Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
MIDNORTHCOAST ContentsIntroduction3TheMidNorthCoast4EconomicSnapshot5Protein6MayeldFarm6BurrawongGaian7WinghamBeeExports8MacleayValleyRabbits9DairyBeverages10Norco11SaxbysSotDrinks12NestlSmithtown13Horticulture14TheOrganicMarketingCompany15RicardoesTomatoesStrawberries17OzBerries18LabourSkillsNeeds20BushFoods21ValleyotheMist21ClaytonDonovan23Aquaculture24PrimeWaterOysters24NationalMarineScienceCentre25NicheMarkets26RedDirtDistillery26AusbufStuf27Provedores28BentOnFood28OtherChampions29FoodFestivals30GrowersMarkets31IndustryContacts32GraphicDesignReviveGraphicsCoverimageRicardoesTomatoesStrawberriesPhotographerLindsayMollerTheMidNorthCoastprospectuswaspreparedbyRegionalDevelopmentAustraliaMidNorthCoast.ContentJustynWalkerEconomicdataDrToddGreenWewishtothankallourChampionsandcontributorswhoprovidedinormationandimagesorthispublication.RDAMidNorthCoastisanotorproftorganisationundedbytheAustralianGovernmentandtheNSWStateGovernment.MIDNORTHCOASTNSW Opportunitiesinindustryarewhatyoumakeothem.RDAlikemanyothersseesgreatpotentialoroodproductioninthisregion.AttheindustrylevelprimaryAgricultureandFishingplusFoodandBeverageManuacturingaccountsor1.5billionothetotalrevenueortheMidNorthCoasteveryyear.Thisregionaloodindustryemploysmorethanourandahalthousandpeopleandcontributesaround15oourregionsexports.ItsasectorworthinvestinginTocapitaliseontheopportunitiesinouroodindustriesweneedtoworkromgatetoplate.Iyouwanttotalkmoreinvestmentandjobsthenapushintovalueaddingoodprocessingpackagingandexportingiswhereitneedstogo.Toseethisindustrygrowweneedtomovebeyondbeingacommodityproducertobeingabusinessentrepreneurwithalabelledpackagedproducttoselltotheworld.Thatrequiresawholenewsetoskillsandanewwayothinking.Fortunatelythereareindustrychampionsouttherewhoarealreadyleadingthewayandinthisindustryshowcasewevehighlightedmanyothesebusinessesasexamplesowhatcanbeachieved.OurChampionsofFoodshowcasessomeothemostinnovativeoodproducersandagribusinessesacrosstheMidNorthCoastromlargescalemanuacturerstoboutiqueproducers.Letsaceitinthepastatthestateandnationalleveltheocushascomeofagricultureandhasmovedtootherareassuchasminingbutthisisabouttochangedramatically.FinallythedecisionmakersarewakinguptotheactthatAustraliasnicheisthatweproducecleanqualityoodandwedoitbetterthananycountryintheworld.Thisregionalfoodindustryemploysmorethanfourandahalfthousandpeopleandcontributesaround15ofourregionsexports.ItsasectorworthinvestinginInAustraliaandthroughtheworldconsumersaredemandingcleanethicallyproducedreshoodreeoarticialchemicalsandpreservativesandtheyarepreparedtopayapremiumorit.Theywanttoknowhowitwasproducedandwhereitwasproduced.Theywanttomeetthearmerandtheywantthearmertobeadequatelyremuneratedortheirhardworkindeliveringasuperiorproduct.TheMidNorthCoastisblessedwithaperectclimatehighrainallandqualitysoilsthatproducelushpasturesorgrazingandabundantproduce.Letsworktogethertoputagricultureandoodproductionbackontheagendaandbecometheoodbowlwearecapableobeing.FinallymythanksgotoourCommunicationsManagerJustynWalkerorhishardworkinproducingOurChampionsofFood.LorraineGordonCEORegionalDevelopmentAustraliaMidNorthCoastIntroduCtIon3 HASTINGSHARBOURPORTMACQUARIENAMBUCCAKEMPSEYGREATERTAREECOFFSBELLINGENTheMidNorthCoastissituatedhal-waybetweenSydneyandBrisbane.Itcomprisesanareao15070squarekilometresbetweentheGreatDivideandtheEastCoast.OurregionismadeuposixlocalgovernmentareasCofsHarbourBellingenNambuccaKempseyPortMacquarieHastingsandGreaterTaree.ItalsoincludestheWorldHeritageAreaoLordHoweIsland.Theagriculturallandscapeistypiedbyanabundanceoriversthateedlushhinterlandandoveronehundredkilometresoertilecoastalplains.Foodgrowersbenetromamoderatesubtropicalclimatetypicalocoastalareasandahighannualrainall.TheregionsprincipalwatercatchmentsaretheMacleayandtheManningValleyssituatedwithintheKempseyShireandGreaterTareerespectively.Theregionprovidesidealgrowingconditionsorawidevarietyohorticultureandlivestock.Itsseasidelocationandhealthyriversystemsalsopresentaperectnurseryorouraquacultureindustry.Thefoodstoriesinthispublicationareonlyasmallsampleoftheproducethatcanbegrownhere.FormoreideasonwhatyoucancultivatehereviewtheAustralianGovernmentsarmdiversitywebsite.www.farmdiversity.com.autheMIdnorthCoast FoodgrowersandproducersontheMidNorthCoastgenerateatotalrevenueo1.5billionayear.Thisrepresents7.1othetotalrevenueorourregionaleconomy.Theindustryalsoemploys4610people1.FoodandBeverageManuacturingisthelargestsubsectoroourregionsManuacturingindustry.AddintheAgricultureFishingsectoroacomparablesizeanditscleartheoodindustryisacrucialoneortheMidNorthCoast.FoodandBeverageManuacturinghasaparticularlylargefowoneectortheregionaleconomyandorlocaljobs.EverytimeanewjobiscreatedinFoodandBeverageManuacturinganadditional2jobsarespawnedinotherindustries.SimilarlyeverynewjobintheprimaryindustriesoAgricultureandFishinghastheeectocreatingasecondjobinotherindustriestoservicetheincreaseddemand.Unortunatelythestructureooureconomyisotenocusedaroundurbancentresandmorethoughtneedstobegiventoproducersinruralareas.Theregionneedstoinvestinurtherresearchtodeneregionalproductivelandsandaquacultureareaswhichwillassistplanninganddevelopmentosustainableoodproductionintotheuture.OneexcitingareaoopportunityorouroodproducersisinexportsparticularlytotheAsianmarkets.Currentlyourood-relatedregionalexportstotal690millionayear.Thismakestheoodindustryourthirdhighestexportingindustryandasyouwillseeromthestoriesinthispublicationthereisplentyoroomtogrow.QuickLook447mValueAdded1500mRevenue4610Jobs690mRegionalExports0500100015002000BeerManufacturingFruitVegetableProductManufacturingWineSpiritsTobaccoSoftDrinksCordialsSyrupManufacturingFishingHuntingTrappingSugarConfectioneryManufacturingAquacultureAgricultureForestryFishingSupportServicesProcessedSeafoodManufacturingDairyProductManufacturingPoultryOtherLivestockOtherFoodProductManufacturingBakeryProductManufacturingMeatMeatProductManufacturingOtherAgriculturefruitvegetcSheepGrainsBeefDairyCattleNumberofJobsJobsbyFoodIndustries2011MidNorthCoastPoweredbyREMPLAN.1.JobnumbersABS2011AllotherguresABSNationalInput-OutputtableandABSJune2013GrossStateProductNSWNoteFoodindustrygureshavebeencalculatedbytotallingtheFoodBeverageManuacturingAgricultureandFishingsectors.eConoMICsnapshot5 WeveallheardoreerangeeggsbutisthereamarketorreerangemeatIyouaskSandraBannermanoMayeldFarmtheanswerisDenitelySiblingsIanandSandraBannermanpurchasedMayeldFarmbackinOctober2003.The350acrepropertyissituatedonthewesternedgeotheDorrigoplateauanarearenownedoritsreliablerainallandmildsummersmakingitidealorgrazinglivestock.OurinterestinreerangechemicalreearmingstemmedromadesiretoproducesaecleanoodorourselvesSandrasays.Thepigsollowedaterresearchintoreerangeporkproduction.MayeldFarmproducesavarietyoreerangemeatsandeggsbutporkistheirprimaryproduct.Theyselltheirgourmetproduceatthearmgateandthroughlocalindependentsupermarketsspecialtyshopsandgrowersmarkets.Theydontuseanychemicalertilisersherbicidesorpesticidesonthearm.Insteadtheirpigsarerotatedbetween12diferentpaddockstoassistinnutritionandthecontrolopests.RotatinglivestockonaregularbasismightbelabourintensivebutaccordingtoSandrathisextracaretranslatesintoahappieranimalandabetterendproduct.Ourcustomersconsistopeoplewhoareveryconcernedaboutwhattheyareeatingandhowouranimalsaregrownandtreated.Itisgreattohaverepeatcustomerswhocomeandtellyouthatwhattheypurchasedlasttimewasthebestthattheyhaveevertasted.SandraandIanaresopassionateaboutgoodanimalhusbandrythattheytookthestepobecomingHumaneChoiceaccredited.AccordingtoSandratheextraeforthasbecomearealsellingpoint.Alotoourcustomershadgivenupeatingporkduetoindustrialarmingpractices.Theywanttoknowthattheanimalshavehadawonderuloutdoorlieandhavebeenabletopractisetheirnormalbehaviours.Inmarketingourownproduceweneededtobeabletoassurethepublicthatouranimalsarekeptandcaredorinthebestpossiblemanner.ProteinMayfIeldfarM customerswhoincreasinglywanttounderstandtheprovenanceotheirprotein.ThesecustomersincludemanyprestigiousoodoutletsinSydneyBrisbaneMelbourneAdelaideandtheACT.WhilesomeotheproductissoldlocallyalotissentintoSydneyeachweekwheretheysupplysomeothecitysbestspecialtybutchersandrestaurants.AcoupleoyearsbackRockpoolRestaurantinSydneyhostedsomeseriouslyamousoverseasChesoraundraiserandtheywereusingourproductHaydenrecalls.WegoteedbackromThomasKellerthattheduckliverswereothebestqualityhehadseenanywhere.Thatmadeuseelprettygood.Therollcallohattedrestaurantsandcelebritycheswhoseekouttheproduceromthisunassumingarmingcoupleisimpressive.KylieKwongdoessomethingreallyspecialwiththePekinduck.HerSzechuanduckwastheHottestDishintheHot50attheDeliciousProduceAwardslastyearHaydenremarks.ThencommentsWeseeSteanoManrediabit.Helovestouseourproductinhisrestaurantsaswell.HismostrecentcookbookItalianFoodhasbecomeaavouritewithBethinthekitchen.Butbeingamicroproducerinthereshoodmarketisntallglamourandcomeswithitsshareoanxiousmoments.Theyhaveenduredfoodsandheatwavesbothowhichimpactedtheirstock.Andpeoplearenttheonlyoneswhocravereshpoultry.WehavetoworkhardinmanagingpredationbywilddogsandoxesHaydensays.Withanationalparkonourboundaryweseedingoescomingandgoingtoorequently.Despitethechallengesthebusinessisorgingaheadandlookingatnewopportunities.Inrecenttimesvalueaddedlinessuchasduckatrillettesandpthavebecomecommercialrealities.ButHaydenbelievesthebestisyettocome.Weseesignicantcapacitytoexpandnotonlytheexistingoutputbutdiversiyingintoothernichelineshesays.WehaveavisionorthearmcateringtooodtrailtourismcoupledwithaChesTablediningexperience.Clientscouldcomeandappreciateauniquepaddock-to-plateexperience.Travel30minutesnorthoKempseythenturnotowardsStuartsPointandyoullndBurrawongGaianPoultryFarm.Burrawonghasa29yearhistoryinpoultry.ThearmwasoriginallydevelopedtobreedcommercialquantitiesoquailbutinApril2012itwaspurchasedbyHaydenandBethMcMillanwhoatthetimewereoperatingGaianPoultryandGameatKundabung.HencethenameBurrawongGaian.TodayBurrawongGaianPoultryFarmproducesandmarketschemicalreeHumaneChoiceaccreditedpasture-raisedmeatchickensducksgeeseguineaowlandduckeggs.InadditiontoHaydenandBeththearmemploysaulltimetraineeandsixcasualsta.OurproductionmodeliswhatsetsusapartromotherreerangeoperationsHaydensays.Beingpastureraisedourbirdsaremovedasafockwiththeirshelterseedersandwatertonewgroundeveryewdays.Inthiswaytheyaregrownoutonreshgrass.Havingaprocessingacilityonsiteisanadvantageastheanimalscanbecaughtanddispatchedwithaminimumlevelostress.Thearmalsoprovidesaservicetothelocalcommunityinprocessingbirdsorothersmallproducers.BurrawongGaianprocessabout32000chickensayearandaroundhalthatnumberinducks.Dressedweightsequatetoaround50000kgochickensand30000kgoducks.Themildcoastalclimatethearmenjoysisanessentialelementosuccess.WerelyonthenaturalcoolingeectotheseabreezeinsummerandtherelativewarmthothemildwintertogetourbirdsoutonpastureHaydenexplains.AskHaydenandBethandtheylltellyoutheyreveryproudotheirpaddock-to-platephilosophy.Theaverageconsumerdoesntotenknowhowtheirmeatwasraisedwhatitwasedwhatethicalstandardswereappliedtohusbandry.SinceyouarewhatyoueatitmadesensetoustohavethisinormationreadilyavailabletoourBurrawonggaIan7 TheManningValleyiswellsuitedtoavarietyoprimebeecattle.ThemoreimprovedcountryisidealorBritishbreedswhileareasurtherromtheriverssuittropicalbreedsocattle.WinghamBeeExportshavebeenprocessingprimequalitybeesince1995whenJapanesecompanyNipponHamFoodspurchasedtheprocessingsitesatWinghamandMacksville.Withalmost400workersengagedacrossthetwositesWinghamBeeExportsisanimportantpartothelocaleconomy.GrantColemanGeneralManageroWinghamBeeExportsisullopraiseorhismanysta.Mostoouremployeesareinvolvedinprocessingmeatthroughthevariousstageswithmanyperormingveryskilledworksimilartoqualiedbutchers.Thequantityomeattheysendtomarketisimpressive.LastyearaloneWinghamBeeExportsprocessedover40millionkilosobee.ThevastmajoritycomesromgrassedBritishbreedcattlewellknownortheirpredispositiontoqualitymarbling.AllthebeetheyprocessishormonereeandcomeswithMeatStandardsAustraliaMSAgradingtogetherwithatendernessguaranteedsystemthatlabelsbeeandprovidesrecommendedcookingmethods.AccordingtoGrantthemosttenderandavoursomemeatoallhailsromtheertileManningValleyanditssurrounds.WearemostproudothecattlewecansourcelocallyromthehinterlandsotheManningValleyareaandneighbouringHunterValleyandNewEnglandtablelands.Wemaybealittleprejudicedbutwebelievethiscattlestandsupbestatthetable.Allprejudiceasidethecompanycastsawidenetinprocuringtopqualityattenedcattleorinternationalanddomesticmarkets.Thisispredominantlygrass-edcattleromtheNSWWesternandSouthernslopes.Thecompanyexports70oitsproducttoJapanUSAEuropeChinaandSouthEastAsia.TheremainderissoldtotheAustraliandomesticmarketwhichincludeslocalbutchersrestaurantssupermarketchainsandMcDonalds.ButperhapsournestmomentwaswhenBuckinghamPalaceproudlyservedourWinghamBeeExportsprimebeetenderloinsatanofcialbanquethostedbytheQueen.ItseemstheworldjustcantgetenoughoAustralianbee.Asconsumersdemandtoknowmoreaboutwheretheiroodcomesromandhowitisraisedourlocalcattlearmerscanholdtheirheadshigh.TheMidNorthCoastregioncanprovidecattleohighqualitygrasspasturesprovidingaproductthatisethicallyraisedwithmoisttenderandavoursomeeatingquality.AroundtheworldAustralianbeehasearnedareputationobeingcleanandgreenwhichgivesAussieproducersacompetitiveadvantage.OurpremiumbrandManningValleyNaturallytsthebillandisbecominginternationallyrecognisedasabrandthatdeliversahealthynediningchoiceGrantsaysproudly.TheprideintheirproductisveryevidentandGrantisquicktopointoutthatWinghamBeeExportshaswonmanyprestigiousawardsatastateandnationalleveloritsMSAbrandedbee.SavingthebesttilllastheaddsButperhapsournestmomentwaswhenBuckinghamPalaceproudlyservedourWinghamBeeExportsprimebeetenderloinsatanofcialbanquethostedbytheQueen.wInghaMBeefexports MaCleayValleyraBBItsMacleayValleyRabbitsisaamilyownedbusinessthatwasestablishedin1996byJohnandMargaretJames.Originallywewerelookingoranalternative.MyhusbandwasabuilderandwasworkingawayromhomeMargaretrecalls.HejustsaidonedayontheverandaHowaboutwearmrabbitsItstartedromthere.Whatbeganasaverysmalloperationwithjust30breedingrabbitsisnowAustraliaspremierproduceroarmedrabbits.Thearmemploysourulltimestaanduptoourcasualsattheiron-siteprocessingacility.Ourarmcouldntsupplythedemandthatwehadorthemarketsothenwewerebuyinginromotherarmersandstillhavingthemprocessedo-site.Thentheprocessingeesjustkeptgettingmoreandmoresowedecidedtobitethebulletandinvestthemoneyandwebuiltourownplant.Todaytheyrun800breedersandproducearound600rabbitsorsaleeachweek.Theyalsoprocessaround15000wildrabbitsperyear.Margaretsaysthedemandorbothproductsstillarexceedstheamounttheycansupply.TheirrabbitmeathasbeensoughtafterbytopchefsaroundthecountryandwastwicefeaturedinthehitTVseriesMasterChefAustralia.Whatwasonceconsideredacheapandcheerulproteinhasbecomeasoughtatergourmetmeat.Rabbithasthehighestproteinandthelowestcholesteroloanymeatmakingitanidealchoiceortodayshealthconsciousconsumer.TherelativelymildclimateotheMacleayValleyisconducivetorabbitarmingwhichrequirestemperaturesbetween-5cto28c.Theirrabbitsarehousedintemperaturecontrolledshedstoensurethistemperaturerangeismaintainedthroughouttheyear.AspecialbreedingprogramandcrossingothreecommercialrabbitvarietieshasgivenMacleayValleyRabbitsagreaterresistancetodisease.Italsoensuresatopqualitymeatrabbitwithaconsistentsizeandguaranteedtenderness.Thegrainpelletstheyusearehormoneandpreservativereeandnochemicalsareusedintheprocessing.MostotheirproduceissoldtowholesalersinSydneyBrisbaneandMelbourneandspecialtybutchersinSydney.TheyalsosellrabbitpeltstotheAkubraHatsactoryinKempsey.PraisedortheirintenseavourandtendereshtheirrabbitmeathasbeensoughtaterbytopchesaroundthecountryandwastwiceeaturedinthehitTVseriesMasterCheAustralia.CelebritycheLukeMangandescribestheirrabbitmeatasFantastic.Itsgotwonderulavoursitsoneomyavouritemeats.Wesellbucketloadsothis.ForacoupleohumbleMacleayarmerstheaccoladesareseeminglyendlessinductedintoSydneyMagazinesFoodHalloFameaGoldMedalinABCsDeliciousproduceawardsthreeyearsrunningandhighlycommendedintheVogueEntertainingandTravelProduceAwards.Notthatitsallcomeeasily.ThebusinesshashaditsshareoanxiousmomentsovertheyearsbutunliketheirrabbitmeatJohnandMargaretareprettytough.Wehavehadsomedifculttimeswiththecaliciviruswhereweoncelostallbut100oourbreedingstocktothedisease.Hardtorecoverromthatbutwedid.OurthankstoABCsLandlineortheircontributiontothisstory.9 DairyBeverages AteraninitialtrialinMarchNorcoisnowexportingabout16000litresomilkaweekandthedemandisgrowing.TheChineseconsumersareveryhealthconsciousandknowledgeableandperhapssomewhatwaryotheirdomesticmilkquality.WithNorcosprovencapabilitytoexportreshmilktoChinacoupledwiththeregionscleangreenreputationNorcocancapitaliseonthisandcreateasignicantnewmarketovertime.Norcobelievesthepipelinehasthecapacitytodelivermorethan20millionlitresoreshmilktoconsumersinChinawithintherst12monthsooperation.MarkisquicktopointoutthatwhileChineseconsumersmaybepayingasmuchas8alitreortheirmilknotallothismoneyendsupinAustralianhands.TherearealotocostsandprocessesassociatedwithexportingreshmilkbyairtotheChinesemarket.NorcodoesplaceapremiumonthemilksoldintotheexportmarketbutatthemomentourquantitiesoexportmilkasapercentageoouroverallmilksalesisquitesmallsothereislittleimpactonthepricepaidtoNorcosarmersMarksays.Howeverthecompanyhopesthatintheutureasoreignexportsincreasethesesaleswilldrivebetterpricesorourlocaldairyarmers.ThisisbynomeansNorcosrstattemptatexport.InthepastNorcohassoldicecreamtoJapanandwearenowexportingicecreamtoChina.TherehasalsobeenavarietyodairyproductsinsmallquantitiessenttoThePhilippines.Thereactiontoalloourproductsisoverwhelminglypositive.NorcoCo-operativeLtdwasrstestablishedin1895asacentralcreameryequippedwithamechanicalseparatorandrerigerationplantthatwouldallowdairyarmerstoaccessbetterpricesbyworkingtogether.SincethoseearlydaysAustraliasdairyindustryhasseenalotoadvancementbutaccordingtoMarkMyersCompanySecretaryoNorcotheco-operativemodelisasimportanttotheirdairyarmerstodayasitwasbackthen.Thisprincipleoco-operationhasstoodthetestotimeandNorcohasstayedtruetoitsrootsMarksays.TheRaleighmilkactorynearBellingenisoneotwomilkactoriesrunbyNorcotheotherislocatedatLabradorinsoutheastQLD.TheRaleighactoryisdedicatedtomakingdairybasedproductssuchastherangeoNorcobrandedwhitemilksavouredmilkscreamsourcreamandcustard.Theactoryproducesastaggering41millionlitresobottledmilkeveryyear.Currently66dairyarmssupplymilktoNorcosRaleighactory.ThesearmsarespreadacrosstheMidNorthCoastromTareeandGloucesteruptoCosHarbour.OuraimwiththeRaleighandLabradormilkactoriesistoensurethatconsumersallovertheeastcoastoAustraliahavereshdrinkingmilk365daysayear.ThatocusonsupplyingAussieswithreshdairyproductshasalwaysbeenatthecentreoNorcosphilosophybutanincreasinglyglobaleconomyhasopenedupopportunitiestoobigtoignore.InApril2014NorcomadeanannouncementtheyhadbegunyingreshmilkdirecttoShanghaiinChina.Previousattemptsatexporthadbeenhamperedbylengthytestingandquarantineprocedurestotallyunsuitabletoreshmilk.ThenabreakthroughcamewhenNorcosexportersandChineseofcialsnegotiatedspecialqualityassuranceprotocolstoaccommodatetheshortshellieoreshmilk.norCoNeilHudsonRaleighfactorymanagerwithNorcoexportmilk11 In1864ayoungEnglishimmigrantnamedGeorgeSaxbyestablishedanaerateddrinksactoryinthetownoTaree.Tareehadlessthan150peoplewhenGeorgeSaxbyarrived.BackthenSaxbysStoneGingerBeerwaspackagedinceramicbottleslledandcorkedbyhandanddeliveredinwheelbarrows.150yearsonandthethgenerationodescendantsoGeorgeSaxbystillownandruntheSaxbysSotDrinksactoryinTaree.IanTurneristhecurrentCEOandadirectdescendant.MygreatgreatgrandatherwasGeorgeSaxbytheounderoSaxbysSotDrinksin1864.IhaveworkedatSaxbyssince1972asaschoolboy.SaxbysisAustraliasoldestamilyownedsotdrinkmanuacturer.Theyemploy60peopleattheiracilitywhichoperatesrom5amto9pmduringsummerscalingbacktoasingleshitduringthewintermonths.Theactoryoperatesasingleproductionlinewhichproducesupto20millionbottlesosotdrinkperyear.OurequipmentislowercapacitythanthemajorplayerswhichhelpsustobalancecapitalcostsversuslabourcostsIanexplains.Asmallerlinemeanswecanaordtoexplorenewpackagingormatswithouthugesetupcosts.BeingaregionaloperationreightisamajorcostactorbutIanbelievesthisisosetbylowerlandcostsandamorecosteectiveandstableworkorce.Saxbysproducesitsownbrandsotraditionalfavoursaswellascontractpackingorothers.Inrecentyearstheyhaveaddedsomenewstylessuchasgingerlimeandbittersgingerandpineapplegingerandcranberryandunseasonalstylesliketoeeapplesnazzberryandgrape.TodaySaxbysproductscanbeoundnationallyinleadingsupermarketsandviaawidedistributornetworkacrosstheeasternseaboard.ButIantellsusthemostcommonproblemtheystillaceisavailability.MygreatgreatgrandfatherwasGeorgeSaxbythefounderofSaxbysSoftDrinksin1864.Manypeopleareaskingwheretheycanbuyourproductsnearthem.Wearecontinuallylookingorqualitydistributorsthroughoutthecountryandadditionalgrocerylistingswhicharehardtond.ThesotdrinkindustryisamousoritslargemultinationalcompetitorswhichbegsthequestionhowdoesaregionalmanuacturermanagetostaycompetitiveorsolongFortunatelythemajorplayerslikemakingmoneywhichleavesabitoroomorustocompeteIanreplies.Iamsuretheycouldsquashanycompetitoronpriceitheywantedto.Ianremainsstoicintheaceotheseglobalgiants.Oneothemajorsistryingthistacticatthemoment.Wewillrideoutthestormwhilecontinuingtoocusonthestrengthoourbusiness.Itseemsoneotheadvantagesohavingbeenaroundor150yearsisthatyouarenteasilyspooked.Onthatsubjectbackin1964aamouszzybrowndrinkscompanyromtheUnitedStatesapproachedIansgrandatherRoySaxbywantingtousetheactorytobottletheirownproductsunderaranchiseagreement.AsthestorygoesRoythoughtaboutitoraewminutesandthendeclined.saxByssoftdrInks nestlsMIthtownThepicturesqueMacleayValleyhasaclaimtoAustralianolklorethatewpeoplelivingoutsidetheareawouldknowabout.MILOwasrstmanuacturedherein1934ataNestlactoryinthetownoSmithtownthatstilloperatestothisday.Nestlesrstboughttheactoryin1921.Ithadbeenadairyco-opcentreormanyyearslocatedontheMacleayRiversotheboatscoulddelivermilkromthedairyarmseverymorning.AtthetimethesiteproducedanumberocondensedanddriedmilkproductsuntilMILObecameitsmajorproduct.Intheearly1930sanewchallengehadarisentheGreatDepressionmadeithardormanyAustralianamiliestoprovideadequatenutritiontotheirchildren.InresponseNestldecidedtoproduceahealthtonicdrinkthatwouldgivechildrenthevitaminsandmineralstheyneededandstilltastegoodenoughthatchildrenwoulddrinkit.ButithadtobemadewithwhatwealreadyhadsaysLukeFisherFactoryManagerattheNestlSmithtownactory.IngredientslikemaltedbarleyandreshmilkromSmithtownandcocoaromNestlschocolateactoryinSydney.ThechallengeelltoayoungtraineechemicalengineernamedTomMaynewhospentouryearsworkingonthehealthdrink.Blendingcocoaandmaltedbarleyintoadriedhealthoodwasnteasy.TheextravitaminsandmineralsthatarepartoMILOhadtoinstantlymixinwhenstirrednotjustalltothebottomotheglass.Workingouthowtogrindthemnerthantalcumpowdertookyears.Finallyin1934NestlcannedtherstbatchoMILOatSmithtownjust480kilogramsontherstday.Todaywedmakethatin20minutesLuketellsus.EightyyearsonandMILOisaglobalbrandmadein40countriesandsoldinmorethanahundred.ButtheNestlactoryatSmithtownwhereitallbeganstillproudlyproducestheMILOwedrinkinAustraliaaswellasexportingtoNewZealand.TheSmithtownactoryalsoproducesarangeootherpopularNestlproductsmostrecentlythenewNESCAFCaMenurange.Aroundhalotherawmaterialsusedattheactoryarestillsourcedlocallyincludingbarleyricesugarandmilkpowder.Astronglocalemploymentpoolandalong-standinghistoryosupportromthelocalcommunityaretwokeyreasonsorthesitesongoingsuccess.Typicallywendthatouremployeesstayoralongtime.Averagetenurecurrentlysitsat13.5yearshowevertherearemanymembersotheSmithtownQuarterCenturyClubandanumberoemployeeswhohaveworkedatthesiteor40years.InactoneotheirBoilerOperatorshasjustcelebrated50yearsoservicewithNestlSmithtown.Therearenttoomanycompaniestodaythatcanboastthatkindostaloyalty.Situatedmid-waybetweenkeytransporthubsinSydneyandBrisbaneandwithcloseproximitytoamajorhighwaythesiteisascommerciallyimportanttodayasitwasin1921.SomuchsothatNestlhasembarkedonamajorupgradeotheSmithtownactorywhichwillofciallyopeninNovember2014.TheopeningwillmarkthecompletionoaprojecttobroadentheactorysproductioncapabilityandimproveefcienciesinthemanuactureotheirCaMenuandotherproducts.ButnoamountoexpansioncouldeverovershadowtheactorysrichhistoryastheheartandhomeoMILO.13 Horticulture theorganICMarketIngCoMpanyTheMidNorthCoastprovidesanidealenvironmentorproducingavarietyoorganicproduceincludingmeatsvegetablesnutscitrusandsub-tropicalruits.OrganicproduceisoneotheastestgrowingsegmentsotheoodindustryontheMidNorthCoastandTheOrganicMarketingCompanyhasbeenoperatinginthisspaceorthepast7years.TheOrganicMarketingCompanywasestablishedtoenhancethemarketingopportunitiesolocalorganicarmers.Itnowrepresents68growersmostowhomresideontheMidNorthCoast.TheCompanysuppliesawiderangeocertiedorganicproducetoorganicretailstoresinterstatewholesalemarketsanddirectstoresales.TomHackettChairmanoTheOrganicMarketingCompanyexplainsthatthewordorganicdoesntreertotheooditselbuthowitisproduced.Organicarmingmethodsrequirecropsandanimalstobegrownwithoutanyarticialchemicals.Thismeansnotusingpesticidesinsecticidesherbicideshormonesoranyarticialgrowthpromotants.Therearenocagesorlivestockinsteadanimalsrangeasreelyaspossible.Thisorganicmethodoarminghasbeenwidelylinkedtoavarietyohealthbenetsortheendconsumerandtolongtermarmlandsustainability.Howevertheconceptoorganicmaymeandiferentthingstodiferentpeoplesostandardsareneeded.InAustraliaaproducerwhogrowsandmarketsorganicoodcanchooseromeightindependentcertiyingorganisationstoveriythattheiroodsaregenuinelyorganic.Inmostcasesorganicarmingisnomoreriskythanconventionalarmingmethodsthoughitisotenmoretimeconsumingparticularlyinareaslikeweedcontrol.Buttheextraworkinvolvedisusuallyofsetbyhigherreturnsatmarket.TombelievestheMidNorthCoastregionsmildclimateandgoodrainallisthereasonortheconcentrationoorganicgrowers.Tomshouldknowheisoneothem.HisKiwiDownUnderOrganicarmgrowsarangeocertiedorganicproducebuttheirsignaturecropisavarietyokiwiruitcalledDeliciousDextermarketedastheworldssweetestkiwiruit.TomandMargueritemovedtotheirarmbackin1982whentheyplantedtheirrstkiwiruitvines.Theysoonbecamedissatisedwithconventionalmethodsoarmingandstartedtoinvestigatealternatives.TheirinnovativeapproachtoarminghasbirthedsomeclevermarketingideasovertheyearsperhapsoneothereasonsTomnowheadsupTheOrganicMarketingCompany.Oneexamplewasthemarketingotheirunder-sizedkiwiruit.TheHackettsrecognisedthatthesekiwiruitweregoodqualitybuttoosmallormarketrequirements.Sotheydevelopeda500gpunnetosmallkiwiruitperectorschoollunchboxesandnamedthemPiwiruit.Inthiswaytheyturnedalossintoapremiumproduct.ItisgrowerslikeTomandMargueritewhoarethebackboneotheorganicindustryontheMidNorthCoastanindustrythatisseeingagrowingdemandoritsproduce.AsorTheOrganicMarketingCompanytheyarenowlookingtoestablishapackhousewithvalueaddingacilitieswhichhasthepotentialtodoubletheirturnover.Exportingisanothermajorocusandtheyareworkingwithgrowerstoprovideaconsistenthighqualityproductpackagedoroverseasmarkets.ThedemandororganicproduceisincreasinginthatmoststoresareplanningtohaveorhaveanestablishedsectionintheirproducethroughouttheirrangeTomsays.Thisisespeciallyevidentinlargesupermarketswherevalueaddedpre-packedorganicproduceisavailabledaily.Thismeansorganicproduceisnowmorecommonintheaveragehousehold.Asconsumersbothdomesticandinternationalbecomeincreasinglyinquisitiveabouttheoriginsotheiroodorganicarminglookstobeasustainablechoicenotonlyenvironmentallybutalsocommercially.15 PhotographyLindsayMollerOurthankstoSusieBoswellforassistancewiththisstory.WehavetriedtobringthecustomertothefarmnotsendthefarmtothecustomerAnthonysays.Assuchweeliminatethedownstreamcostssowecanpassalittleontothecustomerandkeepalittleforthefarmer.Everyonewins. AewminutesdrivenorthoPortMacquarieintheruralhamletoBlackmansPointyoullndRicardoesTomatoesandStrawberries.Thearmisimpossibletomiss.Archedgreenhouses80mlongsurroundarusticarmgateshopandca.Sinceitsopeningin2001RicardoesTomatoesandStrawberrieshasbecomealocalinstitution.ThearmisaamilybusinessownedbybrothersAnthonyandRichardSarks.RicardoisanicknameorRichardanditsalsoreminiscentotheItalianmarketgardenerswhocametoAustraliainbignumbershalacenturyagoAnthonyexplains.WestartedoutgrowingonlytomatoessoRicardoesTomatoesseemedtowork.Theinsideotheacilityisevenmoreimpressive.Tensothousandso3mtalltomatovinesgrowromhydroponictubesedbyanutrientrichmixcalculatedtoproduceoptimumresults.Acomputercontrolsthepreciseamountsoeedwaterlighthumidityandheatneededorpeakqualityandproduction.ThishightechoperationdedicatedtothehumbletomatomakestheRicardoesstoryallthemoreappealing.AccordingtoAnthonyaqualiedagriculturalscientistthegreenhouseproductionprovidesmuchgreatercontroloverthegrowingenvironment.Italsokeepsateamoarmhandsbusyyearround.Everydayleavesareexaminedunderamicroscopetoensuretheyrepest-ree.Stafworkalongtherowsospiringvinespickingtheruitasitripens.FromthereitishandsortedandpackagedinRicardoessignaturerednetsackswhichallowtheproducttobreatheextendingitsshellie.MostotheirsalescomeromthearmgatethoughRicardoesalsosuppliesaround30shopsromCofsHarbourtoForsterandasarwestasWalcha.ButNObiggersupermarketsAnthonyinsists.Insteadthebusinessleansheavilyonitsarmgatephilosophy.WehavetriedtobringthecustomertothearmnotsendthearmtothecustomerAnthonysays.Assuchweeliminatethedownstreamcostssowecanpassalittleontothecustomerandkeepalittleorthearmer.Everyonewins.Theloyaltyromthecommunitiestheysupplyiswellestablished.RedplasticnetslledwithglowingredtomatoesareaamiliarsiteingreengrocerscasandbutchersacrosstheMidNorthCoastandparticularlyaroundPortMacquarie.Balancingthebrotherswillingnesstoembraceinnovationisanequalenthusiasmoroodtourism.Oneotheirmaintouristdrawcardsisauniquestrawberrypickingexperience.Typicalotheirgrowingphilosophyitisalessoninagriculturalengineering.Visitorsmeanderthroughamazeoverticalgardenswithstrawberriesgrowingoutoirrigatedwhitetubesbeneathatoweringgreenhousedome.WecallitSeeTouchTasteAnthonysays.Withsomuchawarenessoenvironmentalissuesthesedaysitsagreatback-to-natureexperience.InmorerecenttimesRicardoeshasexpandedintoarangeonoveltylettucesaladandAsiangreens.Theyalsosellaround20valueaddedpreservesandstockawidevarietyootherlocalproductsattheirarmgateshopandcountrycaCaeRed.Itsasignicantachievementthoughithasntcomeeasy.AccordingtoAnthonyTheresnosuchthingassmoothsailinginsmallbusiness.Hebelievesalotohardworkariendlycreditunionandpersistencehavebeenimportantactorstosuccess.Thatandalwaysbeingwillingtolearn.Wehavebeengoing11yearsandwearestilllearningabouttomatoesheremarks.Wereveryproudothewholeconceptowhatwearedoing-bringingthecustomertothearm.Wegivevisitorsmorethanonereasonthevisitthearmourcastrawberrypickingtomatoeslocalproductsandreearmtourareallpartotheexperience.rICardoestoMatoesstrawBerrIes17 theirexperiencegrowingbananas.IyourewonderingwhatalltheussisaboutconsiderthatthisnancialyearaloneOzBerriesexpecttosellover14millionpunnetsoblueberries.Thatsaturnoveroaround50million.FarromafeetingruitadKamaldeepishighlyoptimisticabouttheutureothelocalindustry.Wehaveseengrowthoabout30eachyearsince2001andexpecttoseethiscontinueorthenext5yearsatleast.Iwecanopenupexportmarketswecouldseethisgrowthcontinueoralotlongerthanthat.ThesecrettothegrowerssuccessistheCosCoastsvariedmicro-climateswhichprovideperectyearroundgrowingconditionsorblueberries.TraditionallyblueberriesareharvestedinasummerseasonthatlastsromDecemberuntilApril.TheCosCoastistheonlyplaceintheworldwhereblueberriesareharvested12monthsotheyear.Theclimateisrelativelyrost-reebutithasenoughchillactortopromotefoweringandruitingKamaldeepsays.Thesummerhereisalsonottoohottodamagetheruit.Withallthedierentvarietiesandgrowingtechniquesavailableaswellasthemanydierentmicro-climatesotheCosCoastthisallowsustoproduceyear-round.Currently80otheirblueberrycropissoldtothebigsupermarketchainsandtherestissoldthroughthecentralmarkets.Althoughthereareimpressivereturnsblueberriesareademandingcropthatneedstobemonitoreddailyandthecostsoestablishmentarehighwithorchardnettingandirrigationessential.Andthentheresthelabourcost.Eachblueberryishandpickedandneedsconstantrerigerationuntilitreachesthesupermarketchiller.Kamaldeepalsosayslocalgrowershavevoicedconcernsoverlabourshortagesorbothskilledandunskilledworkers.Eachseasonthereisascrambletondreliablepickinglabour.DespitethechallengesandwhetheryoureaanoblueberriesorobananasmostwouldagreetheletterBhasbeenagoodoneorruitgrowersontheCosCoast.IyouvedriventhroughtheCosHarbourregioninrecentyearsyoumighthavenoticedachangeinthelandscape.ManyothoseundulatinggreenhillsoncecoveredwithleaybananatreesarenowcloakedinneatwhitenetsasgrowersswitchtoanewcropthatisquicklyreplacingthebananaastheCosCoastsclaimtoame.Currently80otheblueberriesweeatinAustraliaaregrownontheCosCoastmakingitthenationsundisputedblueberrycapital.Itsbeenlabelledablueberryboom.Thebananaindustrystartedtodeclineinthe1990sasover-productioninNorthernQLDmadeitunprotableormanygrowers.Atthetimeanumberolocalarmerssoldupbutothersmadethedecisiontodiversiyintoothercrops.TheOzBerriesCo-opwasormedin2001byourgrowerswhowantedtopackandmarketblueberriestogether.TodayOzBerriesconsistso85growersspreadacrosstheCosCoastromBonvilletoHalwayCreek.OzBerriesoperatesallyearroundasacentralisedpackinghouseemploying25stainthelowseasonandover100atitspeak.MostotheirgrowersarepartoatightlyknitIndianSikhcommunitybasedaroundthetownoWoolgoolgaabout20minutesnorthoCosHarbour.KamaldeepSinghClairistheheadotheOzBerriesGroup.Wehavethreehandpackinglinesandtwomachinepackinglinesspreadovertwoadjacentsheds.Wealsohaveanin-housecartonerectingmachineaswellasaertiliserandchemicalwarehouseorourgrowerswithassociatedstoragespreadoveraurtherourindustrialsheds.TherearebigadvantagesingrowerspackingandmarketingtogetherundertheOzBerriesbanner.Theycanoercustomerslonglinesoqualityruitthroughouttheyearwhichallowsthemtobepricesettersratherthanpricetakers.InthatrespectgrowerssaytheyhavelearntromozBerrIes FoodFactsBlueberrieshavebeenlabelledasuperoodhighinbreandvitaminswithveryhighlevelsoantioxidants.Theyhaveanti-infammatorypropertiesandareeectiveatloweringcholesterol.Researchhassuggestedthatblueberriescouldhelptoprotectagainstarangeomedicalconditionsincludingheartdiseasestrokedementiaanddiabetes.Thelongerblueberriesareletonthebushthemoretheirhealthypropertiesdevelop.TherstblueberriesontheCosCoastwereplantedbytheJohnsonamilyintheearly1980sandthisoriginalCorindisiteremainsoperationaltoday.Theextrasupplyoverthesummermonthsbringspricesdownandmakesblueberriesmoreaordableortheaverageamily.Duringpeakharvestingtimesasmanyas3000CosCoastlocalsareemployedintheindustry.0102030405060708090BlueberriesAvocadosKiwifruitDeerBananasDairyCattleMidNorthCoastofNationalProduction19 laBourskIllsneedsA2014surveyoregionaloodgrowersbyNorthCoastTAFEhasidentiedareasolabourandskillsneedwithinfouroftheNorthCoastsmostprominenthorticulturalindustriesblueberriesbananasavocadosandmacadamias.Thegraphicbelowshowssomeothechallengesidentiedwithinthestudybothcrop-specicandthosewhicharecommontoallormostcrops.OurthankstoTonyMcGowanandNorthCoastTAFEorthisinormation.LabourshortagesatpeakharvestseasonLossoskillsduetohighchurnHRAwardspaperworkHugejumpinsupplyBlueberriesFindingnewmarketsFindingnewproductsandnichesFruithandlingDiversicationtoothercropsBananasValue-addingExportMachineryoperationandmaintenanceMacadamiasLackoskilledstafinareassuchasworkingwithheightsmachinerymaintenanceandpruningAvocadosCoMMonIssuesAgronomyover-useoertilisersMarketingbrandingandsocialmediaRaisingproductivityOrganicoptionsCleangreenenvironmentalissuesSharingomachineryandlabouraddingvalueSurveyFindingsLabourneedsarecrop-specicwithblueberryarmersacingthegreatestdemandorharvestinglabourandmacadamiaarmerstheleast.Thereishealthydemandacrossallsectorsorskilledandsemi-skilledworkers.Blueberriesandbananasarelargelycounter-seasonaltoavocadosandmacadamiassothisrequirementisrelativelyconsistentyearround.Althougharmersarecomortableusingbackpackersandotherlabourtypesthereisinterestinasharedlabourpoolosemi-skilledlocalsideallyavailableonadailycontractbasis.IndustryassociationsshouldeducatetheirgrowersontheHarvestTrailandorconsidercollaboratingtocreatetheirownNorthCoastharvesttrail.Theymayalsowishtoconsiderasacollectivegrouplocalpromotiontospeciclabourtypes.e.g.Empty-nesters.Trainingogreatestinterestincludedagronomycorrectuseoertilisersorganicspestmanagementandanythingwhichpromisestoboostarmproductivityorlowerinputcosts.Themorecrop-specicthebetter. lillypillyrieberryngerlimeslemonmyrtleandaniseedmyrtle.Thequantityoproducecanvarydependingontheweatherandthebees.Inayearweproducebetween2-3tonneoDavidsonplums4tonneomacadamianuts600kgorieberryandaround200kgongerlimes.TheyalsoproduceavarietyovalueaddedproductslikengerlimemarmaladeDavidsonplumvinegarandlemonmyrtledressing.Dennissellshispreservesandcondimentsdirecttotheconsumeratthearmshopandthroughselectedretailoutletsandarmersmarkets.Therawproduceissoldtooodproducersandrestaurantstocreatetheirownbushoodoerings.OneotheseregularcustomersislocalcelebritycheClaytonDonovan.ClaytoncomesandcollectsavarietyoproducebuthedoesliketheDavidsonplum.AskDenniswhyhethinksthepopularityobushoodisontheriseandhelltellyouthatormanypeopleitsstillarsttimetasteexperience.Peopleareamazedatthefavoursoournativeoods.WestillneedtodomoretoeducatepeopleaboutournativeoodsbutwehaveincreasingnumbersoAsianpeopleshowinginterest.ValleyoftheMIstSomebushfoodproducersnearyouCosHarbourBakarindiBushFoodsNambuccaValleyoftheMistKempseyPipersCreekGrovePortMacquarieBarbushcoFoodFactsMacadamiasareAustraliasmostamousbushoodtakenandcultivatedinHawaii100yearsagoittookalongtimeorAustralianarmerstorealisetheirvalue.Nowngerlimescouldbeasimilarboon.Sellingor25kiloandupthesenativeruitarebecomingverypopularinbothdomesticandAsianmarkets.ThesecludedtownshipoTalarmintheNambuccaValleyishometoaarmcalledValleyotheMistownedbyDennisandMarilynRyan.Dennisboughtthepropertybackin1989andturneditintoabushoodsarm.NutrientrichsoilandhighrainallmakeTalarmanideallocationtogrowbushoodandeverythingonthisarmisgrownthenaturalway.WedonotusechemicalspraysbutinsteadletnaturedotheworkorusDennisexplains.Theorchardcovers6-7acrestherestisorthebirdsandanimalsasweusetheminourarmingmethodsasmuchastheyuseus.Dennisevengoesasarastoplantwhathecallssacricialtreestoattractthepestsandthenthebirdscongregatetheretoeedonthem.AsIsaytopeopleyouhavetohavethebadthingstohavethegoodthings.OnthearmDennisgrowsarangeoAustraliannativeslikemacadamianutDavidsonplumBushFoods21 OurthankstoRemyTacnredforassistancewiththisstory.Iwantpeopletoknowaboutthefoodsnativetothislandtoo.TheyarentnoveltyitemsorornamentalfoodstheyarejustasusableineverydaykitchensasanyoftheingredientsfromEuropeorAsia. ClaytondonoVanClaytonDonovanisAustraliasfrstIndigenoushattedche.HehasbuilthisreputationaroundauniqueusionotraditionalbushoodswithcontemporarycuisineandisconsideredtobebothapioneerandoneothecharactersoAustraliancooking.ButaskClaytonabouttheoriginsohissuccessandhellpointyoubacktohischildhoodmemories.WhenClaytonDonovanwasjustouryearsoldhisbelovedAuntyJesswouldtakehimoragingorbushoodsaroundtheirhomeinNambuccaHeadspassingontheknowledgethathadbeensharedthroughgenerationsoIndigenouspeople.AuntyJesswasreallyondojaaningthesapromtheblackwattletreethatiseatenasabushlollyClaytonrecalls.ShewouldalsoshowmewheretogetwildcarrotsWarrigalgreensandvariousotherthings.Backhomehismotherwouldberecreatingdishesromoneohermanycherishedinternationalcookbooksbringingtothetableoodsromallaroundtheworld.ItwasausionoculturesthatletanindeliblemarkontheyoungboyandonethatwoulddefnehiscareerasacelebratedcheandchampionoAustralianbushoods.WhenIwasyoungerIdalwaysworkedaroundoodwashingdishesatthelocalrestaurantthattypeothingsoIthoughtmaybeIcouldgotoacookingschoolandlearntobeache.ItwasasayoungapprenticechethatClaytonlearnedaboutKennethLeungheadcheatWatermarkinBalmoralwhowasintegratingtraditionalbushingredientssuchaswattleseedrosellamyrtlesandfngerlimesintoAsianandEuropeaninspireddishes.SoonClaytonwasworkingatWatermark.ThatswhenIthoughtYep.Thisisorme.ThisiswhatIwanttodo.Finallyin2008heopenedhisownrestaurantinNambuccaHeadsandnameditJaaningTreeaterthebushoodhisAuntyJesshadshownhimasaboy.TheopeningoJaaningTreeintroducedClaytontoaworldoellowbushooddevoteesthathehadntknownexisted.Fromthedayweopenedwehadallthesepeoplearrivewithboxesonativeoodstheyhadgrownthemselveswantingmetodosomethingwiththem.OnedaythisblokewalksinandsaysHiImDennisRyanandIvebeenwaitingoryouortwentyyears.DenisandhisamilyownValleyotheMistaworkingbushtuckerarmnearMacksville.Ireckonheknowsmoreaboutbushoodsthananyoneandwevebeenmatesandworkedtogethereversince.ClaytonbelievesaneedorsustainablearmingpracticesandagrowinginterestinlocalandnativeoodswillseebushoodstaketheirrightulplaceineverydaykitchensaroundAustralia.MostoushaveEuropeanspicesorThaispicesinourpantriesandweknowhowtousethem.Iwantpeopletoknowabouttheoodsnativetothislandtoo.TheyarentnoveltyitemsorornamentaloodstheyarejustasusableineverydaykitchensasanyotheingredientsromEuropeorAsia.ThisyearClaytonandhiswieJaneclosedthepermanentJaaningTreerestaurantoptinginsteadtorunpopuprestaurants.Itsgreatbecausewecancreateanevent.Wecanchooseaantasticlocationandusewhatsaroundustocreateamenu.InrecenttimesClaytonhasbeensharinghispassionorbushoodswithawideraudiencethroughhisseriesonABCWildKitchen.Theseriesshowcaseswaysolookingatandcookingwithnativeoods.Ultimatelyitstheconnectionbetweenoodlandandpeoplethatinspireshim.Therearesomanyquirkyproducersouttheredoingreallyinterestingthingssoitsgreattobeabletobringthemtopeoplesattention.23 TheNambuccaRiverisanexceptionalenvironmentorgrowingSydneyRockOystersduetoahealthycatchmentsystemthatsupportsgoodgrowthsurvivalconditionandtaste.SydneyRockOystersareonlyoundontheEastCoastoAustraliaandoystersromtheMidNorthCoastregionareamongstthebestinAustralia.PrimeWaterOystersisanewoysterarmwithbigideas.ThearmislocatedinagrowingareaknownasMiddleNambuccasituatedmidwaybetweenthetownshipsoNambuccaHeadsandMacksville.Itcurrentlyholds600000oystersuptohalowhichareharvestedeachseason.OwnersMattWassnigandRobHemsworthworkedasAquacultureScientistspriortoenteringtheoysterindustry.OysterarmingwasattractivetousorseveralreasonsincludingagreatproductrewardingliestyleandtheopportunityorinnovationMattsays.ItisthiscommitmenttoinnovationthatsetsPrimeWaterOystersapart.TheyplantoworkwiththeNationalMarineScienceCentreNMSCinCofsHarbourtoresearchandbreedoysterlarvae.Theprojectwillseektounderstandhowoysterlarvaereacttovariousenvironmentalpressuressuchasachangingclimateandincreasedagriculturewithinourrivercatchments.Thisresearchwillhelptooutlinetheneedormorehatcherycultureandmaybeusedtoidentiysuitablelocationsoremerginghatcheryandnurseryoperations.FollowingthisstudyPrimeWaterOystersaimstoopenacommercialhatcherytoaddressthedemandoroysterswithsuperiorgrowthcharacteristicsanddiseaseresistance.TherststepinthisprojectistodemonstratethecapabilitytobreedlarvaeattheNMSCacility.Wehopetoachievethisbeoretheendo2014.AquacultureprIMewateroysters natIonalMarInesCIenCeCentreYoucanthaveinnovationwithouttherightinformation.SouthernCrossUniversitysNationalMarineScienceCentreNMSCinCosHarbourisalocalhuboscienticresearchorouraquacultureindustry.TheNMSChasbeeninvolvedincommercialaquacultureresearchsince2007whenitreceivedaFederalGovernmentgranttoexpandtheacility.Itnowboastsamulti-specieshatcherywherebreedingandresearchisconductedonavarietyomarinespeciesandseaweeds.TheNMSChouses20staandhasapproximately20postgraduatestudentsundertakingresearchprojectsatanyonetime.DrKenCowdenistheAquacultureOperationsManagerattheNMSC.ThelocationotheNMSCadjacenttotheSolitaryIslandsMarineParkisuniqueinthatitsupportsanenormousdiversityomarinelieowingtotheconfuenceotropicalandtemperatewatercurrents.Thisallowsresearcherstogrowandstudyavastrangeomarinespecies.Onesuchspeciesistheseaurchin.WhilevirtuallyunknowninAustraliancuisineedibleseaurchinsarehighlyprizedinJapanChinaandKorea.TheparticularseaurchinthatwearegrowingisaspeciesthatisalsonativetoJapanandhasreceivedthethumbsupromJapaneseseaoodimportersKensays.CurrentlymostotheseaurchinmarketissuppliedbywildcaughtanimalsbutthissupplyisdiminishingwhilethedemandinAsiacontinuestogrow.ElsewherecommercialbreedingtrialsoseaurchinshaveocussedonslowgrowingcoldwaterspeciesbutKenexplainstheirresearchisbasedontropicalseaurchins.Thisisexcitingastheygrowveryquicklycomparedtotheircoldwatercousinsanditispossibletogetaproducttomarketinunder9months.TheMidNorthCoastistheperectplacetogrowthisspeciesaslongasasitewithgoodqualityseawaterisavailable.TheCentrehasalsobeenattheorerontoresearchintoanotherspeciesmoreamiliartotheAustralianpalate.MullowaycommonlyknownasjewshisapremiumqualityshreveredbyIndigenousAustraliansasthegreatestone.Traditionallyanocean-armedspeciesMullowayalsothriveinbrackishwaterwhichmakesthemanidealcandidateortrialsinland-basedpondarmssuchasthoseusedbyAustralianprawnarmers.SowhenaarmerinYambaapproachedtheNMSCorhelpintransormingaprawnarmintoaarmormullowaytheywereonlytoohappytoassist.Wesupplied40000ngerlingsgrownrommullowayeggssuppliedbytheNSWDepartmentoPrimaryIndustriesandconductedresearchintooptimaleedingstrategiesandhatcheryproduction.Wethenhelpedthearmtosetupitsownhatcherysoitisnowsel-sustainableintermsongerlings.Theirstudyshowedthatproductionratesomullowayarmedinthiswayapproach14tonnesperhectareandtheshreachmarketsizewithin2years.Thearmisnowgoingromstrengthtostrengthandsupplieshigh-endrestaurantsthroughoutNSWwithreshmullowayKenadds.WithasuccessultrialundertheirbelttheNMSCnowhasitssightssetonbringingmullowayproductiontotheMidNorthCoast.DiscussionsareunderwaywiththenewowneroReptonPrawnFarmtothesouthoCosHarbourtohelpwiththereinstatementothisarmeitherorprawnormullowayproduction.ContributorsDrJefGuyleaderothemullowayresearchprogramandDrSymonDworjanynresearchleaderortheurchinproject.25 DavidScottandhiswieSusieSnodgrassownandoperateRedDirtDistilleryinthetownoDorrigo.AlthoughaboutiqueproducertheymanuactureanimpressiverangeospiritsandliqueursbuttheirclaimtoameisthattheymakeAustraliasonlypotatovodka.Thecouplehadbeenproducingwinesromavarietyodierentruitsormanyyears.Thenin2007theymadethedecisiontoapplyoraDistillationLicencetoenablethemtoproducespiritsromthesewines.Daviddescribesthedecisionassomethingoanepiphany.Ourearlydistillationresearchrevealedagoodtranserocomplexfavours.Althoughouryieldswerelowthequalityothespiritswewereproducingwasextremelyhigh.ThecoreotheirproductsistheDorrigoSebagopotatogrownintherichrederrosolsoilsotheDorrigoplateau.ThereareonlyahandulocommercialpotatovodkaproducersintheworldsoDavidhadtodoallhisownresearch.AllotheirproductionisdonebyhandandaccordingtoDavidtheattentiontodetailachievesspectacularresults.WehavehadRussianandPolishtouristsdeclareourvodkatobethebesttheyhaveevertasted.WehavehadMasterDistillersromtheUnitedKingdombegorthesecretohowtoproduceavodkaullofavourandwarmthbutwithnoburn.TherangeoproductstheyproduceincludesItalianinspiredLemoncelloCenterbreNocinoandMandarinettoandmanyotherliqueurs.WeareparticularlyproudoourfagshipproductDorrigoPotatoVodka.HoweverSnoddysGinisrapidlygainingaveryappreciativeollowing.TheirproductsaresolddirectromthecellardoorandviaanonlineshopbutaccordingtoDaviditsnotallaboutsaleswhenyouaredoingsomethinglikeproducingAustraliasonlypotatovodka.Themajorityopeoplewhowalkintowhatappearstobeacaeinasmallvillagearenotexpectingtoseegleamingstainlesssteeltanksandbottlesullocolouredliquids.Davidlaughs.HotchipsmateSorrywedrinkourpotatoeshere.NicheMarketsreddIrtdIstIllery ausBuffstuffFarminglivestockcertainlyisnttheeasiestjobsoyouvegottotakeyourhatotosomeonewhodecidestoarmwaterbualo.AndthatsexactlywhatKimandIanMassinghamsetouttodowhentheypurchasedtheir300acrearmatEungai.WehavebeenoperatingasAusbuStuor6yearsateratriptoItalywherewewereoeredsomebualomozzarellaKimrecalls.ItwasoneothosemomentswhenitwassaidHeyletsgetabualowhenwegethomeAndtoourcreditorcrazinesswedidit.Theycurrentlyarmaround70headodairybualoandproducearangeobualocheeseyoghurtandgelato.Wecurrentlymakesottosemi-sotcheesesbuthaveexperimentedwithhardcheeseslikecheddarandparmesan.OurgelatoIbelieveistheproductthatstandsoutthemostwithfavourandtextureandouryoghurtisindemandtoo.WestartedsellingmeataswehavesteersandthecustomerinterestwasthereKimadds.Theirherdohal-tonnewaterbualoreerangearoundthearmcontainedwithinheavydutyelectricencing.Bualoareaveryinterestinganimalwithindividualpersonalities.Themajorityothetimetheyarecalmnaturedandverymucharoutineanimal.HowevertheyareattimeschallengingKimcautions.WehavetorememberthatwedothingsinBualotime.BualoareanunamiliarspeciesinAustraliabutwhenKimandIanstarteddelvingintothepropertiesothemilkandmeattheysawanopeninginthemarket.WaterbualomilkhasbeenwidelyusedinEuropeandotherpartsotheworldorcenturiesandistheessentialingredienttogoodItalianmozzarellacheese.Themilkishighlynutritiouswith58morecalciumthancowsmilkmoreproteinandlessat.ItisnaturallyA2proteinandisarichsourceoironandvitaminA.Howeverthequantityomilkabualocowproducesismuchlessthanadairycowsoitsapremiumproduct.Themeatisalsoahealthyalternativerichinproteinswithonly1.8at.InadditionBualomeatcontainshighlevelsoironzincandomega-3polyunsaturatedats.Ithasasimilarfavourandtexturetobeewithanaturallydarkerpigmentation.Thearmprocessesaround6thousandlitresomilkayearoritscheesegelatoandyoghurtandaround3thousandkilosomeat.AusbuStusellsitsuniquebualoproductsthroughtheregionsmanyarmersmarketsandtheyarenowlookingatsellingthroughselectedshopsaswell.DespitethenewfavourexperiencethevastmajorityoAustralianslovetheirproductsandareveryexcitedabouttherangeohealthbenets.Wehaveoundtodatethatpeoplewithdairyintolerancearenewithbualomilk.Wewillotenhaveaparentphoneusexcitedthattheirchilddidnthaveareaction.HowevereasyisnotawordKimwouldusetodescribetheirbusinessjourneytodate.Challengingisagoodonetodescribeouranimalsequipmentlearninghowtoprocessthemilkintoproductandthentherestheselling.Therehavebeenmomentswhenthehandsgoupintheairbuttheycomebackdownandateradeepbreathyougetonwithit.ImustsaythelocalcommunityhassupportedusinsuchawaythatIcouldntimaginebeinganywhereelse.27 TalktoanyoneintheManningValleyaboutwheretogotosamplesomeotheregionsbestproduceandtheyllpointyoutoBentOnFoodinthetownoWingham.BentonFoodisthecreationoDonnaCarrierandhasbeenpromotinglocalproducethroughitsshopcaandcookingschoolsince2004.Donnasaysherpassionorreshlocalproducecameromherchildhood.IgrewupintheManningValleyandlivedonapropertywithahugevegetablegardenandahomesurroundedbyruittrees.Mygrandmotherlivedintheamilyhomeshewasawonderulcookwithagreenthumbandshetaughtmetheimportanceoreshproduce.SoaterworkingormanyyearswithrenownedAustralianwineriesandrestauranteursDonnabroughtherknowledgeandideasbackhometotheManningValley.BentOnFoodsuppliesawiderangeolocalproduceincludingcondimentsoilsandcheeses.Theyretail12productsintheirownBentonFoodrangeaswellasTheOtherCheFineFoodsHoneycombValleyhoneyNaturesGoldhoneyHandnHoemacadamiasRubyLousandComboyneCulturecheeses.ThecastocksCassegrainWinesGreatLakesWinesandSaxbyssotdrinks.TheyalsohaveabusinessarmwhichdelivershampersalloverAustraliatocorporatecustomers.Localhoneyisreallypopularatthemoment.Andpeoplelovelocaleggsandloveitthatwenametheproducers.Customersaregettingquitesavvyandaskquestionsabouttheoriginsotheirood.Theon-sitecaandcookingschoolisyetanotherwaytoshowcaselocalproduceatitsnest.ThecustomersexperienceisenhancedbythestrongpaddocktoplateexperiencewherepeoplecanpurchasewhattheyeatorevenpurchasesimilarplatesthattheyjustateofDonnalaughs.ProvedoresBentonfood otherChaMpIonsBagoVineyardsBagoBakarindiBushFoodsCorindiBeachBarbushcoLorneBellbowraOrganicFarmBowravilleBlackDuckBreweryPortMacquarieBlueBerryliciousWoolgoolgaBoomaBoerGoatsDorrigoCassegrainWinesPortMacquarieCoastalAvocadosFishermansReachCofsHarbourFishCo-OpCofsHarbourComboyneCultureComboyneEversonsFoodProcessorsFredericktonGhinniWinesGhinniGhinniGrandeVergeAlpacasKempseyGreenLeaFarmKempseyHastingsRiverOysterFarmersPortMacquarieHokubeeAustraliaWauchopeHoneycombValleyFarmNabiacItsWildSeaoodCofsHarbourJacksEggsLanitzaKindeeValleyFarmKindeeLorneValleyMacadamiaFarmLorneMarrookFarmElandsNambuccaMacnutsMacksvilleNearRiverProducePappinbarraPeakCofeePortMacquariePipersCreekGroveDondingalongStonesOystersandSeaoodCoopernookTheLittleBrewingCompanyPortMacquarieTheOtherCheFineFoodsPortMacquarieInselectingstoriesorthispublicationwesurveyedawiderangeoindustrystakeholders.FromthesesuggestionsweselectedarangeostoriesromacrossthevariouslocalitiesandoodindustriesotheMidNorthCoastregion.Unortunatelyitwasnotpossibletomentioneveryoodproduceroragribusiness.Wewouldliketoacknowledgesomeotheotherlocalbusinesseswhowererecommendedtousbytheirpeers.29 slICeofhaVenTheSliceoHavenoodandwineestivalisheldonthescenicriverbankatLaurietonontheourthSundayinMay.Itcelebratesthenestlocalproducechesandentertainmentonoerinaamilyriendlypicnicatmosphere.Upto16000peoplefocktoSliceoHaveneachyeartosamplethegourmetoodwinebeerandcoeeonoerromover80stalls.Proudlylocaltheestivalchallengesstallholderstosource90otheirproduceromwithina60oodmileradius.Aunthemeischosenortheestivaleachyearsoeacheventhasitsownuniquefavour.TheSliceoHavenpromotestherelaxedriendlygourmetliestyleotheCamdenHaven.Itisaestiveexperiencewithadollopoindulgenceandadashoquirky.tastIngsonhastIngsTastingsonHastingsisaculinarycelebrationothereshproducewinesbeersandchesotheregion.BornromtheHastingsFarmersMarketsthissignatureeventwelcomes15000visitorseachyeartothebanksotheHastingsRiverinPortMacquarie.Theestivalattractsaround100exhibitorsromwithina100mileradiustoshowcaseandsellnelocaloodwineandbeer.CelebritychesarearegulareatureatTastings.VisitorsrubshoulderswiththeirculinaryheroeslikeJustineSchoeldAdamLiawSergeDansereauandPeterKuruvitaandsampletheirtakeonourlocalproduce.Buttherealstarsotheshowaretheoodproducerswhojustrevelinexplaininghowtheiroodwasmadeandinrecommendingthebestwaytoprepareandenjoyit.toasturungaTOASTUrungahasdevelopedintotheCosCoastsbiggestandbrightestoodestival.HeldannuallyonFathersDayTOASTattracts8000hungryestivalgoerstoMorgoStreetReserveinUrungaatthemouthotheKalangandBellingerrivers.Theestivalshowcasesover70stallscelebratingthegourmetoodswinesandcratbeersotheMidNorthCoast.TraveltheworldofavoursinadayromAustraliatoSpainVietnamJapanandArica.WashdowncurriessushiandGreekpiteswithAussiewinesandboutiquebeers.SamplesweetMediterraneantreatswithneteasandcoee.Visitorsrelaxintheshadewithabeverageochoiceandaplatteroneoodwhileenjoyingtheacousticmelodyolivemusicians.FoodFestivals CoffsCoastgrowersMarketCityCentreHarbourDriveCofsHarbourNewSouthWalesEveryThursdayFrom8.00am-3.30pmBellIngengrowersMarketLuncheonHallBellingenShowgroundofHammondStreetBellingenNewSouthWales2nd4thSaturdayofthemonth8am-1pmMaCksVIlleproduCersMarketRiverStreetMacksvilleNewSouthWales2nd4thSaturdayofthemonth8.30am-12.30pmhastIngsfarMersMarketsportMaCquarIeMaritimeMuseumCnrWilliamStreetandPacicDrivePortMacquarieNewSouthWales2ndSaturdayofeverymonthhastIngsfarMersMarketswauChopeWauchopeShowgroundHighStreetWauchopeNewSouthWales4thSaturdayofthemonth8am-noontareeCItyfarMersMarket154CommerceStreetTareePCYCTareeNewSouthWales2ndSaturdayofthemonth8.00am-12.00noontareefarMersMarketJohnnyMartinOvalMacquarieStreetTareeNewSouthWales3rdThursdayofthemonthGrowersMarkets IndustryContaCtsMIDNORTHCOASTNSWOurChampionsoFoodwaspreparedbyRegionalDevelopmentAustraliaMidNorthCoast.T0255251500Eadminrdamidnorthcoast.org.auwww.rdamidnorthcoast.org.auWanttoopenaoodproductionbusinessontheMidNorthCoastContactoneooursixlocalcouncilsCofsHarbourCityCouncilT0266484000Ecofs.councilchcc.nsw.gov.auwww.chcc.nsw.gov.auBellingenShireCouncilT0266557300Ecouncilbellingen.nsw.gov.auwww.bellingen.nsw.gov.auNambuccaValleyShireCouncilT0265682555Ecouncilnambucca.nsw.gov.auwww.nambucca.nsw.gov.auKempseyShireCouncilT0265663200Eksckempsey.nsw.gov.auwww.kempsey.nsw.gov.auPortMacquarieHastingsCouncilT0265818111Ecouncilpmhc.nsw.gov.auwww.pmhc.nsw.gov.auGreaterTareeCityCouncilT0265925399Egtareegtcc.nsw.gov.auwww.gtcc.nsw.gov.auMidNorthCoastRegionalFoodForumThisregionalFoodForumaimstoaddresskeyissuesidentiedinconsultationwiththeoodindustry.TheseincludeDevelopingalocalregionalbrandtoprovidecustomersassurancethattheyaresupportingthelocaloodindustry.Identiywaystosupportbusinessinnovation.Identiyalternativenancingoptions.Showcaseopportunitiesoryoungpeopleintheoodindustry.Industrynetworkingopportunities.ContactCofsHarbourCityCouncilormoreinormation.