Logo to point out local produce

THE business of food is set tobecome a whole more serious on the Northern Rivers.

Everything to do with the subject that is so close to our stomachs, from growing to eating, is to be embraced by Northern Rivers Food in a push to promote the region’s produce nationally, and ultimately around the world.

One of the first moves by the organisation is a ‘source identifier’ – a logo that is being developed that will proudly state that a particular product is from this region.

Co-ordinator Lois Kelly said the initiative, organised under the auspices of the Regional Development Association, would have four platforms. Compiling a database of those involved in food growth and manufacture was the first step, and she called on everyone associated with food, from fishers to beef farmers, to growers and packagers, to contact her.

Ms Kelly said marketing and promotion would be an important task and the logo would be a key to this.

“It will mean a consumer can walk into a supermarket or restaurant anywhere in the country and see that a product was sourced from here, and recognise it as a stamp of quality,” she said.

“We really have a clean, green environment up here. And we have such a great range of really beautiful products, from macadamias tolemon myrtle.”

Another plank in the marketing campaign would be to have stands at trade fairs around the country, such as at the Good Food shows in Sydney and Melbourne next year.

“We are looking at the opportunity for a gourmet food convention in the Northern Rivers. How can we use food to draw people to the area and teach them about our produce?” she asked.

An education initiative would include setting up a mentoring program.

“We are also looking at partnering with North Coast ACE to run short workshops on a range of subjects,” Ms Kelly said.

Ms Kelly said promoting food was vital to our economic future.

For instance, the arrival of the herb grower Freshzest in Caniaba two years ago had created 35 jobs for local people.

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