Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Focus on Creating Green Image for Coast; from Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, That Is the Future of Sunshine Coast Farm Land Erle Levey Finds

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Focus on Creating Green Image for Coast; from Farm Gate to Dinner Plate, That Is the Future of Sunshine Coast Farm Land Erle Levey Finds

Article excerpt

THE geography and the climate of the Sunshine Coast have combined to create one of the most livable environments in Australia. Yet they have also created some of the best farming land.

It was something the early settlers recognised in the mid 1800s when they started tree-felling for the valuable timbers and clearing the land for primary production, mainly dairying.

From farm gate to dinner plate ... that is the future of the Sunshine Coast's rural communities, according to hinternoosa.com.au principal Murray Brown.

Lifestyle properties will continue to increase in popularity as the population of the region increases. Yet when it comes to farming the land there is renewed impetus to create a clean, green image for Sunshine Coast produce.

When it comes to land use, horse properties are certainly there, Mr Brown said. They probably account for about 10% of the sales in the Noosa hinterland.

The landholders are looking for a viable entity, Mr Brown said. Clean, green produce direct to local consumers. Fruit and vegetables, seafood and meat, not just to restaurants and the hospitality industry but direct to consumers.

Dairies at Maleny, Eumundi and Cooloola have successfully started this. It's the same with organic food, bush tucker products such as jams and other things ... even olives from Obi Obi.

aThese people need to develop local markets so they do not get caught up in the cycle of the supermarket duopoly,a Mr Brown said. aCreate the same image as Margaret River and King Island.

aThe next thing after the farmers markets will be home delivery of produce again.

aWe have some small beef properties at Cooroy - droughtmaster and wagu a they aspire to provide from paddock to plate because of the price margins.

aThese are very sophisticated properties, well set up and with wide riperian zones on the creeks.

aLargely our clients are planting trees rather than clearing them. It's gone full circle from the 19th century. Saying that, growing trees is not as easy as falling off a log. There is a lot to it.a

Mr Brown said baby boomers were the main drivers of rural property sales.

They account for about 70% of the buyers of hinterland property buyers, followed by Generations X and Y. …

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