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Food Sector Updates (21/6/2016)

The Southern Highlands Food Production & Regional Brand Strategy

How do we generate $1m a year by growing food on 100 acre blocks? How many new jobs are possible if we develop a top quality food brand for the Southern Highlands? What’s the quickest way to expand “Paddock To Plate”?

 “Paddock to Plate” food promotions are becoming well established in the Southern Highlands.

While these types of businesses generate individually significant incomes, collectively they are really just scratching the surface of what is potentially a very profitable opportunity for the region.

It is possible for organic grass fed farms in our region, currently earning perhaps $300 an acre a year to generate $10,000 per acre income per year by changing the way we do things. The key is an integrated, well-branded, food supply chain using a direct marketing approach. Developing such an industry cluster could create several hundred new jobs.

Additional developments could include a sustainable abattoir and a food processing plant. These developments could generate several hundred additional new jobs.

The opportunity is significant. Sydney, with a population of 4.3 million, is on our doorstep, with formerly productive agricultural land being swallowed by urban growth.

Around other parts of the world increasingly severe droughts are causing agricultural productivity to drop. For example the current drought in California presents an opportunity to expand food marketing beyond Australia. And the Californian market has the ability to pay top dollar for organic, well-branded, food.

“On The Grow” Oct 2015

“Clusters” Oct 2015

“Intensive Agriculture” Oct 2015

Food Sector Summary: July 2015


Where we want to be by 2031

  • Optimise our current agribusiness economy by developing closer and mutually beneficial relationships between producers and consumers in the Southern Highlands (2031-EconDev-5.3.1)
  • Develop and implement programs to extend our agribusiness economy by pursuing new lines of business which best fit our climate and brand identity (2031-EconDev-5.3.2)
  • Attract agricultural industries and research institutes to establish operations within the Shire, both to support local producers and to design products and services for export to other markets (2031-EconDev-5.3.3)
  • Encourage communities and residents to create a self-provisioning economy by growing their own food (2031-EconDev-5.3.4)
  • Increase access to fresh local produce for all and build local food security through supporting local food production and consumption (2031-People-2.2.1)
  • Regional Food – A strong regional food network nourishes regional economies, tourism and health. It preserves fertile land and promotes regional resilience. (RDA Table-SH)
  • Regional Food Networks. We work with regional food networks, inform state and federal food policy and support the implementation of NSW regional action plans and the NSW Food Plan.( RDA Table-SH)
  • Southern NSW Harvest Association. We sponsor Southern Harvest and provide administrative support. (RDA Table-SH)