Tourism and agribusiness reap food festival benefits
  • Thursday 11 September 2014

Sunshine Coast food producers, manufacturers, retailers and restaurants will be on show to more than 4000 people this weekend at the region’s fourth annual Real Food Festival.

Mayor Mark Jamieson, who will challenge Member for Glass House Andrew Powell in a cook-off on Saturday, said the council-sponsored event provided a valuable opportunity to support the region’s developing food tourism industry.

“The festival is a nationally-recognised food event which promotes the Sunshine Coast region and its produce around Australia and internationally,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The promotion of niche food and beverage producers helps develop our tourism and agribusiness sector, which are recognised in the Regional Economic Development Strategy as two of the region’s high-value industries.”

Mayor Jamieson said visitors to the event provided a boost to the hinterland economy.

“In addition to money spent at the festival, visitors will spend at local businesses in Maleny and throughout the hinterland.

“Sponsorship of major events like the Real Food Festival helps us work towards a sustainable economy.

“This financial year, every dollar invested in event sponsorship from the Tourism and Major Events Levy will generate an estimated $40 in economic returns.”

Tourism, Sport and Major Event portfolio councillor Jason OPray said the festival offered a great day out for all members of the family.

“There’s an incredible range of events on the program including presentations by renowned chef Christine Manfield, dedicated children’s activities, and opportunities to learn about everything from nutrition and gardening through to cheese making and baking,” Cr OPray said.

“More and more people want to know where their food comes from and understand the importance of supporting local producers, and we’re so lucky to have a diverse range of suppliers here on the Coast.

“The festival is a fantastic opportunity to try and buy some of those delicious products, and talk to the people who produce them.”