The opportunities for food and beverage businesses in the Limestone Coast are expected to grow, following last night's launch of the Limestone Coast Food and Agribusiness Cluster.
The event, which happened at Farmer's Leap, Padthaway, signals the next step in the plan of those in the area passionate about the Limestone Coast and sharing its story with the world.
Formed in October, the Food and Beverage Cluster is an alliance of food and beverage producers, processors and manufacturers and agribusiness across the region, focused on increasing the value of food production, promoting the region and its food producers, and collaborating to overcome challenges for local businesses and the region.
Inaugural board members Danielle England, AgInnovate, Robyn Verrall, Bullys Meats, Lucy Dodd, Lowan Park Produce, Mark Wheal, Beachport Berkshires, and Mary Stratford, Wild Game Wines, have set a goal to bring together the entire food and beverage value chain in the Limestone Coast.
The Cluster will start to address some of the challenges faced by local food producers and manufacturers, including improved logistics options to transport fresh produce to key markets; establishment of a direct-to-consumer sales hub; and to develop the Limestone Coast as a premium food region.
It has received funding from the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, the Limestone Coast Landscape Board and the Building Better Regions Fund, which will be used to accelerate activities focused on overcoming the shared challenges, develop collaboration, enhance profitability and build the position and profile of Limestone Coast.
The Limestone Coast includes a broad ranges of producers and produce, including grows and processing meat (beef and lamb), dairy, horticulture and grapes within the region, with it generating $1,123m of agricultural output.
This equates to 18 per cent of the state's agricultural production from 2pc of its geographic area.
"This wide diversity of agriculture production resulting in world class food and wine is our competitive advantage, it's what makes the Limestone Coast unique and is driving our strong and confident regional economy," chair Danielle England said.
"By working together through the Cluster we can achieve much more than as individual businesses."
Membership of the Limestone Coast Food and Agribusiness Cluster is open to all participants and supporters of the food and beverage industry on the Limestone Coast.
More information is available by joining the Limestone Coast Food and Agribusiness Cluster Facebook Group or LinkedIn.
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