What is food provenance?
Food provenance means where your food comes from, its origin. It’s also about knowing how it’s produced, transported and delivered to us.
Why do we care?
The provenance of the food we eat is fast becoming a key industry trend; just look at the rise of farmers markets, where consumers want to connect with who’s producing their food and hear their stories. Food retailers are showcasing growers on their packaging and developing their own buy local campaigns. Restaurants are featuring their suppliers stories on their menus, and in July 2016 the Australian Government introduced new food labelling requirements to make it clearer where the products you buy are produced, grown, made or packed.
Increasingly people are turning to brands that they trust and feel a sense of connection to. Promoting provenance can help businesses and region’s alike in opening up new market opportunities, adding value to brands and creating a sense of pride and connection to people, products and place.
FAN on Food Provenance
When FAN was launched in December 2015, provenance was a key topic that our members wanted to learn more about. Indeed, FAN’s vision includes provenance:
In 2016 FAN hosted a ‘Celebrating Provenance’ networking event, where more than 100 members and industry stakeholders gained valuable insights from presenters including taste.com.au’s Editor-in-chief, Brodee Myers-Cooke. FAN also delivered a workshop, facilitated by Petra Hughes from Local Harvest, on how to develop your provenance story.
FAN applied for and was successful in obtaining funding from the Sunshine Coast Council to develop a Food Provenance Framework. We did this with the objectives of:
- better understanding the importance of provenance to food businesses in the region
- defining the values that our region’s food and agribusiness industry collectively wants to be recognised for
- informing future activities that FAN and other stakeholders can deliver to build the region’s provenance story, locally and globally.
In August 2016, 50 FAN members and stakeholders attended a Provenance Framework workshop at Flame Hill Vineyard, facilitated by Rose Wright from Knowledge Transfer Services. The conversations at this workshop have been drawn up into a discussion paper.
To make it easier for people to provide comment and further input, we’ve drawn up a short survey. We encourage you to take a few moments to complete this so we can progress with activities and initiatives that are aligned to the industry and our members needs. The survey will be open until 31 March 2017.
It’s important to note that whilst the idea of developing a provenance mark was raised at the workshop, this is one of many potential initiatives that can be explored if there is strong interest from industry.
The next stage
The workshop discussion paper and survey results will be provided to FAN’s newly formed Strategy Committee to progress.