CEO Update Article

The Power of Collaboration

   Friday 20th September, 2019

Collaboration is a word we use many times on a regular basis in the Food & Fibre Gippsland team, and we don't just use it. We believe in it and we encourage it with all our members, industry partners and stakeholders every day.

First course - Stufffed West Gippsland quail accompanied by a glass of Blue Gables white wine

We were delighted to be able to join forces with TAFE Gippsland and a multi-national social food enterprise called Chef Outta Water, bringing international chef Chris Holen to the Bairnsdale campus to create a Gippsland Grazing feast that was, in one simple word, sensational !

The event brought everything full circle where, together with TAFE Gippsland, we were able to host a number of our members and Gippsland businesses whose produce was being showcased by the Chef group.

It was fantastic to catch up with Ferial from Maffra Cheese, Keith and Carmel Ingram from Bonaccord Ingram, Angela Stringer from Forge Creek Lamb, Cheryl and Sara from Gippsland Pearls along with Mark and Shelley from Snowy River Black Garlic to share a long table lunch with them that showcased the quality and diversity of what this region grows.

With a casual and engaging atmosphere at the Oaktree Restaurant, the apprentice chefs were able to come and meet the producers once lunch was served and talk with them about what they had created in just under four hours. It was a unique opportunity for both the producer and the young chef - and one to that we hope to be able to repeat in future collaborations at more events across the region.

Presenting at the Gippsland Executive Forum

Later in the week, I was able to connect with a number of leaders from Gippsland Businesses when I presented at the Gippsland Executive Forum.

With food and fibre such an important part of Gippsland's economic engine, it was great to connect with a diverse range of businesses and stakeholders from across the region to share details about how our current suite of projects are delivering benefit to producers and businesses in the region as well as contributing to the apsirational growth targets for the sector.

Gippsland is home to an impressive array of innovative and talented wine producers, and attending the Gippsland Wine Awards on Wednesday night in Sale was a great opportunity to meet a number of them in the one room, and congratulate the winners on their achievements.

We were really proud to see Lightfoot & Sons, who had been long term members of the East Gippsland Food Cluster and have continued their membership with Food & Fibre Gippsland, collect a number of awards - well done to the whole team on creating such an iconic Gippsland brand!

Our membership base continues to grow as food and fibre businesses across Gippsland become more aware of how joining us can help them access information, be part of projects that can help with their prosperity and profitability and network with other producers of all types and sizes.

And just as importantly, there are a number of businesses who are choosing to join us as a strategic industry partner, where, whilst not directly involved in Food & Fibre production, manufacturing/processing or distribution/retailing, they want to explore opportunities to network across the sector to unearth mutually beneficial relationships in the region.

We welcome new members Ferndale Certified Organics, South Gippsland Dairy and MADEC Recruitment Solutions - we're looking forward to getting to know your business better, identifiy opportunities to collaborate, and to help tell your story across Gippsland and beyond.

Until next week