FANmail May 2023

FANmail May 2023

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

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This is our magic sauce and this our why. 

Meet the Makers (and our other events and activity) – are about bringing together our members, network, community, friends and supporters – to share advice, connections, produce and support.  Something magic happens when everyone comes together to ‘rock their own thing’. It’s something we’re truly privileged and grateful to be part of. 

So a big thanks to all of our members, supporters and partners – for a FANtastic Meet the Makers 2023. And thanks Jaimi for the kind words below…..


Nicole McNaughton
Interim FAN CEO.

Table of Contents

From Jaimi – The Village Pickle.

I’m not gonna lie. This looks like an incredibly boring plate of food, but let me explain…
A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of featuring our products at our 3rd annual Meet the Maker with @foodagnetwork. We met some wonderful folks doing really cool things with food and fermentation. A few great swaps that day, including some @nourishingwholefoods fermented hot sauce! (Pictured).
We also nabbed a fair few lagers from our mates @headsofnoosa, MISO from @fermenstation, which we’ve been loving and look forward to sharing. Chicken pies and THE BEST sourdough from @thewonkyloaf and so many more goodies.
It’s a lovely feeling having a community of local makers, sharing produce, advice and support for each other without the need for competition. Everyone is just rocking their own thing.
FAN (food and agri business network) really are a hero of what we have here vs. the rest of the world… #buylocal #shoplocal always!

Anyway, pictured here is my un-picturesque but delightful dinner – mashed potatoes and pumpkin from @noosafarmersmarkets topped with @nourishingwholefoods fermented hot sauce. Yummo.

FAN Events


We are thrilled to share that Daniel Leesong from Coal River Farm (Tasmania) will be a special guest speaker at our Insights and Inspiration event as part of GourMay Mary Valley 2023 – Wednesday 31 May.

Joining Daniel on our panel are valued FAN Member Kristina Kucan from Silver Tongue Foods, long time FAN Member and FAN Board alumni Lauren Brisbane from QCamel and newly joined FAN Member Sam Penny from Max+Tom.

Coal River Farm recently won Gold for Excellence in Food Tourism at the Australian Tourism Awards in 2022. Coal River Farm produces cheese and chocolate on site, as well as offering a restaurant serving locally grown and sourced seasonal produce.


This event is also part of Project CRAFTED – and initiative funded by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Agriculture

With thanks also to event partners Creative Tours and Gympie Regional Council.

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 Partnerships

Top 10 Mistakes Made by SMES and how to prevent them.
Delivered by our valued partner New Era Law – In this session, Brendan Leighton, Managing Director provides a practical overview of some common legal and commercial mistakes made by SMEs. The presentation covers how to mitigate these risks in a cost effective way. View the recording HERE.

Protecting your Business: Understanding Product Recall Insurance
Delivered by our valued partner KBI Insurance – this webinar provides a comprehensive understanding of the importance of product recall insurance and how it can help protect your business from financial losses in the event of a recall. If you missed the live webinar, please view the recording HERE or download the article HERE.

Member Spotlight

Building Connections, one cup at a time

Coffee has a way of helping us build connections, that lead to a sense of belonging.

It’s the year 1998 BC (before Covid). I was up and about after establishing a new friendship, and excited that we were so like-minded in many ways. Both keen drama students with a similar CD collection, and a thirst for life.

Aged 15 then, I was adventure bound when Nick invited me to ‘do coffee’ tomorrow morning at a local café.

Even though I had never, ‘drunk coffee’, so I had no idea how on earth you ‘do coffee’, I felt obliged to fit in and went along for this café-coffee crusade thingy.

The following morning, a little sheepishly I gently swung the café door open and tried to enter inconspicuously.

Oh; what a world I’d come across… CONTINUE READING

Thank you Sean for the wonderful blog post! We are very excited to reignite this collaboration too! A little history about Coffee Connections; Picture The Big Pineapple circa 2019. Team FAN have taken up residence in one of the boardrooms with a view to the macadamia nut and COYO! Montville Coffee have a pop-up cafe right at the front of the Big Pineapple itself… tempting visitors with delicious affogato’s, reimagining the pineapple parfait, making yummy treats and stocking FAN member product!

A FANtastic collaboration kicked off. Coffee Connections. Karen, Kevin, Sean & the team brewed the perfect cup while FAN members gathered and chatted for a couple of hours under the thatched roof, igniting amazing collaborations and cementing the core of FAN. Connection.

Join us Thursday 24 August – for our next Coffee Connections hosted kindly by Montville Coffee and look forward to welcoming new FAN members each quarter over a cuppa and conversations.


Upcoming Grants & Awards

Business Growth Fund Program (QLD) – Round 5 opening 8 May (EOI), then invite to final round, then pitch. This program aims to provide funding for small and medium-sized high-growth businesses to buy specialised equipment, enabling them to unlock growth potential, increase production, expand their workforce, and maximise economic returns to move them to the next stage of growth. It targets high-growth businesses who can accelerate growth, drive Queensland’s economy and employ more Queenslanders. Grants between $50,000 and $75,000 (excluding GST) are available. Applicants must provide a co-contribution of at least 40% of the total project cost. Eligible applicants must be an established (5 years) small to medium sized Queensland businesses (5 – 49 employee head count) that are financially sound with a minimum turnover of $500,000 in the last FY, and have the potential for high-growth within the next two years. Eligibility checker here

The Sunshine Coast Business Awards have launched with multiple categories to enter. Contact the team at Successful Grants as they offer a full management, and a review service for these awards.

Grazing Resilience and Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) Program (reopened)
This program aims to support beef producers in the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Burnett Mary regions. It also aims to improve land condition with a focus on increasing ground cover to reduce harmful run-off impacting the Great Barrier Reef.

Australian Technologies Competition 
This competition is Australia’s national competition, late-stage accelerator and partnerships program designed to identify and accelerate homegrown scale-ups with global potential. It is for scale-ups who are determined to have a significant international impact. The 2023 award categories include (refer to comp site for full list)Clean energy, Advanced manufacturing, Circular economy, Social impact, Water, food and agribusiness

Export Awards now open!
The Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards (Export Awards) celebrate the achievements of Queensland’s top exporters who significantly contribute to the state’s growing economy.  Held in collaboration with Austrade, the prestigious awards recognise the creativity, innovation, determination and continuing success of Queensland’s $145B export industry. This year a First Nations category award will be presented for the first time. More info here.

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

Bizitize to be decommissioned
Members may have noted over the past couple of months that the Bizitize platform will be decommissioned by the end of May.
The FAN team are pleased to advise that a new membership platform has been identified thanks to a project lead by Sunshine Coast Council. We are in the process of migrating to WAVE and would hope for minimal disruption to members. If you have any questions at all, please reach out on [email protected].au

Indigenous Native Food Program. Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and innovators to develop and commercialise native food products. More information here
Applications for the pilot program are now open. To find out more, contact the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 or email [email protected]

Innovative Solutions for a Profitable Business workshop on 11 July at the Alex Surf Club. Sunshine Coast Council is partnering with Cleantech Industries Sunshine Coast to deliver this practical session to demonstrate to businesses of all sizes strategies and tools that will reduce input costs and conserve resources.  For info and FREE registration, follow the link.

FermenTasmania is seeking Expressions of Interest from anyone who might have a fermentation idea, business or interest they want to pursue using the Fermentation Hub, an incubator for new fermentation businesses and skills and training opportunities.

Do you supply to events? 
EventsConnect is a brand new ‘go to’ directory of event suppliers to foster connection, exposure and revenue opportunities for local suppliers to the Sunshine Coast events industry.  EventsConnect  is a free industry service funded by Sunshine Coast Council and supported by the Sunshine Coast Events Industry Association. 

Small Business Connect newsletter
The Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training’s monthly Small Business Connect newsletter keeps you up to date with all the latest information for Queensland small businesses.
Subscribe here to receive updates for businesses and workers. 

AgJobs Queensland Platform
Queensland Farmers’ Federation recently launched Ag Jobs Queensland – a dedicated industry job matching platform for the Queensland agricultural sector. Through Ag Jobs Queensland, employers from across the agricultural supply chain can connect with job seekers looking for their opportunity to work!

Give A Sheet for the Planet To celebrate World Environment Day, Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Council have teamed up with BlockTexx and St Vincent de Paul Society. Simply clean out your linen cupboards and drop-off approved items at Sippy Downs or Tewantin on Sunday 11 June.  More info here

LandCare Farming Updates
The Landcare Farming Team have recently launched their pilot monthly email update, keeping you abreast of Landcare Farming stories, projects and upcoming events. If you are interested in Landcare Farming updates, please sign up to the mailing list HERE.

New Produce Market coming to Hamilton.

Northshore Produce Markets will be held every Sunday from 7am – 1pm starting 3rd September.
They are offering the first 100 applicants a special rate: Food/Drinks/Produce stallholder $100.00 per market 3m x 3m site & Artisan stallholder $55.00 per market 3m x 3m site. Stall Holder Application Form

It’s the final week of Queensland Small Business Month and also the Final week of QSBMonline events Below are just a few of the valuable FREE sessions being held by the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT)

Price and profitability: Wednesday, 31 May 2023 / 6.00pm to 7.00pm
Join the Queensland Small Business Commissioner and a panel of experts at this free session, to benefit from their experience when it comes to setting a price for your products and services and to increase your prices in the current market. REGISTER

QSBMonline recordings now available
Missed an QSBMonline event?  Don’t worry, you can watch the post-session recording and still reap the benefits. Topics include business planning, social media and marketing, workforce management, building capability, selling to government suppliers and workplace health and safety. VIEW RECORDINGS HERE

Member News

THANK YOU to the Bonza contributors!!
A very big thank you to all the amazing FAN members who answered the call for local product on innaugural flights of the Coasts new airline, Bonza! 

UQ Agri-Food Kick Starter Recipients!
Congratulations to Jimmy and the team at Empathy Herbal who, over the next 12 months, will be working with the University of Queensland & local white garlic farmers to study how processing methods effect the therapeutic benefits and flavour profile of black garlic. This will be the first study of its kind completed in Australia & will put our Australian black garlic on the international map! We’re looking forward to the results team!

Gourmet Taste Creations Gold & Silver 
Gourmet Taste Creations GOLD for our Habanero & Ginger Yellow Pepper Jelly at the Royal Tasmanian Fine Food Awards and SILVER for our Red Pepper Jelly

Skippy takes out the Gold!
Congratulations to Steve, Kirra and the team at Beachtree Distilling Co on the FANtastic recognition! Their Skippy Gin has taken out the Gold at the IWCS.

Noosa Black Garlic & the Royal Tasmanian Fine Food Awards
A huge well done to Teneille & Tony from Noosa Black Garlic receiving the following: Reserve Champion – Savoury Preserves at the 2023 Royal Tasmanian Fine Food Awards for Noosa Black Garlic Cloves as well as; Reserve Champion – Savoury Preserves – Black Garlic Cloves; Gold – Black Garlic Cloves; Silver x 3 – Caramelized Black Garlic Paste; Silver – Black Garlic White Balsamic Vinegar 
and for The Noosa Fine Food Company; Silver – Blackberry BBQ Sauce; Bronze – Raspberry BBQ Sauce

GOLD, SILVER & BRONZE at the World Drink Awards
Congratulations to Amelia, Dan & whole whole So Soda team for the recognition at the World Drink Awards. Gold, Silver & Bronze gongs for Strange Bedfellows and High Frequency!

Woombye’s Blackall Gold Washed Rind does it again!
Well done to the team at Woombye Cheese! Their labour intensive wheel of yumminess took out Champion QLD Cheese at the Royal Queensland 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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