Coast Sprouts Strong Market; the Fifth in a Series of Articles Featuring the Seven High-Value Industries the Sunshine Coast Will Develop over the Next 20 Years

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), November 16, 2013 | Go to article overview

Coast Sprouts Strong Market; the Fifth in a Series of Articles Featuring the Seven High-Value Industries the Sunshine Coast Will Develop over the Next 20 Years


AGRI-BUSINESS: just modern business-speak for farming?

Or is it about processing the farmed produce? Or is it the distribution? Or perhaps it is the delivery to shops, supermarkets and restaurants?

No: it is about all of these - from pasture or paddock to shop-shelf and dinner plate - and all the logistics therein.

It's no secret the Sunshine Coast grows great food - and the ambition to turn the area into one of, or perhaps the, premier, quality food producing region in Australia is alive and well, and now written into the Regional Economic Development Strategy.

"It's all been a lot of talk (to date) - now it's time for action," innovative markets operator Shane Stanley said.

Mr Stanley said the Coast had no shortage or diversity of suppliers - and plenty of space existed for more - but we needed to get the supply lines right.

"We have a diverse soil range here, and one point I always make is the diversity of the micro-climate, from sub-tropical to dry conditions beyond the Range; you can grow pretty much anything - even on cane land. That soil can be rehabilitated, and we have already identified what can be grown on it.

"And we can support animal production; there are already different types of beef to the mainstream in production."

Mr Stanley started up the highly successful Noosa Farmers Markets, branching out to Kawana, and Townsville - with more to come.

"We will soon have one in Brisbane, which will showcase Sunshine Coast producers - and we will also have Big Top next year. Further down the road we're looking at Rockhampton," he said.

"But markets are not the answer - they are just a stepping-stone.

"There are a lot of positive ideas about how to move forward - and Big Top will help advance that."

One thing markets have taught Mr Stanley: farmers can be very secretive and protective of their ways. …

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