Tanya Arnold No Comments

Eat Local Month – Celebrate GourMAY in Gympie

Gympie Regional Council invites you to celebrate May with the finest local food and produce during Eat Local Month in the Gympie region.

GourMAY is your chance to explore, taste and experience the great flavours of the Gympie region at one of the many foodie events showcasing the wonderful diversity of produce grown right here in the region.

Chef Matt Golinski, Food Ambassador, is an inspiring part of GourMAY and encourages you to create your own paddock to plate experience, with cooking demonstrations and tempting foodie events. With long table lunches, growers markets and delicious, local seasonal produce, GourMAY is a month not to be missed!

Make your experience unique by visiting local farms, attending talks and workshops and tasting the range of signature dishes on offer at participating local restaurants and cafes.

Key Events

COOLOOLA FARM TRAIL – 5 May 2018
Pick your ideal farm gate destination, meet producers and learn more about their product direct from the farm. The participating farms are Lindols Macadamias, Purity Essential Oils, Cooloola Berries, Bio Fields, Noosa Black Coffee, Lee Fishing, Silky Oak Tea Gardens, Alba Aquaculture. Download a copy of the Cooloola Farm Trail brochure here (PDF 8MB)

MARY VALLEY FARM TOUR – 27 May 2018
Take a guided farm tour through an organic cattle and small crop farm, an organic boutique small crop farm and a working persimmonand stonefruit orchard diversifying into pork, eggs and preserves. Stop off for lunch at Kandanga Kitchen and sample produce sourced from surrounding farms.

STRAWBERRY TRAIL – 5, 12, 19 and 26 May 2018
Take a seat at the Farmers Table and enjoy a delicious strawberry inspired breakfast buffet. Stay for a farm tour every Saturday in May.

5 CHEF’S LONG TABLE DINNER – 26 May 2018
Acclaimed chef and Gympie Region Food Ambassador Matt Golinski will lead a team of local chefs to present a five course degustation experience featuring the best of regional produce. Meet the producers, hear from chef Matt Golinski and celebrate in GourMAY style!

PAELLA IN THE PADDOCK – 6, 13, 20 and 27 May 2018

GYMPIE GARDEN EXPO – 5 and 6 May 2018

And many more! For more information, visit here.

Emba Group No Comments

The Sweetest Job Project

FAN is seeking your support to deliver a workforce project in 2018. This project follows on from the Sweetest Job project operated by Regional Development Moreton Bay and delivery partners Stones Throw Group in 2017/18, which has been highly successful in matching trained and skilled staff to jobs in the food and agribusiness industry in the region.

FAN is partnering with the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce to deliver the 2018 Sweetest Job project and we are seeking your support for this project which will provide training, skills and work experience to people in the Sunshine Coast region who are struggling to gain employment through traditional recruitment methods.

Project

As part of this project, all candidates will complete a comprehensive skills and development program including:

  • CII in Logistics
  • Food safety / hygiene and food processing specific competencies
  • Forklift licence
  • Customer service, barista and RSA
  • First Aid & White Card
  • Teamwork, communication, time management and motivation

Benefits 

The key benefits for FAN members are:

  • Access to trained employees with requisite skills and work experience gained in your specific organisational context
  • An opportunity to trial staff through work experience prior to committing to taking them on as employees
  • Being able to pick the “cream of the crop”
  • More productive new employees who are able to hit the ground running, thereby reducing recruitment and upfront training costs.

We are seeking your support for this program through a Statement of Support below.  Please note that this statement of support does NOT create any obligations on your part and we would negotiate all of this with you in a way that suits your individual requirements should the project be approved.

Simply fill in your estimated recruitment needs, copy and paste your responses into a return email and send to[email protected] by 6 April 2018.

If you would like to discuss this further or have questions, concerns or queries, please call me on 0466 634 465 or project partner Kris McCue from Stones Throw Group on 0408 074 001 or email [email protected].

Thank you for your support.

Warm regards,

Emma

 

Sweetest Job Project: Statement of Support

Dear Emma,

I would like to confirm [business name] support for the 2018 Sweetest Job project under the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) Initiative as follows:

  1. My business will consider project participants, where appropriate, for work experience opportunities throughout the project.
  2. My estimated workforce/recruitment needs in 2018/19 are [insert number]new employees with the skills delivered under this project.
  3. We will consider project graduates for appropriate employment opportunities as a result of work experience, or through our recruitment process.
  4. I confirm that:
  • The CII in Logistics, Food safety/hygiene and food processing specific competencies, forklift licence, customer service, barista and RSA, First Aid & White Card and employability and foundation skills delivered under this project aligns to the skills needs of our business. Employees with this combination of skills are difficult to identify and these skills are in short supply.
  • We are able to provide opportunities for participants to visit our workplace and undertake some practical training components onsite.
  • We are able to deliver a participant briefing session about our employment requirements and workplace context.

Name:

Organisation:

Date:

Emba Group No Comments

Wasted Admin Hours are Going Down

Wasted admin hours are on their way down for Sunshine Coast Food Suppliers. Customers win and business red tape slashed on thanks to 100,000 Hours project.

Sunshine Coast Food businesses will be able to spend more time hiring staff and helping customers and less time dealing with boring back office paperwork thanks to a Queensland Government-backed innovation initiative.

Known as the 100,000 Hours project, the initiative has been spearheaded by Noosa Heads-based financial technology (fintech) firm Promis and already has six firms participating. It received funding through a Queensland Government Ignite Ideas grant.

Promis Co-founder Cameron Lawrence said the aim of the project is to save 1,000 Sunshine Coast businesses an average of 2.5 weeks each over the next 12 months, through using Promis’ automated invoicing and payments management tool.

“By doing this, we can unlock in excess of 100,000 hours of wasted business time in the Sunshine Coast region – time that can instead be used by these businesses hiring new staff, serving customers or expanding their services,” he said.

Mr Lawrence said the first phase of the project is currently underway, with several suppliers to the local cafe and restaurant businesses jumping on board to support the project. These suppliers include Rapid Clean, Montville Coffee, On the Spot, The Source Bulk Foods and COYO.

By the end of April, the project is proposed to be extended to restaurants and cafes.

“Within a few weeks of starting the project, we’ve had suppliers and various business community organisations joining and within the next month we are keen to roll it out to help the many time-poor restaurant and café owners and operators along the coast,” Mr Lawrence said.

Mr Lawrence has lived on the Sunshine Coast since the age of 17. He founded Promis in 2016 with fellow Sunshine Coast resident Alexander Kohl. The business is based at Noosa Heads, with an office also in the Stone & Chalk fintech hub in Sydney.

The Promis platform delivers a simple connection tool which helps businesses automate their invoice delivery and reduce the time it takes to reconcile accounts. This reduces friction and time from the supplier/ customer relationship by eliminating the invoice chasing and processing cycle.

Promis received funding in November last year via the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund to drive the 100,000 Hours project.

Queensland Innovation Minister, Leeanne Enoch said “Small business operators spend many hours every week on bookkeeping and bill payments. This will save everyone time and money and eliminates wasted effort so everyone can focus on getting back to business.”

“COYO is proud to part of the project. We look forward to being part of the collective 100,000 hours saved for the Sunshine Coast business community” said Sandra Gosling, owner and co-founder of COYO.

Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) GM, Emma Greenhatch said: “Innovation in business systems is critical to increasing efficiencies and enabling businesses to concentrate on their growth strategies. This project is an exciting initiative in this space and will benefit many of our members.” 

Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast CEO Darrell Edwards said: “We are users of Promis, and are very excited about the potential of the 100,000 Hours project as a game changer for our organisation and the coast as a whole”

More information is available about the project at www.promis.co/sc

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The Sunshine Coast Loses an Icon

The Sunshine Coast has lost an icon with the passing of Helen Brierty, a ‘spirited business woman’ and the inspiring co-founder of Spirit House in Yandina.

Helen passed away after a short, aggressive battle with cancer, which she sadly lost. She was always positive about life, death, business and valued her business relationships. Her energy and dedication was proof that age was no barrier when it came to running a successful business. Right up until her passing, she never swayed from her positive outlook on life.

A keen cook, on her first visit to Thailand, Helen fell in love with the food. She created the Spirit House restaurant and cooking school with her husband Peter, working with a team of dedicated professionals to share the taste of Thai with diners and students. The award-winning Spirit House was the culmination of her business career aimed at highlighting the range of locally-grown fresh produce of the Sunshine Coast region.

Helen will be remembered as a devoted wife, loving mother and a true icon of the Sunshine Coast. Her incredible efforts have not only put Yandina and the region on the map, but inspired a legacy of passionate foodies and cooks.

TRIBUTES

Deborah Loosley Founder & Director, TRIO Marketing
Helen was truly a woman ahead of her times. She was smart (very!), savvy, inspirational, focused and a great strategist. All these skills were dispensed in a blanket of generosity, thoughtfulness and care. Despite Helen and Peter’s great success, Helen like Peter, was always magnanimous and genuinely humble. She loved helping her staff and colleagues see, and then realize their potential. Above all she had the best sense of humour and always saw the glass as ‘half full’. Helen had boundless energy and ideas…nothing was impossible! Helen’s love for business did not diminish her great love for her husband Peter, sons Acland and Blake and their families. Such big shoes to fill. Like so many, we are much, much better for knowing her. With love, thoughts and condolences.

Jacqueline Wilson-Smith Global Innovation – McCormick, Chair-Food Agribusiness Network, Director- Travellers Choice, QLD Rural Women’s Award 17
Helen was a role model for women in business and an innovative trail blazer for the greater food industry. What a wonderful legacy she has created!

Karen Fitzgerald Global Manager – Experiences at Tourism Australia
A truly amazing lady. I had the great privilege of having Helen/Spirit House as a client – she was one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. Rest in Peace.

Penny Del Castillo Director, In Design International
Sincerely one of the greatest losses the state of QLD may ever see! Helen was an absolute inspiration to so myself and many others. She was a true leader on so many levels. It was only possible to respect, admire and adore Helen! Truly, this lady was “one in a million.” My heart is heavy for all who were close to her. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Brierty family and the extended Spirit House Team at this extremely difficult time of loss. With love, hugs and condolences. 

Peter Hook Principal of Hook Communications
Helen was one of the truly great pioneers on the Sunshine Coast. Spirit House changed the face of Sunshine Coast’s food and hospitality scene. Turning an old run down farm into a slice of tropical south east Asia, with the cooking school and restaurant attracting visitors from around the world. It was wonderful that she was able to see the opening of the new bar and private dining room last year as it was testimony to her desire to continually progress and innovate. Her legacy is the Sunshine Coast’s remarkable affinity with Asian style cuisine and cooking schools. A true legend. All of us at Visit Sunshine Coast Corporate will miss her, but will remember her vitality and passion.

Food & Agribusiness Network No Comments

“Sharing a Recipe for Innovation” – Gourmet Garden’s Innovation Journey

FAN’s Chair, Jacqui Wilson-Smith was the 2017 QLD AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Winner. Jacqui was awarded a bursary for $10,000, which she has channelled into producing a video documentary designed for FAN members to learn from titled “Sharing a Recipe for Innovation” .

The documentary brings to life the story of how Gourmet Garden became a customer focused, collaborative team of innovators adding value to fresh herbs & spices through the adoption of Design Thinking processes.

Jacqui says that rural woman have been sharing cooking recipes for generations, to help each other avoid common mistakes and to fast track each other to enjoy tasty results. Sharing Innovation recipes is just like that! Jacqui hopes that the initiative will inspire other FAN members to also share their innovation stories and any useful skills and learnings that they have to offer other members.

In addition to the video documentary, FAN members will have access to a Design Thinking eLearning experience and a practical guide on how to use design thinking tools when innovating for food and agribusinesses in Australia.

The eLearning and guide will be released very soon, stay tuned!

Jen No Comments

Big Pineapple joins FAN as Platinum Sponsor

The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) marked a further milestone in its impressive and expanding membership base with the Big Pineapple joining as a Platinum Sponsor in February. By taking the highest level of sponsorship, the Big Pineapple is further announcing its intention to again become a premiere part of the Sunshine Coast food and agribusiness community.

This milestone follows the lodgement of a whole of site Big Pineapple master plan with the Sunshine Coast Council in 2017, designed to underpin the successful renewal and re-emergence of the Big Pineapple. The Big Pineapple master plan references the agriculture and food based tourism history of the Big Pineapple site and proposes new agribusiness opportunities across the 169ha site.

Big Pineapple renewal project manager Jim Costello explained, “We are delighted to formally join the Food and Agribusiness Network, as we are completely aligned to the vision of the network to advance our region’s world class food production and associated agribusinesses.

FAN Chair, Jacqui Wilson-Smith said, “The addition of the Big Pineapple as a Platinum Sponsor is a highlight for our organisation, and we are thrilled that the owners support our vision for a strong future for the food and agribusiness industry across the Greater Sunshine Coast region.

“In its heyday, the Big Pineapple played a key role in showcasing the importance of agriculture and food production in the region, and the proposed activation of the Big Pineapple as a leading food tourism and events destination will add a compelling value proposition to the region’s food tourism landscape.

Explaining the master planning vision, Mr Costello added, “Through the future implementation of the master plan we can advance repositioning the Big Pineapple as a key destination for food related tourism, which can provide an opportunity for local producers to showcase their wares.

“Food and agricultural production will be highlighted through a proposed Agribusiness Centre and Tourism Business Centre, within a Food and Tourism Hub. The hub, a first for the Sunshine Coast, has potential to bring together a variety of organisations dedicated to the business of food, focusing on food production, processing, distribution and research.

“By facilitating a hub dedicated to expanding the existing local agriculture and food businesses, aligned with universities and the private sector, we can showcase the region’s world class products to national and international markets.”

FAN’s General Manager, Emma Greenhatch added, “A key ingredient to innovation is collaboration, and the proposed food hub presents exciting opportunities to accelerate growth for our food and agribusiness industry and to showcase our capabilities on a global scale.”

Jen No Comments

How trade shows can boost your business

Trade shows can play a vital role in connecting businesses, industries and associations. They give the opportunity to place your brand and products directly in front of thousands of potential customers who attend specifically to view, compare, and purchase products or services.

Because trade shows are most commonly industry specific (and people who attend are involved or interested in that industry!), they give the chance for you to communicate face to face with a highly relevant target market.

They are a fantastic way to create brand awareness with an engaged audience, and exhibiting is one of the most cost-effective and proven sales and lead generation tools available today.

“Through the support of FAN and the Sunshine Coast Council we are now moving our vision and production planning from ‘suburb to suburb’ to ‘state to state and country to country’. Our potential reach has exploded within days of returning home from Fine Food and we are confident to go after larger opportunities knowing we have such supportive industry partners and successful businesses around us”. David Andrews, Walter’s Artisan Bread & Granola

We’ve put together our TOP 5 reasons for you to consider exhibiting at Food & Agribusiness Trade Show this year:

  1. SALES! – Attendees (whether trade or consumer) are there to shop, learn and discover and are often ready to invest in good products and services on the spot. You not only have the chance to create a loyal consumer base, but the opportunity to sign new accounts that could be worth a very significant amount to your business.
  2. CONNECT FACE TO FACE – Trade Shows give you the chance to connect one with existing and new customers, and get to understand them on a deeper level. Communication with your relevant target market also gives way to instantaneous feedback and the opportunity for two-way dialogue.
  3. BRING YOUR PRODUCT TO LIFE – Potential customers can see, taste, feel and hear first-hand why your product is so special. You will have the opportunity to provide tastings, demonstrations, and tell the story behind the business which you have put your heart and soul into.
  4. GATHER TARGETED LEADS – Highly targeted and lucrative business leads are generated, resulting in new business and an increased database of prospects.
  5. GET TO KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS – First-hand knowledge of a competitor’s offering is an effective way of keeping in touch with the latest innovations, trends, industry direction and its driving forces.

Across Australia there are many food industry trade shows that offer fantastic opportunities to help grow your business. FAN has connections with a number of these event organisers, including;

——————-

FINE FOOD SPECIAL OFFER – APPLICATIONS CLOSE FRIDAY 2 MARCH!

Fine Food Australia is the country’s leading trade exhibition for the food service, hospitality and retail industries. This year it will be held in Melbourne from 10-13 September, attracting more than 1,000 exhibitors and 26,000 visitors.

FAN has secured a prime location for 10 lucky businesses in the ‘Flavours of the World’ Australia Pavilion* – See floorplan here (M15 in pink)

To find out more about this exciting initiative & to apply click here

For further information email [email protected] or call 0466 634 465.

*Subject to 10 companies signing up.

 

Jen No Comments

The Garden Shed Nursery & Home Grown Cafe Collaboration – Palmwoods

FAN Members Dave Jarret from Sustainable Soil Solutions and Sarah Wright from Homegrown Café have partnered for the formation of a nursery and coffee shop collaboration in Palmwoods.

Originally operating from Dave’s farm, The Garden Shed Nursery relocated in January to its new home opposite Homegrown Café, and the two businesses now operate within a shared garden known to locals as “The Lane”.

If you are after a freshly prepared seasonal meal with produce from local farmers, and in house roasted coffee this is the place to go. After you finish your meal, wander across the lane and pick up your organically grown vegetable seedlings & herbs, subtropical fruit trees, plant health products and get advice from experts on soil testing and amendment products.

The shared space also offers meeting facilities for groups, a large outdoor entertaining area for catered parties, long lunches, and Sunday sessions with flowing craft beer and live music.

Fostering a sense of community and championing the story of provenance, a major focus for Sarah and Dave was to promote and collaborate with as many FAN members as possible, including;

  • Walters Bakery
  • Maleny Dairies
  • Kenilworth Cheese
  • Sunshine Brewery
  • Good Harvest Organic Farm
  • Nutri-Tech Solutions
  • Maleny Cheese
  • Frozen Sunshine
  • The Greenshed

 “For Sarah and I it’s all about local. FAN is a great vehicle to drive and enhance the relationships between businesses, which will in turn strengthen our community and economy”, says Dave.

The Grand Opening for The Garden Shed Nursery is this Saturday 24th February.

Dave and Sarah hope to see you there for a coffee and meal, fruit trees, seedlings and advise for your garden, (or all of the above!)

“The Lane” is located, 4-6 Little Main Street, Palmwoods.

They also welcome any other members to get in contact if they are interested in supplying product for Homegrown Café or The Garden Shed Nursery.

Sarah 0458 270 368 – Homegrown Cafe

Dave 0401 541 962 – The Garden Shed Nursery

Jen No Comments

Grow Coastal food accelerator announces 2018 cohort

Some of the most innovative food and beverage brands on the Sunshine Coast with high growth potential have been selected for the 2018 Grow Coastal program to help commercialise new products and scale their businesses.

Now in its 2nd year, the Grow Coastal program offers emerging businesses support with connections, expertise, seed capital and mentoring, and are helping to inspire and transform the local food industry.

After extensive interest in the program, 20 businesses were shortlisted based on innovation, product viability, growth potential and entrepreneurial tenacity.  Competing for just 12 final places, applicants participated in a one day bootcamp and product showcasing event on 30 January 2018.

A big congratulations to the following businesses who have been chosen for entry into the 2018 Grow Coastal Accelerator Program:

  • Barenuts – Totally bare, award-winning gourmet macadamia nuts and treats
  • Black Lemonade – Unique vegan and gluten free decadent chocolate cookies
  • Boneafide Broth Co – Organic chicken bone broth bombs and healthy savoury chips
  • Embassy XO – Steamed duck buns to die for
  • Good Harvest Organic Farm – totally local, organic, healthy fruit and vegie farm boxes
  • Hive Haven – Native Honey (Sugarbag stingless honey)
  • KOKOPOD Chocolate – Award winning premium handcrafted chocolate
  • LuvaBerry – Freeze dried strawberries made from the freshest sunshine coast produce
  • Mighty Bean – Certified Organic soy tempeh tasty treats
  • Sunshine Coast Cider – Traditionally crafted cider made with 100% apple juice & no additives
  • The Whole Food Artisan – Handcrafted artisan granola made with whole food ingredients
  • Ugly Duck Preserves – Gourmet preserves made with imperfect or surplus local produce that would otherwise go to waste

With funding from Advance Queensland, 12 businesses will access over $10,000 in value via the catalytic 12 week accelerator program, designed specifically for producers looking to scale fast, bring their vision to life and deliver new food and beverage innovations to the world.

Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg said “The Sunshine Coast has a strong reputation for quality food and I am excited to see that the 12 selected companies (and their teams) have big hearts and big plans to disrupt and inspire the Australian food industry”.

“Recent feedback from the 2017 cohort shows that the Grow Coastal Program has made a difference with a total of 17 new staff employed, a 130% increase in customer numbers, an 85% increase in revenue with two companies more than doubling their revenue over the last 12 months” he said.

 2017 Grow Coastal graduate – Lauren Brisbane, Founder of QCamel said “my team has really benefited from the Grow Coastal Program and I’m now a more confident entrepreneur – it’s really helped to catapult our business to the next level.”

The 2018 Grow Coastal participants will learn from industry experts and mentors covering topics like: lean startup, market research, customer engagement, business planning, financial management, public relations and marketing, legal and intellectual property, distribution and fulfilment, exporting, pitching and securing early stage capital.

The program is also fuelling a collaborative regional ecosystem of foodpreneurs – cultivating progressive business growth, exports and high value employment on the Sunshine Coast. The program designed by the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast will be delivered with the Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN), commencing in April.

To welcome the 12 successful participants, the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, FAN, and TAFE East Coast are hosting a Celebration Dinner on Wednesday 28th February at Cartwrights Restaurant & Bar.

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: Wednesday 28th February

Time: 5pm – 9pm

Where: Cartwrights Restaurant & Bar, TAFE Queensland, 34 Lady Musgrave Road, Mountain Creek

Ticket Includes: 7 Course Degustation Dinner featuring local produce from FAN Members, wine, beer & soft drink

BUY TICKETS

Jen No Comments

FAN 2017 Year in Review

2017 has been another huge year for FAN. We are Australia’s fastest growing food industry network with 190 members, almost double how many we had this time last year, and 45 sponsors.

In the 2017 calendar year we have delivered 16 events, attended by more than 700 FAN members and industry representatives. We’ve covered topics that are important to our members, including food industry trends, developing a food business plan, social media and soil health.

We were delighted to partner with the Innovation Centre on the inaugural Grow Coastal Food Accelerator program that 12 businesses successfully completed. We partnered with Visit Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Council to support 10 FAN members to participate in Regional Flavours in Brisbane, and had the largest regional precinct at the event. We also partnered with Sunshine Coast Council to take 13 businesses to Fine Food in Sydney, Australia’s largest food industry trade event. More than $400,000 in new sales are anticipated and many of the businesses have secured new national and international customers.

All this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our members, sponsors and partners and we thank you. It also wouldn’t be possible without our many volunteers including FAN’s Board, ambassadors and members of our Strategy and Events Committees – thank you. Thanks also to Jen Sharpe, FAN’s Marketing Coordinator and Tanya Arnold, Events Coordinator for tirelessly working to deliver a quality program.

In addition to our existing program of events and workshops, FAN’s expanding in 2018 to deliver a site tours program, and we are excited to be co-delivering the next Grow Coastal program with the Innovation Centre. A new grant from Sunshine Coast Council will help us to create a member capability directory, and FAN’s Chairman Jacqui Wilson-Smith will be launching a new online resource for FAN members, resulting from the $10k bursary she received this year for the AgriFutures Queensland Rural Women’s Award.

Being a not-for-profit, industry-led network, our members, sponsors and partners are crucial for us to be able to expand our services to assist our industry to grow. Please spread the word in 2018 and encourage other businesses to sign-up. Don’t forget to follow us on all our social channels, and if you are a member sign-up to our FAN members Facebook page.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our very clear vision and purpose:

FAN’s PURPOSE

To connect and grow our region’s food & agribusiness industry by creating a culture of collaboration, accelerating innovation and promoting trade locally and globally.

FAN’s VISION

To be Australia’s leading food and agribusiness network and to actively contribute to doubling our industry’s value by 2030 for our regions.

On a personal note, it has been an absolute privilege working with and getting to know so many of the fabulous people involved in our dynamic food industry, and I am constantly amazed at the openness and collaboration that’s happening.

Thank you all for your support, and best wishes for the festive season.

Emma Greenhatch,

FAN General Manager