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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business
    The Honourable Jan Jarratt

    Gympie chefs back local growers

    Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business
    The Honourable Jan Jarratt

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Gympie chefs back local growers

    Gympie and Sunshine Coast region cafes and restaurants are overwhelmingly buying locally-grown foods and there’s a growing appetite for more.

    Tourism, manufacturing and Small Business Minister Jan Jarratt said this was the message from a survey conducted by the State Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI).

    Ms Jarratt said the Creating Local Food Connections Survey captured the attitudes and purchasing behaviours of 103 local restaurants, cafes and catering organisations and was an important step in strengthening local food connections.

    “The majority of survey respondents - 92% - purchase local foods, with 74% stating they are committed to purchasing local foods and this is a significant message for local growers,” Ms Jarratt said.

    George Isaac, from Zesty Edibles in Gympie, took part in the survey and feels very passionately about purchasing local wherever possible.

    “It’s important we all support each other and if the local economy is doing well then everyone is doing well,” Mr Isaac said.

    “Our customers are mostly local and we buy mostly local and by supporting local food suppliers the cycle continues.

    “We participated in the online survey as it is important to get our views across so that we all can then collectively have a better understanding of what is happening out there.”

    Ms Jarratt said the detail provided by local chefs and restaurant managers regarding any difficulties in sourcing local foods would inform region-wide strategies and intervention programs to assist the local food sector.

    DEEDI Sunshine Coast Acting Director Brian Stockwell is leading the initiative in partnership with the DEEDI Gympie centre and the Gympie Regional Council Economic Development unit.

    “While committed to local food suppliers, often chefs and/or restaurant managers had difficulty in knowing where to source local foods, or had difficulties with inconsistent supplies,” Mr Stockwell said.

    “Restaurants and cafes also indicated they were affected by the downturn in tourism, so general economic conditions and rising overheads were also highlighted as concerns for the industry.

    “However with such positive behaviours being demonstrated towards sourcing local foods, there is an enormous opportunity to better link local growers with local food outlets and help overcome the barriers identified,” Mr Stockwell said.

    The survey is online at

    It was conducted on behalf of DEEDI by Boardroom Business, a Sunshine Coast market research company.

    Media contact: 3224 2004