proudly displaying our badge on your website. Please drop an email to Bec on to get your badge in the format you prefer. You can also download your badge from the Online Resource section on FAN Connect – you must be logged in to gain access.

Upcoming Grants & Awards

Future Drought Fund 
This fund aims to fund projects that contribute to improved drought resilience through investigations that explore innovative approaches to farm productivity and natural capital.  The Future Drought Fund (FDF), is a long-term investment fund that provides a sustainable source of funding to help Australian farmers and businesses become more prepared for drought. More info here.

Energy Efficiency Grants for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Round 1 Open now until 19 April 2023. These grants will support businesses to upgrade or replace inefficient equipment to improve their energy efficiency. These upgrades will enable industries to reduce their energy use and manage energy cost volatility in the long term. Estimated Grant Value (AUD) from $10,000 to $25,000. Read here for more info.

Round 3 is open and closes 14 April 2023
Austrade’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program helps Australian businesses grow their exports in international markets. These grants encourage small to medium enterprises market and promote their goods and services globally. 

The Regional Investment Corporation – Farm Investment Loans program aims to support the long-term strength, resilience and profitability of Australian farm businesses. It helps eligible farm businesses build and maintain diversity in the markets they supply and take advantage of new and emerging opportunities across Australia and overseas. Please read here for more information and guidelines.

The Farm Household Allowance program aims to provide targeted assistance that gives farming families practical support to assess their situation and plan a way forward to long-term financial security. It is an Australian Government support package that’s available to eligible farmers and their partners experiencing financial hardship. Please read here for more information and guidelines.

AGCareer Start Program
The AGCareer Start Program aims to connect farmers with participants who are looking to work on Australian farms. It is a 10-12 month gap-year program kick-starting young Australians’ (17-25yrs) careers in agriculture. Participants will be provided with a job, training and development grants, and the opportunity to build their networks within the industry.

AEA Seed Grants
Funding applications opened on 6 February for projects from proof of concept to prototype. A total of $10 million is available for AEA Seed Grants, with a min of $50,000 and a max of $500,000, available for each project. For more information reach out to the UQ Agri-Food Innovation Alliance

Nominations for the 2023 Awards close 28 February
Nominations are open to individuals and families involved in farming enterprises or rural communities. To nominate and for more info please read here.

Thanks to the Successful Grants team who have provided the above information. Please contact the team if you would like to chat about how they can support you.

Member Resources & Opportunities

Want to explore the Hong Kong market in 2023?
Wednesday 1 March

Export Connect are hosting a free webinar opportunity for members to reconnect with the HK market. Including a Q&A with leading distributor Chefs Garden and premium gourmet retailer Feather & Bone. For more information and registration follow this link.

Manufacturing Workforce Attraction, Development and Retention workshop – Friday 3rd March – Caboolture
With skills shortages impacting many manufacturers, it is time to think differently about finding, developing and retaining your workforce. This workshop is suitable for all manufacturing leaders, particularly those in charge of recruitment and staff development. Get your tickets here.

Want to grow your business domestically or internationally? 
March 8 & 29 and April 19
Need the know-how, skills and strategy to do so? Attend Sunshine Coast Council’s Trade Capability Workshop series and walk away with everything you need to be export-ready, including a step-by-step strategy and tailored business plan that’s ready for implementation. The program will consist of three half-day, in-person workshops.  Secure a ticket here.

Last chance for tickets to GreenX
Wednesday 15 March

The GreenX Talks Conference and Expo is a Queensland Sustainability in Business event. Learn from business leaders, sustainability experts, innovators and educators with the common aim of making sustainability easier to implement in business and organisations. Book here.

TIQ New to Export Program
Queensland exporters are consistently delivering record-breaking results benefiting from the increasing demand for Queensland products worldwide.  TIQ have introduced the New to Export Program to develop export capability, capacity upskilling, and equip companies with the knowledge to develop and execute international market entry. Find out more here.

Make your voice heard by participating in ACCI’s 2023 National Trade Survey – open now for responses. The challenges your business face and your priorities are important. Participating in the survey ensures they are part of ACCI’s advocacy to government and directly inform government policy. Complete the survey before it closes on 1 March.

Register your interest in the Mentoring for Growth Program (M4G), or volunteer to become a business mentor. The M4G program assists Queensland businesses to grow and succeed in the current business environment. The M4G program includes: Mentoring for Growth sessions | Mentoring for Investment | Mentoring for Pitch | Mentoring for Export |Mentoring for Recovery. 

Queensland AgTech Roadmap 2023–2028 consultation – open for comments until 6 April 2023.
Queensland agribusinesses are set to be at the forefront of the digital revolution with the release of a draft AgTech Roadmap. Farmers and industry groups are encouraged to view the draft AgTech Roadmap and have their say on this important piece of work to support the agriculture sector as it transforms into a cutting-edge AgTech and innovation powerhouse.

Hort Connections – Adelaide – June
There are going to be great opportunities to connect with industry peers at the largest horticulture conference in the Southern Hemisphere. Gather and connect with the largest cohort of growers and supply chain members of the vegetable, fruit, floral and nut horticulture sectors in ANZ. Early Bird Rates are available till 31 March

The Digital Agrifood Summit returns to Wagga Wagga, NSW on 11-12 October 2023, bringing together experts in everything digital, data and agrifood. This year’s theme, Paddock to Profitwill examine how Australia’s agrifood industry can apply data-driven solutions to increase value and drive sustainability across supply chains.

Hort Innovation: The future of snack food: good for your waist good for waste – Read an update from the Hort Innovation team about a new healthy vegetable snack to hit the shelves drawing on innovation from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO together with start-up Nutri V. Based on early work supported by a Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund project, the Nutri V Goodies have two serves of vegetables in every pack and are a convenient option for people to increase their intake. Read more here.

The Landcare Webinar Series brings people interested in sustainable land management and conservation activities together. It showcases the rich diversity of knowledge, passion and expertise within the landcare community. Sign up to view past webinars and get notified on upcoming events.

Member News

Sunshine Coast Foodie Scone Time
We love seeing our Sunshine Coast Foodie‘s Scone Time roll out across the regions and our members getting involved in such a beautiful community connector! Watch Martin on 7News Sunshine Coast speaking about this wonderful tradition. If you would like to join Martin and his team of volunteers, please get in touch via his social channels or drop him an email.

Steampunk on My Way
Did you catch Megan & Kate from Steampunk Distillery on My Way? A fantastic insight into their beginnings and very humble mention of their awards to date – head here to view.

Patrick stealing the show on Better Homes & Gardens!
We FANteam’d over the wonderful segment with Dr Harry’s visit at QCamel. Lauren & Yasmin show cased their gorgeous camels, farm and products with Dr Harry and we learnt a thing or two about milking camels!! Watch here.

Project Salubrious AGFG Reader’s Choice!
A very big congratulations to Kurt and the team at Project Salubrious on their achievement of AGFG Readers Choice 2023 – Gluten Free 

FABLE Funding
The FAN team learnt quickly from Fable Food’s Jim Fuller that the humble mushroom needs to be boiled before you fry it! Yup, you heard it! Boil those mushies! They LOVE H20 and your tastebuds will love you! 
Apart from that cooking tip – we’re very excited to see what the Fable team have been up to lately – read here.

The Doonan opening
The Comiskey Group have been hard at work getting The Doonan ready for it’s planned early March opening. The spaces being created look amazing and we can’t wait to visit.

The Easiest Cooking Show Ever!
Who has been joining Kim in her imperfectly perfect kitchen? If you have foxtel, you can catch Kim and her family on The 4 Ingredients: The Easiest Cooking Show Ever where they have been showcasing the simplicity of coming together to share a meal with yummy recipes for everyone!

Sprout Organic was featured on Channel 7 News mid February with a fantastic story about their growth to export markets Malaysia and Saudi Arabia meeting the growing demand for plant-based infant food products.

Our Supporters

Special thanks to FAN’s Partners and Sponsors who provide significant resources towards the ongoing sustainability of FAN and the growth and resilience of our regions’ food and agribusiness industry.


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