Amy Clarke 2 Comments

Putting the Sunshine Coast on the food map

FAN’s intention is to put our region on the map as a producer of high quality produce and innovative food products, so we are delighted that the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Moreton Bay will be sponsoring precincts at Regional Flavours next month! Participating in an event like this not only provides an amazing opportunity for businesses to showcase and sell their products to tens of thousands of consumers, it will also drive food tourism and visitation to the increasing number of farm gate operators.

The event is Brisbane’s premier free food and wine festival and will be held on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July in Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands.

For the first time, the Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Visit Sunshine Coast and FAN will be sponsoring a ’Flavours of the Sunshine Coast’ regional hub. The hub will include 9 stallholders (all FAN members!), a marketing display and a menu hub.

Local celebrity chef Peter Wolfe will run the menu hub as well as creating a local reef fish dish on the ‘Queensland Taste’ stage.  The menu hub dishes will include a Mooloolaba prawn seagar, root vegetable soup with Woombye cheese, Maleny Black Angus Beef sliders with Bear and Ladle condiments and Ten Acres brioche buns. Other producers from our region who are supporting the event by supplying products for the menu hub include Co Yo, Belladotti, Pure Gold Pineapples, Montville Mist and Soulfish Seafoods.

FAN members at Regional Flavours

The Fresh Chai Co
QCamel
Pip’s Real Food
Ten Acres
KOKOPOD Chocolate
Maleny Black Angus Beef
The Bear and the Ladle
Hum Honey
Woombye Cheese Co

Hive Haven will also be showcasing their hive and stingless native bee honey on the Sunshine Coast’s marketing stand.

The annual event is expected to welcome more than 90,000 visitors over the two days and features free entertainment from celebrity chefs and industry experts, delicious food, beer and wine, live music, kid’s activities and more.  Find out more here.

Come along and support our regions!

Amy Clarke 1 Comment

Big Pineapple Renewal

The Big Pineapple is in the throws of developing an exciting renewal plan.  This is being done in close consultation with the community with a view to developing a rejuvenated and sustainable Big Pineapple experience that will include a food & tourism hub, nature based tourism, an events space, accommodation and a travel centre.  There will be significant scope for our sector to be involved and to create new business opportunities.

KEY ANECDOTAL FEEDBACK FROM LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS RECEIVED TO-DATE

  • Support for the thematic concept of the new Big Pineapple experience – new and existing uses must all work together to succeed
  • Need for modernised major tourism offer with the Big Pineapple still a dominant feature
  • Support for major events with professional management
  • Popularity of the parfaits, and opportunity to further showcase Sunshine Coast produce
  • Support for economic contributions including local jobs and small business opportunities
  • Need to address the site’s boundaries and edges in planning.

FAN will coordinate a project briefing where industry will have the opportunity to ask questions and put forward ideas.

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Local innovations reduce waste bulge

With Australians throwing out one in every five bags of groceries, Sunshine Coast food innovators are turning their minds to creating a positive out of excessive food waste.

Next week, the region’s Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN) is bringing innovators and opinion leaders together to chew over the issue at a special event called ‘Let’s Talk About Waste’.

“Food and agribusiness is one of our region’s high value industries and it’s certainly an industry with innovation on its mind,” said FAN Chairman, Jacqui Wilson-Smith. 

Local innovation examples

  • Freeze Dry Industries have created technology to freeze dry fruit that has been rejected for cosmetic reasons and turn it into a delicious new snack food.
  • Sunfresh Marketing, has this week launched a long life avocado pulp, packed in vacuum-sealed bags, with no chemicals or preservatives added. The product has been developed in collaboration with another local company, Naturo who have developed a technology called Natavo Zero using their Avocado Time Machine.

Event details

Keynote speaker will be Dianne McGrath, who is completing a PhD in Environmental Engineering at RMIT. Dianne will share the results of her hospitality sector research project, Watch My Waste (watchmywaste.com.au).

David Jouy and Jules Santisis of iconic Sunshine Coast restaurant group Ogilvie Group will also be telling the story of Maravista Farm. Maravista is a stunning 250-hectare macadamia property in the Noosa Hinterland where organic produce is grown for the group’s venues: Rickys, Locale, Wood Fire Grill and Aromas Noosa.

David Jouy is General Manager of Rickys and Wood Fire Grill and Jules Santisis is Head Chef at Aromas Noosa. The two will tell of their vision for the farm, stories of the journey so far and share news of an innovative composting initiative, currently in early stage development.

Guests will also learn about an innovative local model for sharing excess food and organic waste from gardens and farms. Helen Andrews from Spare Harvest believes it does not make sense to waste these resources when there could be someone in your community who will use them.

National interest

ABC TV’s documentary, The War on Waste has put this hot topic on the national agenda, with a whole episode dedicated to the food industry and the staggering amount of waste that ends up in landfill each year. How can we contribute to solving this problem in our region – recycling, innovative technologies, sharing excess produce, composting?

 

‘Let’s Talk About Waste’

Thursday 8th June
5:30pm – 8:00pm
The J Noosa, 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Heads

To purchase tickets visit foodagribusiness.org.au

 

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More sweet jobs ripe for the picking in 2017

The Sweetest Job campaign, which last year resulted in nearly 200 locals gaining work in the strawberry industry, has been expanded to deliver jobs in the wider Food and Agribusiness industry. The expansion follows investment by the Queensland Government under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

Sunshine Coast Council is proud to again support The Sweetest Job initiative which is being led by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Moreton Bay in partnership with Growcom, the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association, the Food and Agribusiness Network, Moreton Bay Regional Council and local farmers and food processing operators.

Sunshine Coast Economic Development Portfolio Cr Steve Robinson said agribusiness injected $670 million into our local economy and was one of the seven high-value industries identified in the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy.

“The industry is vital to our local economy and it is incredibly important that we support our processors with a skilled and sustainable workforce,” Cr Robinson said.

“We saw some fantastic outcomes for strawberry growers following The Sweetest Job campaign in 2016 and 2017 will see more people employed, not just on farms, but across the agribusiness supply chain.

“The aim is to further increase the number of local people employed in seasonal work, and upskill 120 jobseekers in horticulture, logistics and food processing to meet demand for ongoing, skilled positions.

RDA Moreton Bay Chair Shane Newcombe said the new The Sweetest Job campaign and project aimed to take advantage of the wider employment opportunities available in the food and agribusiness sector and associated supply chain.

“Feedback from industry during the 2016 campaign told us that a project incorporating an industry skills component would be welcomed by local employers, particularly for meeting the need for entry-level skilled positions,” Mr Newcombe said.

“Thanks to Queensland Government investment and support from our partners, we have delivered on this with training in horticulture, logistics and food processing qualifications available for project participants.

“This is in addition to the seasonal picking and packing jobs on strawberry farms which will again be open to local Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay residents looking for work.

“For local growers, the additional Skilling Queenslanders for Work investment means there will be more resources behind the training, selection and screening of workers to ensure growers, food processing firms and other food and agribusiness employers to get the right people with the right skills.”

This year The Sweetest Job will again connect with local community organisations, Centrelink and job active clients, and other employment services providers to open up job opportunities to people who are struggling to find work.

In addition to the accredited training, there will be comprehensive support provided to help people overcome personal and work-related challenges

“Sunshine Coast Council is very pleased to be supporting this project by providing resources to support the training and development of project participants so they gain the skills local employers need,” Cr Robinson said.

Food and Agribusiness Network General Manager Emma Greenhatch said the expansion of The Sweetest Job campaign would be a great opportunity for food processing companies and industry supply chain firms, such as transport and logistics operators, to increase the skills of their workforce and benefit from associated productivity gains.

“We would love to see The Sweetest Job initiative contribute to our local food and agribusiness industry being more competitive in national and international markets,” Ms Greenhatch said.

“Success here will not only create more job opportunities for the industry, it will also grow the broader food and agribusiness economy and help to attract new investment to the region.”

Minister for Training and Skills, and Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath said the State Government had contributed $33.8 million across Queensland to help job-seekers get trained and find work.

“We want to open doors for local job-seekers who have faced various barriers in their life,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“Projects such as The Sweetest Job offer exciting opportunities for job-seekers to gain new skills and meet local industry and employer needs, and drastically increase their chances of getting employed.”

The first project intake in the Sunshine Coast region, which is now open, will focus on food processing and logistics.

The campaign is being delivered by Stones Throw, the company behind the JobShow and other innovative local employment initiatives.

Jobseekers and local employers are encouraged to register their interest at www.thesweetestjob.com.au

 

Amy Clarke No Comments

Your network is your ‘net worth’

How often do you hear ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’?

A person’s business network can often equate to their ‘net worth’ and yet so many people have a deep-seated fear and loathing of networking!

Food Agribusiness Network (FAN) wants to flip the fear on its head with its upcoming, ‘Maximising Networking Opportunities’ workshop hosted by the food-preneur team from Montville Coffee next Tuesday.

 “FAN is all about the power of the network,” says Chairman, Jacqui Wilson-Smith.

“My experience with Gourmet Garden and now McCormick is that those who embrace sharing—rather than taking— end up forming deeper, trusted connections and find collaboration opportunities more easily.”

The team at Montville Coffee approach networking as an essential business strategy. Their efforts have resulted in collaborations with some of the region’s finest producers and restaurants, including Maleny Dairies, Wimmers, Maleny Food Co & the Bohemian Bungalow.

Montville Coffee’s Karen Barnett, Kevin Fraikin and Sean McGowan will host a light-hearted, interactive workshop exploring the concepts of trust, leadership, motivation and shared vision.

With a better understanding of how to identify others’ values and unmet needs, you will become a more effective networker.

Other FAN members, like QCamel dairy, have used FAN as a launching pad for partnerships with Maleny Cheese and Freeze Dry Industries. The collaborative teams are developing new products together, creating new categories and markets.

Limited spaces are available at the workshop, to be held next Tuesday, 30 May, 7:45am to 11:00am at Montville Coffee, 20 Balmoral Rd, Montville.

To book tickets ($25 – $50) visit www.foodagribusiness.org.au

 

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Eumundi Welcomes New Brewer to Town

Esteemed brewer Chris Sheehan is now heading to Eumundi to take on the role of Head Brewer for the new Eumundi Brewery.

Chris will be based on-site at the iconic Imperial Hotel in Eumundi overseeing the installation of the brewing “kit”, and most importantly, fine-tuning the recipes and roll-out of the much anticipated beers.

In taking on the Eumundi role, Chris is handing over the reigns as Head Brewer for James Squire and Malt Shovel Brewery in Sydney, where he has been for a number of years.

Prior to that he’s held managerial roles with the nation’s beery best: with XXXX in Brisbane (where he fell in love with Queensland); West End Brewery in Adelaide; Knappstein Enterprise Brewery in the Clare Valley; and Swan Brewery in Perth.

And he cannot wait to start his next chapter on the Sunshine Coast.

“I’m thrilled to be moving with my family to this beautiful part of the world,” says Chris. “To have the opportunity to live and make beer on the Sunshine Coast is dream job stuff for me.”

“It’s an exciting time to be a brewer in SE Queensland – with so much happening in Brisbane and on the Coast in a beer sense, says Chris. “We have a terrific opportunity to make great flavoured beers that are top quality and will be appreciated by a discerning market of beer lovers.”

“Beyond the brews, I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with both my mountain bike and surfboard!”

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Biofutures Roadmap – have your say

The Queensland Government has developed the Biofutures 10-year Roadmap as one of its flagship initiatives to diversify and transition the state economy with a vision of a $1 billion sustainable and export-oriented sector that attracts significant international investment and creates high-value and high-skilled jobs, particularly in regional areas. Waste materials are expected to play a leading role as feedstocks in innovative processes to produce sustainable energy, fuels and other bio-products. This will also contribute to the Government’s priorities around better management of waste and increasing resource recovery.

As such the Government is currently undertaking a review, supported by consultants Arcadis, of waste streams that might present feedstock opportunities for production of energy and bio-products. The scope includes an assessment of market barriers and policy options to support the realisation of those opportunities. The review will inform Government about the potential opportunities, and deliver options and recommendations to Government on addressing potential market barriers and policy responses.

The Government wants to harness the feedback and ideas of a wide range of stakeholders across the state, along the waste and energy value chains, from waste generators and collectors (municipal, commercial, industrial and agricultural) through to processors, technology providers and end-product users.

They’ve developed a short survey that provides an opportunity for you to provide specific input to help shape future policy directions in Queensland and identify solutions which will contribute to the Biofutures Roadmap. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey, it should take no longer than 15 minutes. All individual responses will be kept confidential and only aggregated response data published.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EHP_Biofutures

Please contact Matt Arthur at EHP (07 3330 5159, [email protected]) if you want to discuss further.

 

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Abolition and replacement of the 457 visa – Government reforms to employer sponsored skilled migration visas

On 18 April 2017, the Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.

The TSS visa programme will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years and will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages in their workforce and will contain a number of safeguards which prioritise Australian workers.

This new visa is part of the Government’s significant reform package to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programmes.

Key reforms include:

  • Introducing the temporary skill shortage visa with new requirements, including but not limited to:
    • new, more targeted occupation lists which better align with skill needs in the Australian labour market
    • a requirement for visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
    • a minimum market salary rate which ensures that overseas workers cannot be engaged to undercut Australian workers
    • mandatory labour market testing, unless an international obligation applies,
    • capacity for only one onshore visa renewal under the Short-Term stream
    • capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years under the Medium-Term stream
    • the permanent residence eligibility period will be extended from two to three years
    • a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers
    • strengthened requirement for employers to contribute to training Australian workers
    • the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will collect Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records, and
    • mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided.
  • Tightening eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas, including but not limited to:
    • tightened English language requirements
    • a requirement for visa applicants to have at least three years’ work experience
    • applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application
    • strengthened requirement for employers to contribute to training Australian workers, and
    • employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold1.
  • Concessions for regional Australia will continue to be available:
    • Employers in regional Australia will continue to have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas, to reflect their skills needs.
    • Existing permanent visa concessions for regional Australia, such as waiving the nomination fee and providing age exemptions for certain occupations, will be retained. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement.
  • Significantly condensing the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa, from 19 April 2017.

The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.

Further information on reforms is available:

Further information on different aspects of the reforms will be published in due course.

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2017 Sunshine Coast Export and Global Capability Program

Accelerate your export sales, increase profits and become the next Sunshine Coast export success story.

Who is the Program for?

  • Sunshine Coast businesses wanting help NOW with exporting a product or service.
  • Businesses should be export ready, currently exporting or be a successful exporter wanting to enter a new market.

What is the Program?

  • 10 two-and-a-half-hour workshops over 10 weeks.
  • It will be facilitated by the Export Council of Australia with guest export specialists.

When will the Program run?

  • From 19 April to 21 June 2017.

How much will the Program cost?

  • Usually $1,250 plus GST but local businesses in the Sunshine Coast Council area will only need to outlay $250 plus GST.
  • Two people can attend from any one company.

When do I have to register?

  • Places are limited to 20 companies in each program and registrations are required on or before 31 March 2017.

How do I to register?

More information

If you are interested in exporting and you are not already ‘connected’ through the Sunshine Coast Export LinkedIn Group, you are welcome to join.

What do others think about the program?

Watch this short video!

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12 Coast foodies get ready to excel

At FAN we have a vision – to actively contribute to the doubling of the region’s food & agribusiness economy by 2030 and to be renowned for our food culture and our culture of food industry innovation.  We also have a set of values that inform all that we do.  These values are collaboration, sharing, leadership & integrity.  So, when the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast came to us with the idea of partnering in their Grow Coastal food accelerator progamme we embraced the concept whole heartedly.  The idea of helping producers interested in scaling up fast and bringing their new food and beverage innovations to market was the perfect fit!

With a $12,000 boost and one of the world’s leading food accelerator experts at their side, it’s no wonder these Sunshine Coast food and beverage entrepreneurs are grinning. From more than sixty applications across the Coast, the lucky 12 were chosen for their innovative ideas, scalability and commercial viability.

International food industry expert Tara Mei is delivering the program bringing a great deal of expertise as founder of Kitchen Table Projects of London, having supported the growth of over 500 food and beverage businesses from startup to scale up.

“Demand for quality, innovative food products is growing faster than ever before and there is an opportunity for local businesses to capture that market,” she said.

“The participants are going to be thrown ‘in the pan’ so to speak as we explore crowdfunding, conduct research, host tastings, navigate publicity, engage with industry leaders, secure new customers and build major networks of helpful connections.”

 Congratulations to the Grow Coastal team: