As the Moreton Bay Co-ordinator for the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), Jacki Hinchey is helping shine a light on the region’s farmers, graziers, producers, manufacturers and makers who are dishing up local flavours for foodies to devour.
By connecting members with each other and resources to build their businesses, Jacki is ensuring more products that offer a taste of Moreton Bay are found in kitchens and venues across Queensland, Australia and overseas.
“FAN is a vital resource for anyone in the food and agribusiness sector as it is a collaborative ecosystem that empowers members and helps the industry to grow,” Jacki says.
|“We are the glue that connects everyone in this supply network.|
“My job is to help people and businesses make connections that are valuable for them and drive trade locally and globally.
“Through FAN, you will see food manufacturers collaborating with primary producers and people from the hospitality industry collaborating with beverage producers.”
The member-based, not-for-profit organisation was established in December 2015.
Championing local producers
Today, FAN covers four regions including Moreton Bay, Gympie, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, with about 400 members.
Jacki, who is the founder of Blue Dog Farm at Ocean View, joined FAN in 2017 because she wholeheartedly believes in the concept of locally grown food.
“I absolutely loved the idea of FAN and everything they were doing,” Jacki explains.
“There are about 50 members from Moreton Bay, ranging from large businesses such as the Comiskey Group and the Caboolture Sports Club all the way through to solo side hustles started during the COVID pandemic.
“One of the good things that came out of COVID was REKO - a digital farmers’ market that connects consumers directly with local farmers, makers and growers.”
REKO is a combination of a digital farmers’ market and a drive-through, where consumers can order their products from various producers online and pick them up weekly at one convenient time and location.
It proved extremely popular during snap lockdowns and times when supermarket shelves were empty, and now is growing throughout Australia.
There are currently six REKO rings in Australia, including at North Lakes, Dayboro and Samford.
Jacki’s encouraging local producers and growers to reach out so they can meet other like-minded people across the region through FAN.
“I would invite you to register for our monthly newsletter, follow us on social media and come along to a monthly member meet-up where we go to a member’s premises and learn about their experience and chat with each other,” Jacki says.
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