Representatives from Australian Food and Agribusiness cluster regions met for the very first time in Moreton Bay Region, Queensland on 7 - 8 September as an outcome of the 2nd Australasian Cluster Conference held in Sydney in April 2015.
The MeetUp was organised by TCI Network Oceania. The conference was facilitated by Regional Development Australia Brisbane and Moreton Bay offices. The event was made possible by support from Food Industry Australia Ltd (FIAL), the organisation shaping the development of the new Food & Agribusiness Industry Growth Centre, one of five growth centres established nationally by the Australian Government to drive economic growth in Australia’s most competitive industry sectors.
Over thirty attendees from food regions around the country came to meet, swap stories and share best practice about their cluster development journeys. Attendees travelled to Ocean View Estate Winery on Day 1 to sample the excellent but lesser known bounty of the Moreton Bay region. Day 2 included a visit to Strawberry Fields Farm in the nearby Sunshine Coast. This region supplies 85% of Queensland’s strawberries and 50% of the Australian market. Participants heard of the innovative and collaborative projects using strawberry seconds and waste products currently under development through the early efforts of a regional strawberry cluster.
International cluster experts, Ifor Ffowcs Williams and Rodin Genoff, shared best practice experiences and learnings from clusters in some of the worlds’ most competitive and collaborative food regions. Ifor encouraged the new strawberry cluster members to think big. As far as he is aware there are no strawberry clusters globally and an opportunity is available to become a world centre in all things to do with the production of strawberries and their associated products.