The iconic regional brand, launched in November 2013, represents the produce, producers and agri-food offerings of the Southern Forests and Valleys region, and after ten years of promotion is now well established and recognised by one in two WA consumers.
The Southern Forests Food Council is the entity behind the Genuinely Southern Forests brand, celebrating the milestone month across social media and concluded the festivities with a gathering in Manjimup of local farmers, founding members, Ms Jane Kelsbie MLA, the Honourable Louise Kingston MLC, Shire of Manjimup President Donelle Buegge, and its passionate Committee and staff.
“As we look back on the last 10 years, the Southern Forests Food Council is proud of the achievements that have been made and the positive impact that the Genuinely Southern Forests brand has had for the local producers and the region.” Southern Forests Food Council Chair Kieran Kinsella said to members at the event.
The SFFC has taken the opportunity to put together ‘10 Years of Genuinely Southern Forests’ a legacy document now available through the website, that outlines its journey from a grassroots vision to a $5 million project that put Western Australia's premium food bowl on the map.
The SFFC is often asked what is behind its success, with Southern Forests Food Council Vice Chair Monica Radomiljac reflecting “The success of the organisation and the brand comes down to the people involved. From the founding group of passionate producers to our many members and stakeholders, to the Ministers for Agriculture and their agencies, the Shire of Manjimup, investors and partners along the way, as well as our dedicated staff and the local community. The Southern Forests Food Council is a project that relies on the people involved to maintain its momentum, purpose, and value.”
The Southern Forests Food Council was recently awarded $725,000 funding through the State Government to strengthen its efforts, enhance the Genuinely Southern Forests brand, and secure its future viability.
The funding was acknowledged at the celebration event, with Mr Kinsella saying, “We are grateful to the State Government for their support and we look forward to building on the significant efforts, investment, and achievements undertaken by the Southern Forests Food Council and our members over the past decade.”
The SFFC has invested over $2.5 million in marketing and promotions over the past ten years which has resulted in 30% growth in awareness for the brand and the region.
Some of the key brand activities include:
Developed a range of high-quality marketing collateral showcasing the local producers.
Annual retail marketing campaigns with Perth independent greengrocers.
Annual brand awareness campaigns with TV, radio, print, outdoor, and digital media.
Developed branded produce stickers, packaging, and boxes.
Worked with SFFC members to co-brand value-added products and packaging.
Worked with key WA food influencers and personalities to gain further exposure and reach for the brand, produce, and region.
Worked with professional photographers and videographers to develop a captivating library of visual content.
Worked with leading chefs to develop bespoke seasonal Genuinely Southern Forests recipes.
Hosted agri-tours to forge unique connections between visitors and the producers and region.
The SFFC, its members, and supporters have been instrumental in developing key aspects of the region’s food and beverage industry, supporting local farmers and food producers, and fostering strong partnerships with wholesalers, retailers, chefs, and government agencies.
Agriculture is the region’s major industry which has grown from $127 million in 2012 to $237 million in 2022.
The SFFC is looking forward to another decade of success, to trial, explore, invest, and deliver on a range of projects and outcomes for the local industry. The generous and ongoing investment from the State Government and the Shire of Manjimup demonstrates their commitment to the industry and the local producers and provides the means for the SFFC to continue to deliver outcomes of value.
Ms Radomiljac concluded, “We are genuinely excited about what the future may hold for the Genuinely Southern Forests brand, our local producers, the region, and broader industry and we look forward to working with our members and supporters to find out.”
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Image L to R: Bevan Eatts, Ms Jane Kelsbie MLA, Monica Radomiljac, the Hon Louise Kingston MLC; Shire President Donelle Buegge, Kieran Kinsella, Laura Bolitho, Jennifer Riseley.