With a reputation based on quality and innovation, Queensland’s food and agribusiness industry continues to go from strength to strength. With one-third of Australia’s primary produce coming out of Queensland, this sector now contributes more than $18.8 billion to the state economy.
Working closely with growers, producers and manufacturers, from all over South-East Queensland, the Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN) is once again bringing many of them together for the annual “Meet the Makers” event.
Now in its fourth year, this must-attend food and beverage trade event continues to grow in terms of size, diversity and reputation and will be held on Tuesday 3 rd May where over 100 exhibitors from the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Gympie, Moreton Bay and beyond will showcase fresh produce and food and beverage products to buyers and industry.
FAN CEO Emma Greenhatch said the region’s only dedicated food and beverage trade event would create valuable commercial connections and opportunities for its members and the wider food and beverage industry.
“The start of this year hasn’t gone as anyone had planned…. so now more than ever it’s time for us to celebrate our regions’ amazing growers and makers.”
“Meet the Makers 2022 is a wonderful opportunity to showcase, to a wide group of industry buyers and supporters, the amazing array and diversity of products and produce made or grown in South-East Queensland,” Ms Greenhatch said.
Joining the event as an Official Ambassador is a passionate supporter of local producers, Roz White from White’s IGA. White’s IGA is a pioneer of the locavore movement and is a strong advocate and supporter of the region’s local food and beverage industry.
“I am delighted to again be an Official Ambassador for Meet the Makers. It is a truly unique event where our industry can connect with a wide range of producers and growers and source innovative and new-to-market retail lines,” Ms White said.
“Working with a network of local suppliers has immense benefits for our business and region. When we support local, we support our community, during both the good and challenging times.
“During the recent weather events, we were able to call on our network of local suppliers to ensure our shelves continued to be stocked with fresh and local essentials. We support our local producers and they, in turn, support us – and as a result everyone benefits.”
Another supporter of Meet the Makers is one of Australia’s leading producers of premium plant-based food products, Fënn Foods. Executive Chairman, Mr Nicholas Simms said, “This event is important for food and drink producers and manufacturers from right across
the region as it creates an environment that fosters connection and collaboration.
“It also offers us an opportunity to showcase our growing range of healthy, delicious, all-natural plant-based products directly to the foodservice industry, buyers and consumers. This is especially important given that this is one of the fastest-growing food segments in the world.”
Sunshine Coast Economic Development Councillor Jason O’Pray said Meet the Makers event was a great opportunity to showcase the incredible food and beverage products made right here on the Sunshine Coast.
“The Sunshine Coast is rapidly becoming recognised as one of the most dynamic locations for new food, beverage and agribusiness investment in Australia. This is great news for the region’s economy and also for the long-term prosperity of food businesses,” Cr O’Pray said.
“In 2020, our local food and agribusiness industry was valued at *$700 million, with more than 900 businesses located in our region.
“This event provides the perfect platform for our incredible food industry to get in front of local, regional and national buyers. These introductions could be game changing for some of our producers,” Cr O’Pray said.
Meet the Makers aligns with the strategies of FAN, and other regional stakeholders including the Sunshine Coast Council, Trade and Investment Queensland and Moreton Bay Regional Council to make the region the Australian epicentre for scaling food and beverage manufacturing businesses through an ecosystem that drives collaboration and innovation.
FAN recently led a successful submission to secure funding for the development of Turbine, Australia’s first purpose-built, end-to-end collaborative food and beverage manufacturing, education and R&D precinct, that will be located on the Sunshine Coast.
Turbine is set to become Australia’s leading industry-based food and beverage research, education and commercialisation facility with the precinct expected to gain national and international recognition as a blueprint for collaborative manufacturing thanks to funding of up to $33.4 million from the Federal Government. The precinct is set to be operational late 2023.
Meet the Makers 2022 – is proudly supported by Sunshine Coast Council, Department of Small Business, Education and Training, Trade and Investment Queensland, Moreton Bay Regional Council, Noosa Council MGA Independent Retailers, Whites IGA, Detpak, Ecolean and Focus Insights.