FANmail July 2023


FANmail July 2023

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!

Our regions’ passionate foodies and supporters are in for some tasty treats this month – with both The Curated Plate and Moreton Bay Food and Wine Festival scheduled for later in the month. Both events will be a FANtastic showcase of our members – so make sure to check out the schedules.

We’re gearing up for our special edition of Meet the Sunshine Coast Makers and the CRAFTED Food and Agritourism Conference. Both proudly presented as part of The Curated Plate.  Full details below.

We’re also starting to roll out a series of agritourism industry development workshops – as part of Project CRAFTED – see details or sign up for updates here.

We’re also pleased to share some Turbine related news. The Board of Turbine is delighted to announce the appointment of experienced FMCG senior executive, Andrew Eves-Brown to the role of CEO. See below for the full details.

We look forward to connecting (over some fantastic local produce / products!) at some upcoming events soon.

Nicole McNaughton
Interim CEO

Table of Contents

FAN Events

Following the success of the inaugural Meet the Female Makers – at The Curated Side Plate 2022 – we are proud to present Meet the Sunshine Coast Makers – a “Progressive Special Event’ in the Maroochydore City Centre, showcasing our region’s innovative producers and makers – curated by the talented chefs at Bottarga Restaurant and Market Bistro.

Meet the Sunshine Coast Makers will be a celebration of our region’s passionate and creative food and beverage producers and will include the wider innovative and collaborative industry.

3.00pm to 4.00pm – Entrée at Market Bistro – featuring Sunshine Coast produce and Q&A between local producer and Market Bistro Head Chef

4.15pm to 5.15pm – Main at Bottarga Restaurant – featuring Sunshine Coast produce and Q&A between local producer and Bottarga Head Chef.

5.30pm to 7.30pm – Drinks and Dessert Networking at The MET with a special guest panel of local producers hosted by Paul West of A River Cottage Australia fame. (Seperate ticket available for final progression of the event) 

Paul West is a passionate advocate of real food, community, regional living and sustainable agriculture. Paul was the host of four series of A River Cottage Australia which followed his journey to grow an abundance of farm-fresh food and then cook and share it with his local community.

Speaker Panel

Remember you can purchase tickets for the whole event or choose to purchase tickets for to attend the Drinks and Dessert Networking progression.

With thanks to our Major Event Partners, SunCentral and The Met, Hot 91, Hello Sunshine, Sunshine Coast Council and The Curated Plate.

In this Queensland wide conference, we’re joined by leading national and international food tourism experts – who share insights on how they craft their industry food narratives to showcase their regions. This half day conference will be a FANtastic insights and networking opportunity for producers, tourism operators, regional tourism bodies and local government authorities.

Date: Monday 31st July / Time: 11.30am – 5:30pm / Location: Mantra Mooloolaba 

Key Note Speaker

  • Paul West Grow it Local / River Cottage Australia

Speaker Panel

  • Wellington – Sarah Meikle Chief Executive Wellington Culinary Events
  • Launceston – Andrew Pitt Director Launceston Gastronomy
  • Bonza – Carly Povey CCO Bonza
  • Mildura – Mayor Liam Wood 

This event is supported by the Queensland Government through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – and forms part of the wider Project CRAFTED initiative. Find out more here.

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 refine our 2023 – 2024 program.


FAN is a member organisation dedicated to enabling a growing and resilient food and agribusiness industry by collectively driving the success of our members. At FAN we value collaboration, sharing, leadership and integrity. 

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the FAN Member Code of Conduct and reach out to us at anytime.

Out and About

SunCoast – CAPRED Trade & Investment Connections
A University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC)-led initiative is helping enable trade, investment and networking between Australia and Cambodia, one of East Asia’s fastest growing economies.

A group of official delegates, enterprises and business associations had the opportunity to visit Canberra, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and our very own Sunshine Coast, and meet several agri-food local stakeholders. The delegation met with Roz White (Owner, White’s IGA), Anita Smith (Chief Buyer, Unique Health Products), Cherie Lloyd (Store Manager, Kunara Marketplace), and had the opportunity to visit the Ginger FactoryNutworks and participate in several business networking events and display their sample products at the Eumundi Markets.

FAN members Jacki Hinchey and Bernard Parker were part of some of these events, generously sharing their knowledge, expertise and assisting delegates to better understand the Australian marketplace and the successful FAN model.

Roz White provided a tour of her new IGA Forest Glen store, “It was my sincere pleasure to connect with these industry leaders and learn more about their success and the agribusiness sector in Cambodia. From farm to manufacturing and production, across commodities, their range is diverse and interesting with products such as kampot pepper and Sakata rice crackers.”

This Delegation was part of the Cambodia Australia Partnership for Resilient Economic Development (CAP RED), a five-year Australian Government initiative that aims to support policies that drive inclusive, resilient and sustainable economic growth, which was managed by UniSC’s Centre for International Development, Social Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CIDSEL).

Upcoming Grants & Awards

The Tourism Australia -Advance Program 
Closes 31 July
aims to increase international visitation to Australia for the purposes of attending a business event, and to increase consideration of Australia as a business events destination. Funding from $20,000 is available for eligible businesses.

The Carbon Farming Outreach Program 
Closes 14 August
This program provides up to $17.5 million over 3 years to deliver training and advice to farmers to integrate low emission technologies and practices into their business. Grants between $1 million and $17.5 million covering up to 100% of eligible project expenditure.

Sunshine Coast Business Awards,
Applications Close 28 August
SCBA is a great opportunity to both review your business activity and profile your organisation to the greater Sunshine Coast community. Contact Jen and the team from Successful Grants who can provide grant writing services for FAN Members.

The Business Investment Fund (BIF) 
Open & ongoing.
BIF aims to help innovative small and medium-sized local businesses to grow, generating returns for investors, creating new jobs, and supporting the Queensland economy. Initial investments of between $2.5 million and $10 million are available for eligble businesses.

Horticulture Irrigation Pricing Rebate Scheme
Applications close 31 December 2024
This scheme provides rebates of 35 percent to horticulture producers to offset the cost of water used to irrigate horticultural crops. . More info here.

Female Founders Co-Investment Fund 
This fund aims to support eligible businesses to leverage funding and secure new investment to build business capacity. Grants from $50,000 to $200,000 are matched at a 3:1 ratio over a period of 12 months, for either a single investment or a raise round led by an eligible business.

Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast (RDASC) is excited to provide the ‘RDASC Grant Funding Finder’ to all local businesses, community groups, not-for-profits and individuals on the Sunshine Coast and Noosa. This site provides a comprehensive list of grant and funding opportunities available to you for FREE

Find grants that suit your business with the QLD Government Grants Finder

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

Moreton Bay Council seeking EOIs
Applications close 28 July
MBRC is seeking EOIS from local businesses, community organisations, food vendors, and stallholders focused on sustainability and eco-friendly lifestyle products to participate in Moreton Bay Eco Fest on Saturday, 30 September 2023, at the Caboolture Town Square. 

Complete survey and chat to the team
The Department of  Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training team need your feedback to understand the issues affecting small businesses. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and /or request a call back.  Take survey here.

Protected Cropping Conference 2023
17 – 20 July 2023
PCA2023 theme is “Growing our Future” featuring a range of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors from here in Australia and abroad will share their knowledge, research, and innovations to all delegates. See info here for a FREE Conference registration.

Forward Fest 2023
Seeking Expressions of Interest
Forward Fest 2023 presents an exciting opportunity for the Sunshine Coast business community to showcase their ingenuity and share unique solutions with public and private sector business leaders.  For more info on the event and / or express your interest 

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

An Australian first in plant-based food production!
Congratulations to the Fenn Foods team in an Australian first, the locally owned, plant-based food production company behind popular vegan-friendly vEEF products has been certified carbon neutral. Read the article here.

Congratulations on your new home Country Chef!
Congratulations to the Country Chef team on your FANtastic new facilities at Bells Creek!.  Having reached maximum capacity at their sites in Kunda Park and Forest Glen, the business sought to consolidate its four current manufacturing operations (three on the Sunshine Coast and one in Sydney) into one new site at Bells Creek. Country Chef assessed locations for its new facility. While the Sunshine Coast was its preferred location, it did face competition from other sites across Australia. Sunshine Coast won out. Read more here about the facility bringing pavlova’s galore to Oz!

The Board of Turbine is delighted to announce the appointment of experienced FMCG senior executive, Andrew Eves-Brown to the role of CEO.  

Mr Eves-Brown has over 20 years FMCG experience across General Management, Supply Chain and Operations and most recently held the position of Head of Economic Development at the Sunshine Coast Council, where he helped shape the future of the region through the Regional Economic Development Strategy review, supported the Sunshine Coast through the post-COVID recovery and was a strong supporter of the Sunshine Coast Biosphere championing how the UNESCO sustainability goals could be embedded in the region.

Delighted at securing Mr Eves-Brown for the role, Turbine Director and FAN Chair, Jacqui Price said, “As we start to finalise the next stages of the project, it was important for us to secure the talents of an experienced CEO who not only understood food and drink manufacturing but who understood the people and businesses who make up this ecosystem and Andrew fitted the bill perfectly.“

In his role as CEO at COYO and before that as COO at Gourmet Garden, Andrew was instrumental in the creation of Food Agribusiness Network (FAN) and there is probably no one that understands our industry better.“

As CEO of COYO, Andrew drove the strategy that established their products as a premium brand and saw the company more than quadruple in volume during his three-and-a-half-year tenure. Prior to COYO, he held the role of COO at Gourmet Garden for 11 years helping grow the business from $20m to $100m prior to the company selling to McCormick, Herbs and Spices. It is this business pedigree coupled with his commitment to collaboration that makes Andrew the perfect choice to lead Turbine into the next phase and Turbine’s Board is delighted Andrew will be leading the project,” Ms Price said.

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

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