The Central Coast has a well-established, innovative and high quality food and beverage manufacturing industry that is vital to the strength of our local economy. We are also home to a diverse array of high quality primary food producers and food service companies. Combined, this makes the food sector one of our largest employers, second only to health. But there is scope to build on our strengths and emerging capabilities to open up even greater opportunities for the future. The Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC) Food Cluster was established with a vision to make the Central Coast the premiere food and agribusiness region in NSW. On the back of recent national funding, CCIC has announced the engagement of Daniel Farmer as General Manager, Food to lead that vision.
Mr Farmer, who held the role of Regional Manager, NSW Business Chamber for almost ten years until late last year, is no stranger to the CCIC and its initiatives and objectives. He has been involved with the not-for-profit organisation in various capacities, including a member of the Board. Over the past twelve months in particular, the Food Cluster has grown from strength to strength, connecting key University of Newcastle research with government and local industry. A testament to this is the fact that CCIC was one of only four recipients in Australia of funding from Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) as part of their national Cluster Program to accelerate innovation and growth across the Australian Food and Agribusiness sector.
A strong advocate for collaboration and connectivity, Mr Farmer has been responsible for bringing together some of the Central Coast’s strongest partnerships, including the Chamber Alliance program. “When I started with the NSW Business Chamber over 10 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of collaboration in industry or business, let alone with local government and the university,” said Mr Farmer. “Since then, so much work has been done by the Chamber, CCIC, business, and many other stakeholder organisations to facilitate those important connections and collaboration. When you look at the most successful food industries in other regions such as the Food Agribusiness Network on the Sunshine Coast, or Food and Fibre in Gippsland, they are collaborating through research and innovation. My objective in this role is to help create a similar outcome for our region, create more local jobs and promote the strength of the food industry we have here on the Coast.”
CCIC CEO, Frank Sammut said, “We are pleased that a high calibre professional like Daniel has joined us to work with our partners in RDA Central Coast and the University of Newcastle to make the Central Coast a food Innovation region.”
Article by Phaedra Pym, A Way With Words.