A key event planned for an upcoming Sunshine Coast food festival has been cancelled due to foot and mouth disease concerns.
The Maleny Dairy Picnic, which celebrates the region's dairy producers as part of 10-day food festival, The Curated Plate, was due to be held on Saturday at Maleny Dairies, but was called off on Monday.
Organisers said the event was pulled by the three businesses due to the potential risk FMD posed.
"Our friends at Maleny Cheese, Maleny Dairies and Maleny Food Co. have made the difficult decision to cancel their event this Saturday, due to potential biosecurity risk of a foot and mouth disease outbreak in Australia," they said.
"This is a precautionary measure to protect the health and wellbeing of the cows and calves in the local area."
Maleny Dairies CEO Stephen Tait said the event would go ahead but at a later date.
"We look forward to holding this collaborative event with our friends from Maleny Cheese and Maleny Food Co once the risk of foot and mouth disease is reduced in Australia," Mr Tait said.
Maleny Food Co. owner Norman Scott, who sources milk from the dairy for their gelato and sorbet, said it was the right decision.
"Maleny Dairies is the producer of the milk and the farmer at the end of the day, and they obviously have different concerns than others might have in terms of foot and mouth and the impacts of that, so they've made some decisions from their point of view," Mr Scott said.
"We all discussed it and we certainly support the action they've taken in terms of being very cautious at this stage.
"None of us want foot and mouth in Australia, and certainly it would be devastating for the cattle industry and the dairy industry and all of the downstream producers that it therefore might impact. As somebody who's not a farmer directly, I'm certainly very conscious of the risks and the impacts that might have."
Living in the UK during an FMD outbreak, Mr Scott said he understood farmers' concerns about the biosecurity threat.
"Foot and mouth was something I grew up with. It was something I was certainly very aware of as a boy over in the UK. It would be devastating as a country that has such a high degree of primary production, both in the beef and dairy side of things."
Although the intention is to announce a new date in future for the event to take place outside of the festival, ticket holders have been contacted for refunds.
The family event was set to include tastings, entertainment, dairy tours, and the opportunity for children to connect with the farm animals.
The Curated Plate made its debut in 2019, showcasing local produce as curated by international, national and local chefs to foodie audiences from the coast to the hinterland.
Following the event's cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the impacts of the pandemic, the event is back for a second time.
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