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Maleny Food Co. Named as a Finalist in the 2017 Australian Grand Dairy Awards

maleny-food-co-logo

Maleny Food Co. is excited to announce its Chocolate Gelato has been nominated as a 2017 Australian Grand Dairy Award finalist in the Dairy Gelato category.

“As a new brand, this recognition acknowledges that we are doing all the right things, and we could not be more excited and honoured to be named a finalist,” said Norman Scott.

The brand has recently transitioned from Colin James Fine Foods to Maleny Food Co. after current owners Norman and Kate Scott purchased the business in 2015. Colin James Fine Foods was well know for its award winning gelato and this recent nomination is confirmation Maleny Food Co. is carrying on the reputation of the Colin James Fine Foods brand.

“Although we have moved away from the Colin James Fine Foods brand, being named a finalist for such a prestigious award is evidence we are still making award-winning produce, and we couldn’t be more proud,” said Mr Scott.

The Australian Grand Dairy Awards were established to recognise excellence in the industry, and to highlight the high calibre of dairy foods produced in Australia.

To be eligible, products must have won a gold medal at a state based championship, and this year our Maleny Food Co. Chocolate Gelato was one of a record 470 gold medal award winning entries.

The top three products in each class are named as finalists and each finalist product will be judged by 12 industry judges. The winners in each of the 20 categories will be announced in February 2017, and we look forward to hearing the results.

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FAN Launches New Program

FAN has created the Mentoring for Success program to assist small FAN member companies to address a challenge or opportunity within their businesses, by providing access to experienced and skilled mentors.

Eligibility

  • Must be a member of FAN
  • Turnover under $1.5 million
  • Participants need to be prepared to provide information about their business such as financials, business plan, key challenges, value proposition etc.

Find out more at FAN Mentoring for Success Program.

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FAN Welcomes New Chairman

FAN Secretary - Jacqui Wilson-Smith

The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) Board has voted in Jacqui Wilson-Smith as its new Chairman for 2017. Outgoing Chairman and co-founder, Andy Eves- Brown will remain a Director on the Board looking after sponsorship.

Under Andy’s leadership FAN has evolved from an idea to the dynamic network that it is today, with 130 members and 40 sponsors. It has a strong profile across the Greater Sunshine Region and has been recognised as a Finalist in the 2016 Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

Of his time as Chairman, Andy says: “It has been an amazing two years since the idea of forming a food industry network for the region took hold. I can’t believe how far we have come from meeting at the Eumundi Imperial Hotel and deliberating over a name and logo, to being a very professionally run network that is full of energy and enthusiasm and is bringing true benefit to the Greater Sunshine Coast. This has only been possible with the dedication and passi0n of a very talented Board and Management team. I’m very proud of what we have achieved and strongly believe that a rotation of Chairman will ensure the network and the Board maintains the momentum we have created. I am so pleased that Jacqui has taken up the Chairmanship; her skills and ability will ensure the aspirational vision of the network is maintained.”

Jacqui, also a co-founder, brings a depth of agribusiness experience and good governance to the FAN Chairmanship, being recently admitted as a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Heading up innovation and marketing at Gourmet Garden, Jacqui is an advocate of ‘design-led innovation’, constantly pushing boundaries to deliver business improvements.  One of Jacqui’s first actions as Chairman will be to announce a new Strategy Committee.

”I am excited to take on the Chairman role and the challenge of taking FAN to the next level after such a tremendous start under Andy’s helm. I am keen to do this in a collaborative leadership style, with the support of a new Strategy Committee. Shortly, we will be calling for nominations from within the FAN membership base. This is just another great way for FAN members to be a part of creating a more prosperous food and agribusiness economy for our region.”

In other changes to the FAN Board, Tony Sowden has been appointed as Secretary, replacing Mark Peters who will retain the Finance portfolio.

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FAN Annual Survey 2016

FAN-Admin-Logo

FAN is about to celebrate its 1st Birthday! Its been a momentous 12-months with more than 130 members joining the network, 40 of which are also sponsors.

Run by the industry, for the industry, FAN wants to ensure that it continues to deliver services and activities aligned to its members and the broader industry’s needs.

We’d be grateful if you could complete this short survey so we can plan a fabulous program for 2017.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C875Q2W

Many thanks,

The FAN Team

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Sunshine Coast Business Awards – FAN Member Finalists

Congratulations to FAN’s members who have made it to the finals of this year’s Sunshine Coast Business Awards! They are:

FAN is privileged to join these companies as a finalist in the the Social Enterprise and Leadership categories.

An article in the Sunshine Coast Daily lists the 115 finalist, spanning 14 award categories and a wide variety of industries.

The winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner being held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on Saturday 5 November.

Good luck everyone!

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Special Offer for FAN Members from Wild Bunch Media

FAN’s Gold sponsor, Wild Bunch Media, have put together an exclusive video, photography and social media offer for FAN members.

Despite experts projecting that by 2017 video will account for 69% of consumer traffic, many brands still don’t use video. Research has also showing that consumers prefer video marketing over other mediums.

Wild Bunch Media specialises in Food, Drink and Agribusiness videos. They are offering to create a video that showcases your business’ story and a series of short clips designed for social channels.

They have also teamed up with two other FAN sponsors, Katja Anton Photography and Social Tap, to add the options of some photos and a social media boost.

Check out this incredible value offer to see how your business can benefit. Limited time and places on this offer so get in touch with Sam (contact details below) soon!

Link to offer:

http://www.wildbunchmedia.com/fan-video-offer/

Sam Robinson
Video, Photography and Digital
www.wildbunchmedia.com
Mob:+61 (0)422 067456
Tel: 07 5641 2291

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Provenance: The story behind our food & drink. By Rose Wright.

The 21st century is bringing profound changes to the way we communicate, do business, shop and even plan our next meal.  Digital communication provides a platform for each of us to connect and communicate across the globe.   More and more people are choosing to buy products online from virtual stores.  This phenomenal growth in e commerce means that many consumers are abandoning going to the shops to buy everyday items and retreating to their device of choice to shop and have it home delivered. This consumer behaviour is causing some to predict that there will be fundamental changes to the way our towns, villages and shopping malls will operate in the future.

Yet, by complete contrast, consumers are bucking this trend when it comes to the food they eat.  At a time when global growth of online retail is burgeoning, more and more people are keen to discover the provenance of the food they share with family and friends. They want to know who produced it, where it was grown, caught or raised and how it travelled from its place of origin to their plate. In short they are keen to understand the provenance of their food and are using this information to inform their shopping and dining choices.

Provenance is a term rarely used as little as two years ago.   Indeed I would have to take the time to explain the concept before starting a conversation about food and food systems.  Somehow in a very short period of time the use of the word provenance has slipped into our everyday language.

So what is provenance and why do we care about it?

From a consumer perspective, provenance is about understanding the origins of an item, whether it is food, drink or an artwork for that matter.  For a product to have provenance, you will need to understand its history, the story of where and how it came to be, and the journey it has taken to reach you.

When it comes to food and drink, provenance has a particularly important role to play.  At a time when global consumption means that ingredients are shipped as commodities from one part of the world to another for processing and packaging, before they are shipped back to your local supermarket or shop, it’s important to understand the journey of what you consume and feed your family.

We are very fortunate in Australia.  We have arguably the strictest food and farming regulations in the world, all with the aim of making our food and drink the cleanest and safest available.  In global terms it means our food is highly sought after in other countries.  People with less secure food systems seek out Australian produce and value added goods because our reputation is strong.

From a local or domestic perspective, perhaps we as consumers have been a little complacent, not realising just how lucky we are to have such amazing food available to us in abundance everyday.  But as more and more of Australia’s best  produce is exported, so too we are seeing more and more food products being imported from other countries with systems that do not offer the same level of food safety as our own.

New labelling laws will soon start to show more information about where ingredients are sourced, but this will only be part of the picture.  I don’t think its wise to remain complacent about the provenance of food.  You only need to recall the imported berry scare here in Australia and the melamine in foreign baby milk products to understand why you should care about provenance if your care about the health and wellbeing of your family and friends!

Many of our small to medium family farms, small independent food processors and value adders go to extraordinary lengths to provide absolute transparency about their products.  Many of our larger Australian manufacturers also increasingly provide this information too.   At the end of the day it is up to the consumer to ask the question and demand an accurate answer. What is the provenance of the foods they are buying?  It is our own responsibility to understand seasonality and what grows in our regions.

At a time when the average Australian farm receives on around 10% of the price people pay in the shops for fresh food, we as consumers need to absolutely care about food provenance.  If we don’t we are in real danger of losing our Australian producers and in turn access to Australian produce.

Consumers have the power to change our food system.  By supporting producers, shops, restaurants, café’s and markets that provide transparent information about provenance this can happen.  It’s quite simple really, just by asking simple questions of waiters and shop keepers about provenance of the ingredients or meals you buy and holding them to account if they can’t answer your question, or thanking them and supporting them when they can is all it takes to change the system.  Business will respond to consumers.  If you care about having access to clean, healthy, safe and fresh Australian food for your family, now and in the future, make the effort to ask the question about provenance next time you spend your money.

Where does this food or product come from?

Who was the farmer or fisher?

How did they grow, raise or catch it?

Where they paid fairly?

As a consumer of food and drink each of us has the ability to help promote provenance, by the choices we make everyday.  Make the effort to support our regional producers and manufacturers. If you get the opportunity, talk to the producer, visit their farm with your family or do a tour of their factory on open days.  Take the time to learn about seasonality. Try to make one day per week ‘eat local day’.  Become part of the provenance revolution that is supporting our local food heroes so they can keep producing good food for Australian families to enjoy for generations to come.

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Media Release: Backing Local Farmers

RURAL BANK AND Woombye and District Community Bank® BACKING LOCAL FARMERS

As the only Australian-owned and operated dedicated agribusiness bank in the country, Rural Bank is backing farmers and the farming community in conjunction with the Woombye and District Community Bank® branch of Bendigo Bank.

A wholly-owned member of the Bendigo Bank family, Rural Bank is operated entirely from Australian shores providing a range of tools that work for the financial demands of all farmers.

Rural Bank’s partnership with local Bendigo Bank and Community Bank® branches ensures ease of access to specialist farm finance solutions and expertise in the community and on the farm, as well as contributing to the local community via the Community Bank® model.

Rural Bank Relationship Manager, Ian Herd said Rural Bank’s close association with Woombye and District Community Bank® provides a local platform from which to help agribusinesses in the region succeed.

“Woombye and District’s Community Bank® branch shares our understanding of the unique needs and demands of farming customers and communities in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay region,” Ian Herd said.

“We are backing farmers to help them harness seasonal opportunities and contribute to overall growth in the area.”

“When you choose Rural Bank, you can be confident that you are supporting the local community and country Australia while being backed by the security of a successful, well-managed financial institution,” Ian said.

Ian has more than 25 years of banking experience, including extensive expertise with a diverse range of farming enterprises.

Woombye and District Community Bank® Branch Manager, Hayley Saunders said the branch enjoyed having the opportunity to support the local farming sector.

“As a member of the community of Woombye and surrounding districts, we understand the seasonal challenges and opportunities that local farmers are presented with,” Hayley Saunders said.

“Whether it is for capital improvements, seasonal input purchases or expanding land holdings, Rural Bank’s financial tools provide the flexibility to make quick decisions based on individual needs at any particular time.

“And when you bank with Woombye and District Community Bank® branch you’ll be helping your community to prosper, by keeping local money and local business in your community – that’s good news for everybody,” Meagan said.

For more information about Woombye and District Bank’s community projects, visit www.BendigoBank.com.au

To find out more about Rural Bank’s specialist farm finance tools, contact Ian Herd on 0409 229 590 or Hayley Saunders on 0429 361 652 to arrange an on farm visit.

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The Spirit House expansion plans

FAN members The Spirit House are planning an expansion to the existing restaurant with a brand new dining room, including a courtyard and bar.

In an article on the Sunshine Coast Daily the restaurant owners gave some details on the expansion, which sounds like it is sure to impress diners and also be an important next stage for one of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular and renowned restaurants.

We’re excited to check out the changes, which are likely to be completed by Christmas… it might just be a good excuse to visit if it’s been a while!

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Startup Demo Day for Talented Entrepreneurs

2 August 2016 @10am – 12:30pm

Local entrepreneurial startups showcase their innovative food, agribusiness and wellbeing products.

 

Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre
The Sunshine Coast’s most talented entrepreneurs in the food, agribusiness and wellbeing sectors will display their unique products and launch their businesses at the first of a series of local Startup Demo Days on Tuesday 2 August at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast.

 

Innovation Centre CEO, Mark Paddenburg says the collaborative approach with its partners – Spark Bureau, RDA, Advance Queensland, Food and Network Association (FAN) and Four Ingredients – brings depth to the Startup Demo Day series, enhances our entrepreneurial ecosystem and contributes to regional economic growth.

 

“Our combined 50-plus members of the Innovation Centre and Spark Bureau are from a diverse range of business sectors and we are excited to launch the Startup Demo Day series – commencing with a focus on food, agriculture and wellbeing. Innovative and successful companies like Gourmet Garden have tapped global markets and Startup Demo Day is aimed at nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs in this dynamic industry sector.”

 

Some of the exciting products and services to be officially launched for the first time at the Startup Demo Day include quality pre-prepared meals, dried fruits, skincare products, freshly pressed juices, tonics, pet treats, world’s first clip-together outdoor crockery, new-generation bee hive and a produce sharing platform. Startup Demo Day provides a great opportunity for the community and investors to gain first-hand knowledge of these exciting businesses hot off the shelf.

 

“In these competitive and challenging times, we need to assist our entrepreneurs to build their profile, attract new customers and connect with potential partners and investors,” Mr Paddenburg said.

 

Startup Demo Day includes presentations by key stakeholders, demonstrations by nine entrepreneurs and
interactive exhibits including food sampling, market stall lunch and lots of networking. Startup Demo Day
presenters include:

 Russell Gibbons, Huds and Toke www.hudsandtoke.com.au
 Ann Ross, Hive Haven www.hivehaven.com.au
 Michael Buckley, SunLife Superfoods www.sunlifesuperfoods.com.au
 Chris Wands, WandsPro www.wandspro.com
 Helen Andrews, Spare Harvest www.spareharvest.com
 Mathew Walker – Crazy Fresh www.crazyfresh.com.au
 Shelley Devine, Devine Bodies www.devinebodies.com.au
 Kelly Briese, Briese Botanicals www.briesebotanicals.com.au
 Chanelle Louise, Cilk www.cilkrosewater.com

 

Startup Demo Day is a free event on Tuesday 2nd August, 10 am to 12.30pm, followed by a light lunch.

RSVP essential!

Venue: Innovation Centre Boardroom, Sippy Downs, Queensland.
For more detail: debbie@innovationcentre.com.au Mobile: 0408 799 276