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One of the Southern Forests Food Council’s objectives is to achieve recognition as an ethical producer of quality food. This extends from farm practices right through to how the produce is presented to the consumer.

In response to consumer demand for sustainable packaging, Genuinely Southern Forests has introduced a fibre eco-friendly punnet for its recently launched Genuinely Southern Forests apple pre-pack range. The apple prepacks have been developed in collaboration with the Food Council’s Perth market floor partner, Mercer Mooney, and are available through participating independents and IGA stores.

Genuinely Southern Forests is actively supporting the Australian Government’s target of 100% packaging being recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.

The Southern Forests Food Council recently attended HortConnections, an annual conference hosted by AUSVEG and PMAANZ, where sustainability was a reoccurring theme. This included a panel session on Sustainably ‘Growing our Food Future’ and the role of sustainable packaging in the horticulture industry in achieving Australia’s objectives towards Reusable, Recyclable or Compostable Packaging by 2025. Aimed at creating a circular economy; an economic system aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources.

Products such as eco-friendly produce labels were presented at HortConnections, but currently the eco-friendly produce labels are three times the price of regular labels and not yet available on a commercial scale. This seems to be indicative of the industry, with proactive progress and alternatives being identified and developed with the commercial viability still to be worked through.

The Southern Forests Food Council are actively looking for eco-friendly packaging options that are viable alternatives for its members and supply partners, and will continue to progress developments in this space.

More information: Please contact Stephen Sharpe on 08 9772 4180 or Website: Schedule of in-store tastings: Facebook: Genuinely Southern Forests Instagram: @genuinelysouthernforests

Southern Forests Food Council:

The Southern Forests Food Council was founded in 2010 by a group of passionate local producers who recognised that the wealth and abundance of produce grown in the region made it perfect for major food production and agri-tourism. Its role was formalised in 2012 after receiving a $5 million investment under the State Government’s Royalties for Regions initiative.

The investment was part of a $7 million Royalties for Regions allocation to the Shire of Manjimup for its Agricultural Expansion Project. The SFFC received further State Government funding in 2018 of $1.5 million to support the Council’s on-going activities in developing economic opportunities for the region.

The Southern Forests region includes the towns of Manjimup, Pemberton, Northcliffe and Walpole.

The Food Council is committed to unifying the area’s world-class and diverse producers to strengthen the region’s economy, attract investment and export opportunities, promote regional pride, and create sustainable jobs. It represents local producers, culinary and agri-tourism operators who live and work in what is WA’s premier food bowl, aiming to ultimately establish the Southern Forests as an internationally-recognised agricultural region and culinary tourism destination.

The Southern Forests produces over 50 different types of fruits and vegetables, truffles and boutique produce, dairy, sheep, pork and cattle farms, as well as award-winning wineries and exceptional culinary experiences. The Southern Forests region is heavily invested in agriculture, with $230 million of agricultural production coming from the region.

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