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Australia's first Food & Agribusiness Cluster MeetUp a sweet success

Food & Agribusiness Cluster MeetUpMore than 30 cluster practitioners from food regions around the country met in Moreton Bay on September 7 and 8 to swap stories, share best practice about their cluster development journeys, sample the fabulous local cuisine and "think big".

The Food & Agribusiness Cluster MeetUp, an Australian-first, was organised by RDA Brisbane and RDA Moreton Bay in partnership with TCI Oceania, the global network for professional cluster practitioners. The event was made possible with sponsorship from Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) and support from the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast Councils, and RDA Sunshine Coast.

Attendees travelled to Ocean View Estate Winery on Day 1 to sample the excellent but lesser known bounty of the Moreton Bay region. Day 2 included a visit to Strawberry Fields Farm in the nearby Sunshine Coast. This region supplies 85% of Queensland's strawberries and 50% of the Australian market. Participants heard about the innovative and collaborative projects using strawberry seconds and waste products currently under development through the early efforts of a regional strawberry cluster.

International cluster experts Ifor Ffowcs-Williams and Rodin Genoff shared best practice experiences and learnings from clusters in some of the worlds' most competitive and collaborative food regions. Successful cluster development relies on the talents of highly skilled facilitators who can bring companies and often competitors together to consider business opportunities beyond their individual reach, but that might be possible through collaboration, partnerships and joint ventures at the local level.

Ifor encouraged the new strawberry cluster members to "think big". As far as he is aware, there are no strawberry clusters globally and an opportunity is available to become a world centre in all things to do with the production of strawberries and their associated products.

See our Resources page for presentations and other materials from the Cluster Meetup.

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