SOUTHERN FORESTS FOOD COUNCIL INC.
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 is part of a $7 million Royalties for Regions allocation to the Shire of Manjimup for its Agricultural Expansion Project.
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.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The Southern Forests Food Council, taking in the towns of Manjimup, Pemberton, Walpole and Northcliffe, is home to an incredible variety of produce and experiences. The Food Council is an organisation like no other in the state of Western Australia, if not the whole of Australia.
It is the first industry-driven organisation that has a regional brand that can be used by its members to promote produce from a wide range of commodities that are grown in the Southern Forests region.
The Food Council is not just a promotional body that encourages consumers to buy local, it is also an organisation that actively looks for new market opportunities under a collective approach. This gives producers the ability to supply markets that individually they would not have the capacity to supply.
The Southern Forests region is heavily invested in agriculture, with $230 million of agricultural production coming from the region. Agriculture is also the leading employer in the region, equating to approx. 13% of the workforce and is growing. Lucid Economics, at the behest of the Food Council, conducted an Economic Impact Assessment report in 2017, forecasting the impact of the Food Council activities being close to $35.1m gross value added plus targeting the creation of 190 jobs by 2021/2022.
COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT
The Southern Forests Food Council appointed its inaugural Committee of Management in October 2012. Between them, the Committee have hundreds of years of experience in the food industry.
They represent generations of passionate, determined, local producers who are committed to harnessing their invaluable expertise to grow the Southern Forests region as an area of unparalleled genuine, quality, food production and an agri-tourism destination.
With the establishment of the Food Council and the completion of a regional brand, the focus is now on creating awareness and educating local, national, and international markets on the quality and diversity of the region’s produce.
This work will see the Southern Forests region firmly established as one of the premier food production regions in the world.
As well as producing potatoes, marron, truffle and beef, Monica owns and operates Pemberley of Pemberton, one of the regions highly acknowledged wineries, with her husband and children.
Monica is an active member in local events such as the Timber Towns Wine Show and is the secretary of the Wine Industry Southern Forests. Monica supports the SFFC objectives and enjoys the opportunity of being involved with the Food Council.
VISION AND OBJECTIVES
The vision of the Food Council is to:
Build the region’s reputation for quality food.
The objectives of the Food Council are:
Grow the value of agriculture and food production, create careers and encourage growth of local populations.
Establish and maintain unifying regional brand(s).
Strive to achieve price premiums for produce from the region.
Achieve consumer recognition of the region as a desirable culinary and tourism destination and an ethical producer of quality food.
Sustain the effort through ongoing viability of the Food Council.