Delivery of the G21 Agribusiness Strategy

Published on 06 August 2019

Powercor Country Festival at the MCG.jpg

Council has worked hard to deliver four key actions in the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 region.

Since the strategy was adopted, Council allocated $30,000 towards the implementation of the strategy. Four key actions under the strategy were identified as key priorities to the Surf Coast Shire:

  1. Development of a Virtual Hub.
  2. Food Expos and Showcase Events.
  3. Promoting Local Food Trails.
  4. Implement Hinterland Futures Strategy.

Further details on each action are detailed below:

1. Development of a Virtual Hub

The development of a Virtual Hub, launched in May 2019 as The Agri Collective, it provides a single point of access for agribusiness related information.

The hub helps agribusinesses to access relevant information on grants, production, labelling, business growth and logistics. It also plays a key role in facilitating connections throughout the agribusiness supply chain, and with commercial customers. It was supported by funds from Food Source Victoria, City of Greater Geelong, and the Surf Coast Shire. 

Since its launch, agribusinesses in the region have experienced increased sales of over $75,000 through connections facilitated by The Agri Collective.

2. Food Expos and Showcase Events

A series of events involving and promoting agribusinesses in the Surf Coast region were held:

  • Deans Marsh Festival - March 2019: A stall at the Deans Marsh Festival included the launch of the Discover Deans Marsh promotional clip and the Taste the Hinterland online map. Over 500 festival goers engaged with Council officers on the day
  • Powercor Country Festival - May 2019: Surf Coast food producers went to the Powercor Country Festival, held at Yarra Park outside of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, leading up to the AFL Country Game clash between Geelong and Essendon football clubs. Council officers collaborated with Otway Harvest trail to host a stall with including screening of the Discover Deans Marsh clip and the launch of the Explore Winchlesea clips. The event attracted over 22,000 visitors and lead to nearly 1,600 internations at our stall. 
  • The Agri Collective Autumn Yield - May 2019: the G21 Agribusiness Forum hosted a showcase of 20 producers from across the G21 region. The event focused on connecting local producers with high-level customers in the hospitality, catering and food journalism industries. Over 85 chefs, catering industry representatives and food journalists from Melbourne and the G21 region attended the event. Feedback provided by attending businesses show that the current sales resulting from connections made at the showcase have already exceeded $75,000. 

3. Promoting Local Food Trails

Council engaged local chef and film producer Stevie Mack to create two clips promoting hinterland agri/food tourism offerings in rural townships based on locality destination brands. Titled Discover Deans Marsh and Explore Winchelsea. 

 In addition to the launch events, the clips have been promoted on Facebook, receiving a combined total of over 100,000 views, and will continue to be used in Surf Coast Shire Visitor Information Centres to promote agri/food tourism attractions in the Surf Coast hinterland. 

In addition to the launch events, the clips have been promoted on Facebook, receiving a combined total of over 100,000 views, and will continue to be used in Surf Coast Shire Visitor Information Centres to promote agri/food tourism attractions in the Surf Coast hinterland.

4. Implement Hinterland Futures Strategy

A key action in the Rural Hinterland Futures Strategy is to initiate training and support to improve the skills of lifestyle farmers in sustainable land management, animal welfare and biosecurity.

Since April 2019, the Surf Coast Agribusiness Network has delivered two farm focus events with an ongoing schedule delivering quarterly events under development.

  • Soil health & regeneration
  • What's bugging you - Bugs, bees and integrated pest management
  • Planned workshops for this financial year include: Biosecurity: Pigs, Poultry, Hemp and Weeds in August; and Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Agriculture in November 2019 with demonstrator sites being established across the region.