Sourcing Scenic Rim produce, and taking a regional food adventure, will be easier than ever thanks to a new interactive platform showcasing the businesses producing, preparing and serving local products.
The Scenic Rim Regional Council, and its signature food and wine festival, Eat Local Week, has secured an $80,000 Australian Government grant for the project.
The Council will match the funds, awarded through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Building Better Regions Fund, to create the interactive platform, enabling consumers to create their own Scenic Rim food adventure. Some funds will also support volume 2 of the highly acclaimed Eat Local cookbook, to be released ahead of Eat Local Week 2018.
Scenic Rim Mayor, Cr Greg Christensen, says the new project is a logical extension and will build on the success of Eat Local Week by showcasing, on a year-round basis, the producers, products, cafes and tourism operators in the region who champion local, sustainable produce.
“The first facet of the project is a business accreditation system that will enable us to audit and then ‘hero’ those tourism and hospitality businesses which are producing, preparing and serving our wonderful local produce and products,” he said.
“The second facet is a user-friendly digital platform that will manage and showcase all of these accredited businesses and enable consumers to custom build their own local food experiences.
“The third component is the second installment of the successful cookbook, ‘Eat Local: Food, Farming and Conversation in the Scenic Rim’ by author and chef Brenda Fawdon and author, photographer and editor Christine Sharp. This new book will continue the journey through the diversely beautiful Scenic Rim region and document the authors’ candid conversations with producers and families.”
Kay Tommerup, chair of Scenic Rim Escapes, and owner of Tommerup’s Dairy Farmstay, in Kerry, said the project would further promote the many options for visitors to the Scenic Rim.
“Eat Local Week has been a fantastic boost to our local tourism industry, but this project will take us a step further and allow us to promote and connect with potential visitors all year round,” she said.
“I’m also a big fan of the accreditation component of this project as it will encourage retailers to stock local products and reward those that do.”
Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the project would bring significant social and economic benefits to the Scenic Rim.
“Eat Local Week is the highlight of our local tourism calendar. It’s a great example of what we have to offer visitors, particularly avid foodies who can enjoy our spectacular fresh produce and other unique delicacies,” he said.
“This project is also an investment in our local region. It will boost our local economy, create jobs and enhance our already vibrant community.”
Eat Local Week is one of Queensland’s most popular and successful regional food events. In 2017 it attracted some 32,000 people to more than 90 individual events throughout the region, including long table lunches, degustation dinners, local produce markets, vineyard lunches, wine tastings, farm tours and experiential workshops. Eat Local Week contributed nearly $2-million to the Scenic Rim economy, with benefits flowing to the accommodation, food and retail outlets and agricultural producers throughout the region.
Eat Local Week and the Winter Harvest Festival are also supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism & Events Queensland, as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the state.