More than 30 key players in the Coffs Coast food industry recently met at Bellingen’s Cedar Bar & Kitchen as the first stage in an initiative to promote and build on the region’s potential to be a unique agri-food region.
Coffs Harbour City Council’s Section Leader for Industry & Destination Development, Stephen Saunders said, “The agri-food industry is a major contributor to the local economy and this workshop is a great first step in tapping into the passion of the industry and nurturing those who are keen to see it grow and develop.”
Workshop facilitator Niel Jacobsen has worked with the food industry in the Central Coast and Northern Inland districts and both of these regions have now formed collectives to develop and promote their local food industries. “The commitment to growth on the Coffs Coast is evident by the enthusiastic contribution of the workshop participants – there were lots of great ideas and great ‘foodies’ in the room,” he said.
The workshop focused on Food Value Chains. These are strategic alliances between a group of growers, food producers, artisans, processors, restaurateurs, distributors, chefs and cooks working together to promote the abundance of high-quality local food products – and sharing in the rewards this brings, Workshop participant Hugh Crowley from Bello Food Box echoed much of the feedback received from the event. He said: “Thank you for organising today’s successful event. Please keep me posted on the next workshop. I’m inspired…”
The workshop was an initiative of Coffs Harbour City Council and Bellingen and Nambucca Shire Councils, with the support of Regional Development Australia Mid-North Coast.
The second part of the workshop will be held in the next few weeks with participants learning more about marketing and setting priorities for their local industry.