With lots of pressure on our society to eat well, stay healthy and be considerate of our environment, it can become difficult to decide what to eat let alone where the food on our plates is coming from.
Scenic Rim Regional Council is currently working with Southern Cross University and a group of proactive industry representatives to develop a Scenic Rim Food Strategy, which will focus on finding the right way of linking local consumers with local producers to provide a direct connection between those who grow our food with those who enjoy it.
Key elements to the food strategy include research and data collection. This includes investigating what is produced when, where, how and by whom. The research will also include investigating what is known about local food by visitors, locals and commercial users and who, where and why is local food being bought and sold and if not why not? Through these processes we aim to discover what will encourage more food to be produced, bought and sold within the region?
Bringing together key people from different sectors and developing supportive frameworks will assist in establishing some base line data to inform decisions to link regional marketing and branding of food production and tourism to create a local food supply chain.
A key driver in the food strategy will be business and industry development. We hope to identify as many potential new or developing food enterprises to build capacity and collaboration networks to provide support to buying locally.
Recognising that our farmers are the architects of the landscape upon which they farm, Council is working with the Southern Cross University to coordinate a series of information gathering activities which all residents will be invited to participate in.
The major long term goals for the food strategy include the Scenic Rim becoming known as one of Australia’s premiere regional food and Agritourism destinations. The use and purchase of fresh, regional, seasonal produce and value added food will become a mainstream activity for the local community and a normal part of day to day life in this region.
We would love to see that as an outcome, fresh, local and seasonal foods will be the main ingredients on the menus of restaurants and commercial kitchens in Scenic Rim region providing residents and visitors an authentic taste of what is on offer locally. We also have the goal that the region develops a reputation for high quality fresh produce and value added foods, making the regions food a “must see, must do, must taste” experience for all residents and visitors.
By improving the value across the entire length of the regional and local food supply chain and creating paddock to plate relationships between consumers and producers, the Scenic Rim Food Strategy will form a strong component of a local living economy for not only now but for future generations.
If you are interested in supporting the development of the Food Strategy and are involved in primary production, food value adding, food supply or are a consumer please contact Scenic Rim Regional Council’s Economic Development coordinator Marita Tomlinson on 07 5540 5281.