Bund­aberg online gu­rus in top 10

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - Front Page -

BUND­ABERG busi­ness Lo­cal Farm Pro­duce has been an­nounced as one of Aus­tralia’s top busi­nesses as part of the 2016 Re­gional Online He­roes com­pe­ti­tion.

Lo­cal Farm Pro­duce is a web­site that con­nects con­sumers with lo­cal pro­duc­ers and farm­ers to buy di­rectly.

It’s one of 10 unique and in­spir­ing re­gional busi­nesses from across Aus­tralia that have been an­nounced as fi­nal­ists in Google’s 2016 Re­gional Online He­roes com­pe­ti­tion.

The web­site was the brain­child of Sarah Wal­dock, who, with her part­ner, runs cat­tle on her par­ents’ farm near Bund­aberg.

Her first aim was to pro­mote and sell their cat­tle di­rect to the pub­lic but she then re­alised there was a need for some­thing that would help con­nect all pro­duc­ers and con­sumers.

Farm­ers and pro­duc­ers can pro­mote their pro­duce, prod­ucts and events di­rectly to the pub­lic.

The web­site lists the pro­duc­ers, what they sup­ply, what state and re­gion they are in and where you can find their pro­duce – whether it be at farm gate, by pri­vate ar­range­ment or at spec­i­fied lo­ca­tions.

The top 10 were se­lected from more than 150 en­tries by a panel of ex­perts, in­clud­ing Min­is­ter for Small Busi­ness, the Hon Michael McCor­mack MP; dig­i­tal en­tre­pre­neur and founder of suc­cess­ful re­gional busi­ness Bird­snest, Jane Cay; founder of Bridestowe Laven­der Es­tate in re­gional Tas­ma­nia, Robert Ravens; the RAI CEO, Jack Archer; and Head of Small Busi­ness at Google Aus­tralia, John Ball.

“The can­di­dates for this year’s com­pe­ti­tion lifted the bar.

“It was heart­break­ing to se­lect a top 10 from the many out­stand­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions thriv­ing in un­ex­pected pock­ets across the re­gions,” Jane Cay said.

“I found my­self read­ing their sto­ries, vis­it­ing the sites, get­ting lost in the ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties for re­gional Aus­tralia if we can keep pro­duc­ing he­roes like these.”

Mr McCor­mack con­grat­u­lated the 2016 top 10 fi­nal­ists and high­lighted the im­por­tance of small and medium sized busi­nesses.

“Small and medium sized busi­ness is the cor­ner­stone of eco­nomic and com­mu­nity pros­per­ity in re­gional Aus­tralia and this year’s Re­gional Online He­roes do the na­tion proud,” Mr McCor­mack said.

“Their en­tre­pre­neur­ial use of the in­ter­net to cre­ate and de­liver in­no­va­tive prod­ucts and ser­vices based in re­gional Aus­tralia spot­lights the im­por­tant role they play in pro­vid­ing jobs and strength­en­ing com­mu­ni­ties.”

Fi­nal­ists will be flown to Google’s Syd­ney HQ for an ex­clu­sive mas­ter­class on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 5, where they will be given new tools and learn meth­ods to grow their busi­nesses even fur­ther.

One fi­nal­ist will then be an­nounced as the na­tional win­ner at a cock­tail re­cep­tion on Syd­ney Har­bour.

I found my­self read­ing their sto­ries, vis­it­ing the sites, get­ting lost in the ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties for re­gional Aus­tralia if we can keep pro­duc­ing he­roes like these. — Jane Cay

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

LO­CAL PRO­DUCE: Cathal Mur­phy, Kather­ine Mer­gard, The Hon Leanne Donaldson, Sarah Wal­dock, Al­lan Wal­dock and Jan Wal­dock at the launch of the Lo­cal Farm Pro­duce web­site.

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