New road map for Murray tourism and agribusiness industries
The creation of a new Murray Regional Food Council, a food provenance accreditation system, regional food brand and a ‘farm to plate’ business innovation incubator are just four new initiatives proposed in a new ‘Murray Farm to Plate’ Consultant Report delivered to Murray Regional Tourism recently.
From mining to dining boom: tourism and agribusiness are set to be among Australia’s fastest growing industries of the coming decade. This is a trend Murray Regional Tourism is determined to capitalise on.
The proposed Murray Regional Food Coun- cil would provide a platform for collaboration across all sectors and the government and to oversee the delivery of these new initiatives.
If created, a new regional food brand would be backed by a new food provenance accreditation system. The brand would celebrate and leverage every local products’ origins and food journey in a similar way to how the wine industry differentiates by growing region.
Chair of Murray Regional Tourism, Wendy Greiner, said the completion of the Murray Farm to Plate Report is an important milestone and is critical for the future growth of both the tourism and agriculture industries in the region.
“We now have a sound understanding of both the challenges and opportunities we are facing,” Ms Greiner said.
“However, importantly, we also have a clear direction to finalise the road map to improve the quality, authenticity and availability of locally produced food and beverage experiences for visitors and locals in the Murray region.
“Across six months and 10 workshops, we engaged with over 230 people from across the entire supply chain, including producers, transport operators, wholesalers and distributors who connect with the food service and independent retail businesses.
“I would like to thank each and every one of those people who volunteered their time and contributed their ideas. I also wish to recognise and acknowledge the work of our team at Murray Regional Tourism for overseeing the whole process.”
A final round of industry consultation will now be undertaken to finalise the Murray Farm to Plate Strategy and five sub-regional Farm to Plate cluster action plans.
The industry isn’t coming from a standing start, either: residents and visitors spend a combined $2.2 billion in the Murray region on food and drink each year.
From a tourism perspective the benefit is the delivery of high quality and authentic food and agritourism products and experiences for visitors.
From an agri-food perspective, the benefit is the ability to tap into and connect with high yield markets and develop direct relationships with consumers and buyers.
The opportunities and potential benefits of this work to both the food and visitor economies in the region are significant.