SOUTHERN FORESTS MAKING MOVES

New premises and funding commitment for the Genuinely Southern Forests team. The Southern Forests Food Council have recently completed its move to a new location on Johnston Crescent in Manjimup and welcomed an ongoing funding commitment from the Manjimup Shire. The Shire-owned facility was formerly the Manjimup Visitor Centre and Railway Building opened in 1969 and is now the new home for the Genuinely Southern Forests team. Manjimup Shire Councillor Cliff Winfield (pictured) officially opened the facility in front of 40 local producers and stakeholders who got to enjoy an outstanding grazing table showcasing much of the region’s premium local produce and wine. The Shire of Manjimup were instrumental in establishing the Food Council, initially as part of the Manjimup Agricultural Expansion Project and later as its own stand-alone Royalties for Regions project which is due to conclude in June 2021. The Shire have recently confirmed their ongoing commitment to the Food Council, both through the five-year lease of the office and with an annual financial commitment for the next three years. Shire President Paul Omodei said “The Southern Forest Food Council is an example of the private sector farmers and producers working together with Local and State Government and the community for an excellent outcome. The Genuinely Southern Forests branding has been a great success”. “The Shire of Manjimup have been an avid supporter of the Food Council since its inception, both financially and as tireless advocates for the project. The continued support provided by the Shire demonstrates their outstanding commitment to supporting our community, industry, diversity, and economic development for the region.” said Kieran Kinsella, Southern Forests Food Council Chair. The Food Council is a member-based organisation created by growers for growers and offers services from promotion and marketing, branding support, agri-tourism initiatives, cross-industry and government engagement, collaboration and exploration of economic development opportunities, as well as extensive supply chain networks for Genuinely Southern Forests produce across WA, east coast Australia, and overseas. “It’s an exciting new chapter for the Food Council and the site lends itself perfectly to creating a really impressive showcase for the region’s produce and producers, as well as allowing us to continue to deliver our services from a central location.” said Laura Bolitho, Southern Forests Food Council manager. The Food Council was established in 2012 and has achieved much and seen a transformation since the early days of the association, whilst the Genuinely Southern Forests brand continues to gain awareness for its premium produce, producers, and region.

Manjimup Shire Cr Cliff Winfield opening the SFFC office