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Innovative Process to fight Food Waste, Grant Opportunities & lots more

Weekly catch-up with innovative process to fight food waste, grant opportunities & lots more

By Portal Admin - 19th March 2020 - Back to News

Support on Offer for Businesses Impacted Bb Natural Disasters

It has been a 'Black Summer' and our partner - Food Innovation Australia Limited ( is offering support for impacted businesses.

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to Australian food and agribusinesses geographically located in and affected by drought, flood, fire, African Swine Flu and coronavirus epidemic. Grants are to be used to support business, product or service innovations.

If you are a Food & Fibre Gippsland member (or interested in becoming a member) we can help you with your application. Click here to find out more.

Mulgowie joins the Food & Fibre Gippsland Member Family!

Mulgowie Farming Company is a proud Australian business with a team of 400 staff and contract partners involved in the management and operations for some 10,000 acres of fertile farming land around the country, including a significant footprint in Boisdale, Gippsland.

Mulgowie is the largest farmer of fresh sweet corn and beans in Australia, as well as being sizable producers of baby corn, broccoli, capsicum, and pumpkin. As a proud family-owned and operated company, they have a passionate commitment to build a benchmark business that delivers a sustainable and positive future.

We're delighted to welcome Mulgowie Farming Company as members of Food & Fibre Gippsland!

Diversity in New Members

We continue to attract new members from all over the region and beyond, and we're delighted to welcome another addition to our strategic industry partner* member group.

Snowy Advisory is a family-owned business that provides services to target a client's specific needs and desired outcomes. Owners Stephen and Leecia Angus both come from farming families and have a life long association with farming and farmers.

Stephen and Leecia take pride in designing and delivering highly tailored business services. They also provide pro bono services encouraging and supporting rural communities and young leaders to thrive within their local communities.

In addition, Snowy Advisory invests in start-up funding focusing on innovation enhancing social and individual wellbeing, and they have a deep commitment to sustaining and expanding agricultural businesses.

*Strategic Industry Partner members are those which are not directly involved in Food & Fibre production, manufacturing/processing or distribution/retailing.

Csiro Visit

It was great to have one of our colleagues from CSIRO back in Gippsland this week, exploring further ideas around converting vegetable waste into value-added ingredients and supporting progress in our Smart Specialisation project work around more high tech processing in Gippsland.

There will be another visit over the next few weeks, and we're very keen to talk to farmers with 'legume' 'waste'. If you have legume waste, we'd love to hear from you - send us an email and we will be in touch to discuss further.

Researchers from CSIRO's Food Innovation Centre have developed a method to return lost food-grade biomass into the food supply as value-added ingredients and food products. Read more about that here.

Awesome Support

Telstra and The Windsor Hotel in Melbourne collaborated with us last week to make it possible for Matt and Katie Zagami to attend Evoke AG - the largest agrifood tech event in the Asia Pacific region covering three main themes; food, farm and future.

A huge thank you to Telstra for providing the Evoke Ag tickets for the Zagamis to not only attend the conference but to also spend some time with the Telstra Regional Team, discussing tech ideas for their future as they work on the rebuild of their vegetable growing business after the destruction of the East Gippsland bushfires.

A big shout out to the team at The Windsor Hotel for their gift of three nights accommodation and breakfast. This very kind gesture gave Matt and Katie the opportunity to be in Melbourne for a few days to attend Evoke Ag, as well as spend some quiet time together talking about the months and year ahead as they recover and re-imagine a new future for their Wairewra based AvaGrow Farms and their on-farm family home.

Thank you to both businesses for your generous support. It is much appreciated.

Innovative Collaboration that is Reducing Food Waste

One of our members is tackling food waste in Gippsland, with a system and machine that is delivering multiple benefits.

Manny's Market at Morwell has installed an Enrich360 machine, which turns food waste into a nutrient-rich fertiliser, that is then mixed in with soil to grow a wide range of herbs and vegetables at Verduci Market Gardens that then return to the shelves at Manny's.

Click here to read more about this innovative collaboration and how it's helping local cafes and restaurants reduce their food waste costs.

Applications open for Coles Nurture Fund

Coles launched the $50 million Nurture Fund in April 2015 to help small and medium sized businesses innovate and grow.

Over the last five years, Coles has offered more than $21 million in financial support to over 50 Australian food and liquor producers via the Nurture Fund.

From Australia’s first quinoa processing facility, to chickpea tofu, to home grown garlic and to Australian first prawn farming technology, the Coles Nurture Fund is helping Aussie producers bring their big ideas to life.

Round Eight of the Coles Nurture Fund is now open and will close on Friday, 20 March 2020 at 5pm AEST. Click here to find out more.

Small and medium sized businesses can apply for a grant of up to $500,000 to help them develop new market-leading products, technologies and processes.

Farmers and producers affected by bushfires or drought can also apply for a grant to help renew their business.

If you are a Food & Fibre Gippsland member ( or you're thinking about becoming one ) - we can help you with your application. Send us an email and we will be in touch.

Encouraging Social Entprepreneurship

Are you interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship within the Gippsland food system?

Food & Fibre Gippsland considers there are many opportunities for social entrepreneurship to support economic, social and environmental impact in the region, and would love to hear ideas from interested parties already working on projects or those who are still at the ideas phase.

Have a read of a report recently published by our Acting CEO, Dr. Nicola Watts to find out more - click here.

Pop Up Autumn Markets in East Gippsland

Fire affected communities in East Gippsland are well and truly open for business and they need visitors to come and explore, stay, eat n drink and spend their dollars locally.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 29th February the Esplanade Foreshore at Lakes Entrance will be a bustling hub full of the district's finest produce and you'll be able to buy fresh seafood straight from the boats on the market’s doorstep.

All stallholders will be locals, so every dollar you spend goes back into supporting the local community!

These Autumn Pop Up Markets, created in collaboration with Melbourne Farmers Markets, Warragul Farmers Market, Love East Gippsland and Gippsland Jersey, will also showcase local arts, crafts, and there'll be live music, food demonstrations and fun for the whole family.

Visit for the day, or stay for the night - have a mini-break and explore the wonders of the region.

The markets are on from 8:30 to 1pm, and then there's plenty to do in Lakes Entrance and surrounds for the rest of the weekend!

Here are the dates for all three markets!

  • Saturday 29th February - Lakes Entrance
  • Sunday 8th March – Bruthen
  • Saturday 11th April – Marlo

  • PS. There's still stall holder availability - if you'd like to be part of head here to book your stall.

    2020 Excellent in Agribusiness Awards

    Building on the success of our inaugural Excellence in Agribusiness Awards, the 2020 programme will see the introduction of a number of new categories.

    We are delighted to announce the first of those new categories will be the Female Agribusiness Leader of the Year - an award that has been generously supported by a new prize partner - Leadership Victoria.

    This Award will recognise a female Gippsland leader who has achieved excellence in her field and demonstrated leadership, courage, passion and foresight while contributing to the agribusiness industry and region.

    The winner of this award will take part in the Women’s Leadership Program run by Leadership Victoria, a wonderful prize and opportunity valued at $6,000. The Program explores the systematic barriers to women’s leadership and builds confidence and strategies to lead change.

    Entries for the 2020 Food & Fibre Gippsland Excellence in Agribusiness Awards will open on Friday March 20, and will be completed online via the Food & Fibre Gippsland website.

    Federation University launches New MBA Program

    Federation University has this week launched its new Gippsland MBA Program as well as their Business Workshop Series. The University has collaborated with Runway, a start-up incubator and entrepreneurial ecosystem to co-design an MBA program that emphasises practical skills through experiential learning.

    The new program will commence in July.

    Community groups and organisations impacted by bushfire may be eligible for a grant from Budget Direct’s Bushfire Recovery Fund. The Fund will enable community groups or organisations who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a grant up to the maximum value of $20,000.

    The grants are designed to assist in the longer-term recovery of community organisations directly impacted by the recent bushfires who may require assistance to repair or replace damaged facilities and/or equipment that aren’t covered by insurance.

    To find out more, click here.

    Call out to interested Members and Gippsland Businesses

    The Select Committee on Temporary Migration has been established an inquiry to report on the impact of temporary migration on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions.

    If you would like to make a submission to this inquiry, find out more details here.

    Save the Date!

    Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) is collaborating with TCI Network* and Food & Fibre Gippsland to host the TCI Oceania Chapter Conference in Gippsland on the 28th May, with the 29th of May offering some optional impact co-design workshops.

    The theme is centred around clustering to build positive futures, particularly in response to crisis and disruption.

    Gippslanders from all over the region are invited and encouraged to come along and hear from a diverse line up of local and international experts and thought leaders.

    A detailed agenda is coming soon, but pencil the date into your diary - we look forward to welcoming you to Lakes Entrance, East Gippsland on the 28th of May!

    *The TCI Network is the global practitioners' network for competitiveness, clusters, and innovation.

    TCI Conference Guest Speakers

    Developing a Gippsland Online Market Place

    In collaboration with the Latrobe Valley Authority, our Smart Specialisation project is working on a number of key initiatives, including the development of a Gippsland Online Marketplace.

    With an ongoing commitment to engage with community, industry, government and researchers to develop best solutions, there will be a half-day workshop on Tuesday the 24th of March to explore the potential of a proposed platform under development by a third party organisation.

    The workshop will be an opportunity to hear about a Gippsland online marketplace concept, provide feedback on how well the proposed model currently responds to regional needs / adds value for Gippsland food and fibre businesses, and recommend next steps to support the S3 process and S3 Online Platform Innovation Group.

    In running this workshop, we acknowledge that we are committed to exploring collaborative and innovative opportunities, but at this stage, there is no endorsement (or otherwise) for this particular proposal. Collaboration is all about shared decision making!


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