Food and beverage industry 

Gympie has a diverse industry renowned for producing high-quality, safe and nutritious food and beverages.
 
The industry is supported by Gympie’s strong agriculture and food and beverage manufacturing industries with a key advantage of the region being its location as the northern gateway to the $210 billion south-east Queensland economy.
 

Competitive advantage 

With a strong history of economic prosperity based on agriculture, it is no surprise to learn that primary production is a major economic driver of the Gympie region. What is surprising to many is the diversity of business opportunities in this sector, with a focus on value adding in the production chain. Development of agribusiness production close to the source of materials and distribution hubs makes good business sense as the Gympie region is less than two hours from major markets and export gateways. 
Land and production costs are very competitive with beneficial infrastructure and a local supporting government planning scheme. The Gympie region is experiencing strong growth in boutique, value-added food-processing businesses, and livestock raising; including free-range and organic pork, poultry, eggs, beef and dairy products. 
 

Industry snapshot 

  • There are 3,908 people employed to grow, manufacture and sell food and beverage in the Gympie region. 
  • The average rainfall for the Gympie region is 1,124mm per year
  • Total sales for 2015/2016 exceeded $294 million
Source: .id 
 

Trends

Agribusiness is becoming increasingly entrepreneurial and focussed on value adding with linkages to manufacturing, education, retails and tourism. The majority of Gympie region businesses can be classified as micro to small-scale enterprise with many producers choosing to sell direct to local markets. This shortening of the supply chain and shift to local direct markets has been associated with small-scale farming globally.
 

Key opportunities 

  • Value adding to the agricultural production chain with the processing, packaging and distribution of products such as nuts, dairy products, dried and baked goods, avocado and macadamia nut oils, and a range of sauces, jams and chutneys. 
  • Specialty crops able to capitalise on the unique temperate subtropical climate and quality soil. 
  • Marine-based industries including fishing, marine supplies and other seafood production. 
  • Leverage the increased demand for local food in the Australian “foodie” segment, and premiums for high quality, fresh and processed foods from countries such as China.
  • Encourage diversified farming that creates another source of farm-based income, including new crop or animal varieties, on-farm processing or linkages to tourism through the development of farm-based and nature tourism activities.
  • Build upon the Gympie Gold Regional Produce brand being quality, sustainably produced produce and products.


Gympie Gold Regional Produce 

Gympie Gold Regional Produce is an agribusiness network established through Gympie Regional Council with the aim to connect food, agribusiness, hospitality industries and those involved in Government and community.

Gympie Gold Regional Produce promotes the benefits of supporting local food and agribusiness businesses and innovative, sustainable business development.
 
Member businesses benefit through Gympie Regional Council’s online marketing, social media and the sharing of agribusiness and food industry news.
 
The initiative provides networking opportunities, promotes local products and services, facilitates alliances, and provides food industry representation and events for members.
 
Since February 2014, renowned chef, Matt Golinski has been engaged as the region’s Food and Food Tourism Ambassador, which has seen a boost to the Gympie Gold Regional Produce brand and the members of the network.
 

Fast Facts

  • The number of member subscribers for the network has grown from 81 in 2012 to over 600 in 2016.
  • Eat Local Month launched in May 2015 and is now an annual event with over 27 events with an audience of over 10,000 people in 2017.
  • Gympie Gold Regional Produce promotes Gympie region produce at major events such as Regional Flavours held in Brisbane’s South Bank each year with over 80,000 people attending over two days in 2017.