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Food For Thought, Flame Hill Vineyard, Sunshine Coast.

Food For Thought, Flame Hill Vineyard, Sunshine Coast.Flame Hill Vineyard

Last week we had a Food For Thought Forum at the gorgeous Flame Hill Vineyard, on the Sunshine Coast range, which I was fortunate to be a part of…

Just to qualify, it was super interesting, so while putting pen to paper along the way, I decided to also add some thoughts here, for my personal future reference. So accurate or not, this is my take on the proceedings :))sunshine coast

The day was very wet, umbrellas, pretty rolling fog, veiled vistas, funny guinea fowl foraging delightedly among the vines. Wood fires, beautiful local teas & healthy hand made canapes from the restaurant kitchen. (This bit always stands out for me :)) The food was amazing, fresh, cared for…& you can sense the passion. Thanks dudes!

Despite the rain, it was well attended & we had a heap of top movers & shakers speaking. People who have the runs on the board, having widely established farmers markets, food & wine trails, media campaigns, marketing strategies etc. We had the 3 regional councils represented, related events, overviews, insights, success stories, interactive sessions & Q&A panels.sunshine coast

The whole concept is so stimulating! It’s about the development of an amazing food trail. It’s about a shared vision for our future. It’s about forming a strong collaboration & developing a dynamic brand.

Couldn’t help grinning a little at the old food reference when discussing our consumers…locals are our bread & butter, visitors are our cream :)) Food for thought right there…lol.sunshine coast

We’ve got it all, right here on the Sunny Coast…the fertile soil, the climate, the range, the flats & the ocean! We have hinterland & coastal, country & cosmopolitan. Worldwide, not very many areas have all that. There’s every reason we can be a premier global food tourism bowl. Every reason to provide the emotional connection for the ultimate food & agritourism experience, a sensory overload.

We learnt a new word, PROVENANCE-the place of origin or authentic history of a particular product.flame hill vineyard

Always maintain provenance! Live & breathe the region! We used this message often. As well as “tell your story”, collaboration & strong leadership.

Food Fever is not fading away. We see festivals, events, tv programs, recipe books, glossy mags, celebrity chefs, all going strong. We have a plethora of successful templates on hand as a solid basis to replicate eg. Barossa Valley & Restaurant Australia  Check out this ad. hill vineyard

Personally, I was smitten by Daylesford in The Cotswolds when I was there last year (which happily got a mention at the forum :))

The thing is, as producers in the paddock, or chefs in the kitchen, we are so busy developing our passions, that when we finally put our heads up, to find where to sell produce or source product, we don’t know where to turn. We need a collaborative body to gather, incubate & network this imperative data.sunshine coast

  • We need to promote occupation value, family apprenticeships, healthy supply chain systems. We can raise the standards & make it cool for our next generation. We can inspire youth & build an artisan food culture. We can help the farmer control how the product gets from paddock to plate, ethically.
  • We need to acknowledge & appreciate industry standards, individual & collaborative efforts. We can slow-down the big players by shopping locally sourced product & employing more work experience kids. We can involve a huge range of businesses, real estate, health, media, insurance, banking, production, packaging, growers, geeks & food consumers on all for thought

We need government support & assistance.

We need strong leadership.

  • Did you know that right here on the glorious Sunshine Coast, we have 32 National & International major events this year alone? World events, particularly sporting events, every year…One third of our visitors spending dollar goes on food. We need to tap into that big time…
  • We need to build our own strong identity, our sense of place, package our way of life & the bounty that we offer. We can bridge our parochial gaps & honour our collective credentials. We can foster & support authentic regional provenance. We can work together, grow local & be outstanding in destination, attitude & experience.sunshine coast
  • We need many more shared tables. We can mastermind & offer a communal vision. We can connect jigsaw pieces, develop a peak body, contribute different skills, discuss trending demands & solve market issues. We can clearly identify our initiatives & proudly tie our stories together.

That’s my take on the forum anyway…it was awesome, educational, inspirational, refreshing (& tasty.) And I’m so glad I braved the elements of the day.

Cheers! And to borrow from the Barossa, hope it fills the heart as well as the belly.sunshine coast

  1. With everything we have to offer on the Sunshine Coast, there’s nothing to compare to what South Australia does for its food and wine producers. I’ve taken two of the Adelaide food tours and they are both backed by their local councils to promote local businesses.

    The food events on the coast are fantastic, that’s for sure but I’d like to see an ongoing food experience. With all our visitors, there’s only so much beach you can enjoy. Let’s take their money for our producers. 🙂

    • Ahhh you lucky lady Maureen. How I would love to do those food tours….it’s on the list :))
      And yes I think that’s what we are aspiring towards, having that backing & that amazing food trail experience.
      We really do have the best of all the elements. Now we just have to get those councils working together. And strong leadership….
      Wouldn’t it be awesome!!!

  2. I Agree , nicely done

    • Thanks George…it’s very exciting! There’s a whole rich world waiting to be managed right here :)) xx

  3. Jeeeezz…I hope the right people flock to the opportunity…surely!!!

    • Thanks for stopping by Carolyn.
      Yes, it makes for more motivation to get that speciality crop or niche service underway doesn’t it?
      It feel like a bit of an incentive to me….:)) xx

  4. You are a fantastic ambassador for the the Sunny Coasts food scene x so proud of you x

    • Thank you Kel….I feel humbled that you would say so.
      It is such a worthwhile project & one I hope all of us get behind.
      We can make it happen & we would all benefit from a well-known food trail region.
      Exciting stuff!!

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