FANmail February 2024

FANmail February 2024

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

Join for free and stay up to date with the industry!

Welcome to our new streamlined FANMail! Inside this edition, you’ll find everything from exclusive news, valuable resources, info on member opportunities and member news. 

So grab a cuppa and enjoy this month’s FANmail – and see you soon at an upcoming FAN event.


Nicole McNaughton

Table of Contents

FAN Events

Grow National


Interested in scaling your business in 2024? Submit your EOI for Grow National!

Grow National (an evolution of the highly succesful Grow Coastal program) offer startups and established businesses practical and actionable advice on a range of topics aimed at supporting their growth towards scaling up, investment attraction, distribution and ability to access new markets.

FIND OUT MORE HERE or email us [email protected].au for more details. 

Grow National is proudly supported by the Advance Queensland initiative – Accelerating Female Founders Program. The program is also supported by the Turbine PrecinctRegional Development Australia Sunshine CoastSunshine Coast CouncilMoreton Bay Council and Noosa Council.

Join us for the “Seed to Sprout” one-day workshop on Tuesday, 19th March, an essential event for food entrepreneurs aiming to thrive in the industry. Held at UniSC, this workshop is divided into two insightful sessions. Click here for more information on Grow National Program & Pricing. 


Grow National is supported by funding from the Advance Queensland Accelerating Female Founders Program and Turbine. Grow National is also supported by SRJ Walker WaylandRegional Development Australia Sunshine CoastSunshine Coast CouncilNoosa Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Out & About

FAN CEO Nicole McNaughton and Turbine CEO Andy Eves- Brown recently attended EvokeAg 24 and Future Food Systems CRC For Food Sake Conference in Perth.

Turbine was proud key partner of the For Food’s Sake Conference – where there was lot of thought provoking insights on the state of agri food in Australia and the role of clusters like FAN and precincts like Turbine to supercharge industry growth – powered by collaboration.

The visit was also a great opportunity to brief Senator the Hon. Tim Ayres (Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing) on the Turbine project.

Highlights of the trip included connecting with a great contingent of FAN Members – selected to attend as part of a Team Queensland mission – supported by Advance Queensland and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

With EvokeAg 25 slated for Brisbane – we look forward to bringing delegates of this national conference to our part of the world!

Thanks to all the FANtastic participants at the recent Advanced Agritourism Workshop. Led by Josh Donohoe of Creative Tours and joined by Andrew Fairbairn of Visit Sunshine Coast, Brent Chong of Visit Noosa, Jenny Lawson of Successful Grants and Jennifer Swaine from The Comms People… the expertise and insights were invaluable! Visit our website for all workshop resources.

A toast to all participants in the recent Brewing and Distilling workshop led by Andrew Jago from SRJ Walker Wayland. Big thanks to Blackflag Brewing for providing the perfect setting for our gathering. The event was enriched with insightful discussions and valuable networking. Proudly supported in collaboration with Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Council.

FAN Partner Welcome

FAN is pleased to launch a partnership with Fishbowl – Where we’ve teamed up to provide tailored member offers with great discounts. Stay tuned for more information coming to members soon!

View our FAN Partner offer from Fishbowl here.

Fishbowl is the industry’s most flexible provider of inventory management and manufacturing software solutions for Xero and QuickBooks users across Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and North America. An exciting, dynamic and rapidly growing company, we onboard, train and support companies using the Fishbowl software suite

Sunshine Pantry

About the Queensland Sunshine Pantry campaign
FAN in partnership with Visit Sunshine Coast recently launched the exciting new Queensland Sunshine Pantry campaign 

Commencing in earnest in February 2024, VSC will amplify the campaign nation wide via online video, social media, digital display, and on Visit Sunshine Coast’s website, EDM and social media channels. Follow #qldsunshinepantry.

Get Involved

  • As a valued member of the food, drink & agritourism industry, VSC have developed a toolkit will that help leverage your involvement in the campaign. In this tool kit you’ll find the Industry Brand Stamp, usage guidelines, key messaging and more. Remember to tag #qldsunshinepantry #FAN #VisitSunshineCoast on any social posts. Download the toolkit here.
  • Further producers, makers and agritourism experiences will be profiled through VSC content in 2024.
  • For our producers who don’t have an agritourism experience / offering – we’ll be featuring them in the ‘What’s in our Pantry’ section on the updated Sunshine Coast Regional Food Directory, coming in 2024.
  • Pop up Pantries will be activated at upcoming food industry, consumer and trade events – with details shared in early 2024.

Would like to be featured? Make sure your experience or offering is listed on ATDW or email us for more information on how to be involved.

Industry Development in 2024
This campaign will be supported by ongoing industry development in 2024 including;

  • Agritourism Mentoring Panel
  • Advanced Agritourism Workshop – 20 February
  • Ongoing topic specific workshops – stay tuned
  • Updated resource page – view here

Submit your EOI here for the mentoring panel and workshop
With thanks to…
The Queensland Government and our partners, members and wider industry for their collaboration on this exciting new campaign. 

For questions or more information please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Upcoming Grants

QLD Training Awards – Are you, or do you know an outstanding QLD employer, apprentice, trainee, trainer or vocational education and training student passionate about skills development? Nominations have opened and will close midnight 12 March. For more tips and help with how to prepare a nomination, including how to apply in few easy steps, visit the QTA website.

The Workforce Connect Fund – Human Resources Support Grants aims to support eligible small businesses who identify, through Industry Workforce Advisors, an immediate need for HR solutions to support their business operations. Closes 26 March 2024

The objective of the Rural Economic Development Grants Scheme is to strengthen primary production sectors and bolster rural communities. Round six expressions of interest (EOI) open on 8 February and close on 28 March 2024. Grants are available up to $200,000 as a co-contribution to be matched by applicants. For more info and to apply, visit here.

The Energy Efficiency Grants for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises aims to provide funding to eligible small and medium businesses to purchase energy efficient equipment to reduce and manage energy usage and costs. $10,000 to $25,000. Closes 8 April 2024, for more info and to apply, visit here.

The Climate-Smart Agriculture Program – Partnerships and Innovation Grants aims to foster sustainable agricultural and natural resource management innovation. Closes 8 April 2024. For more information visit here.

Queensland Tourism Awards open Monday 4th March! Now’s your chance to celebrate the achievements of your team and business by nomination for our state’s highest tourism accolade. Check your eligibility hereClose 3 May 2024

The MLA Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) Projects aims to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability through livestock producers pursuing new skills, management practices in their own commercial livestock production systems. Unspecified closing date.

Sunshine Coast Council has partnered with GrantGuru to assist community and business groups, along with local businesses, to find grants and funding opportunities. This free Funding Finder allows you to search for available grants to help grow your business or project. Visit the Sunshine Coast Funding Finder 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

The Curated Plate is back for 2024! Industry Partners are now invited to put forward event concepts for the 10 day food and drink festival to be held 26 July – 4 August 2024. If you are a chef, venue manager, local food and drink producer of tourism operator  that can offer a food related experience that incorporates local, the team want to hear from you! Applications close Friday 29 February 2024. Apply Now

Are you up to date with the latest changes? Join Stewart Eddie, Principal Food Technologist and Director of ASKAFOODTECH PTY LTD for a quick walk through of some of the key food regs changes that are likely to impact your business in 2024. 
🎥  Recording | 💻  Presentation

Diversity in the Workplace Webinar. Join this special Queensland Women’s Week webinar supporting the transformation of manufacturing workplaces to be more inclusive and accepting of diverse workers, including women, those with a disability and those from culturally diverse backgrounds, including First Nations people. Wednesday 6 March Online. Register here.

Applications have opened for the 2024 GRDC GroundUp program. Sponsored by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), GroundUp drives innovation in agriculture to solve industry problems by focusing on founders who are ready to take their technology to the next level. EOIs close 15 March. Info session recording here. For more here..

Implementing Sustainability and Regenerative Practice in your Business
When: Friday 22 March 2024, from 7.30am-9.00am 
Where: UniSC Auditorium, Innovation Centre
More info & register here 
Registration fee $25.00 for UniSC staff/ Industry members | Free for Postgraduate Business Students/Alumni at UniSC 
Registrations close: Tuesday 19th March

TIQ – India Insights Roadshow. Are you a Queensland business interested in exploring the opportunities and challenges of exporting to India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies? TIQ invites you to join a FREE 2-hour workshop, which will deliver comprehensive insights into the Indian market for new and existing exporters. Friday, 22 March 8.30am-10.30am. Register here.

EASTWell Farms Heart Summit
An opportunity to meet and hear from the farmers, health educators, and success mentors leading the charge in Regenerative Agriculture and Health Optimisation. 23 March & 24 March RSVP here

The Tourism Business Capability Subsidy provides funding to eligible sole traders, micro, small and medium-sized tourism and event businesses in Queensland to undertake targeted training and/or accreditation programs. A subsidy of up to $2,000 (excluding GST) is available to eligible tourism and events businesses. Register by 27 March. For more info and to apply, visit here.

QLD Department of State Development Workshops Want to gain insights into how to portray the value of your business, how to prepare a compliant tender submission,  how to deliver on your contracts or the requirements and certifications needed to supply into major projects?  If so, register now for one or more of the workshops here.o.

The inaugural Gympie Bioeconomy Forum 2024 is an industry event focused on showcasing the bioeconomy and associated current and future opportunities within the Gympie and neighbouring regions. Friday 19 April, 8.30am – 5.15pm, Gympie RSL. Followed by networking function. Secure your tickets here.

Ever dreamed of travelling to other countries to seek fresh ideas and discover new ways of doing things? Keen to contribute to your industry or community? Apply now for a Churchill Fellowship – a non-academic program that sends Australians from all walks of life overseas to investigate a topic or issue they are passionate about. Applications are open 1 March to 1 May 2024. Learn more here.

Enrol now for a fee-free TAFE course! 
Fee-Free TAFE courses have been specifically chosen based on local skills demand and advice from industry. Completing training in these high-priority areas will guarantee you graduate with in-demand skills and strong job prospects.  Head here for more info

Member News

Long time FAN members, Luvaberry, a family-owned pick-your-own strawberry farm in Wamuran, renowned for its waste reduction initiatives and agritourism, is closing after two decades. The Schultzes, who founded Luvaberry to combat food waste by selling non-supermarket grade strawberries, are ready for a change, seeking a simpler life away from the challenges of farming. Their efforts expanded to include other fruits and agritourism activities, but now they believe it’s time for new owners to take over. The sale marks the end of an era for the local community and the agritourism industry. Watch Mandy and Adrian deliver the news to the community here.

We extend our best wishes to the Mandy and Adrian for a successful sale of their farm and a well-deserved break. We’d also like to extend our warmest thanks and appreciation for their valued contribution to FAN over the years. Without them – FAN in Moreton Bay wouldn’t be possible. Without a doubt their dedication and innovation have left a significant mark on our network and industry.

Read more from Jennifer Nichols in ABC Rural

Congratulations to the Beachtree Distilling Co team who have been awarded World’s Best Craft Producer at the World Gin Awards Icons 2024

Congratulations to Adam and the Fresh Chai team on taking out GOLD and SILVER in the Australian Golden Leaf Awards. They entered four of their most popular blends and won all.

Congratulations to the Sunshine & Sons team. Sunshine & Sons Original Vodka was awarded the title of World’s Best in the coveted World Vodka Awards

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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