Best of Ipswich region's food and agribusiness on show

Mark Phelps
By Mark Phelps
Updated April 19 2022 - 2:58am, first published April 18 2022 - 2:00am
Renae Berry, Food and Agribusiness Network, Duncan Brown, Brisbane Valley Farm Direct, Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Bell, and, Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden, showing off some of BV Farm Direct's beef and quail.

JUMBO quail, outstanding grassfed beef and local produce prepared by an award winning chef and served in an outdoor setting proved the perfect recipe for the FAN Sunset Dinner held at Coominya.

Organised by the Ipswich Region Food and Agribusiness Network, the FAN Sunset Dinner drew together some of the region's innovative people who have embraced e-commerce as a way of building and driving their agribusinesses.

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Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Phillip Bell said e-commerce, if done right, was an effective and efficient way of reaching global markets for even small agri businesses.

"E-commerce has the most incredible power to deliver and leverage strength in agribusiness, especially with the support of DAF (the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries)," Mr Bell said.

"We are truly an emerging world strength in agribusiness in our uptake and delivery of innovation."

Jim Madden, the state member for Ipswich West who was deputising for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner, said the Palaszczuk government had always been strongly supportive of the agri-food sector.

"DAF and Trade and Investment Queensland recognise the opportunity to support food and agribusinesses with their e-commerce program to realise new business opportunities," Mr Madden said.

David Smith, who has the animal identification company Ceres Tag and developed the AgTech Store for other business operating in the technology space, said e-commerce enabled product to be sold around the globe, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"We didn't need people driving around in utes trying to sell our products," Mr Smith said.

"People are busy these days. They want to be able to go on a website at 11 o'clock at night and buy products because that is the first free time they have."

The open-air dinner was hosted by Duncan and Tricia Brown from Brisbane Valley Farm Direct on their 1200 hectare cattle and poultry property at Coominya, which has been developed as a Queensland Government approved 'protein precinct'.

Mr Brown said when Covid hit, their 'jumbo' quail operation had collapsed from supplying 3000 birds to a lowly 100 birds a week. However, by embracing e-commerce the business was now processing 10,000 birds a week, servicing not just restaurants, but also building a significant home deliver business in south east Queensland and new export markets in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The FAN dinner was prepared by award-winning chef Jason Peppler. Ever popular singer-songwriter Brendon Warmsley was also on hand to provide entertainment during the evening.

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