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South Coast producers taste success

More than 100 local producers recently attended the 2015 South Coast Primary Industries Dinner at Silos Estate, Berry.

South East Local Land Services hosted the sold-out event which is now in its second year and is proving to be an invaluable networking opportunity for local producers.

Senior Land Services Officer Jason Carson said the event connects producers and the wider community allowing them to network, learn from each other and build business skills and knowledge.

"By sharing success stories, innovative ideas and common concerns local producers can develop, diversify and adapt their businesses," Mr Carson said.

"Networking also assists to foster profitable and sustainable practices in the region, drive business development and create market opportunities."

Four local businesses were invited to share their success stories with diners. They discussed the challenges faced by their industry and how they overcome those challenges:

Tom Shannon, Argyle Prestige Meats (APM) talked about the partnership APM has with Manildra Group that has enabled rapid business growth. He discussed branding and what he looks for in local cattle.

Fiona Walmsley, Buena Vista Farm discussed managing a small but diverse operation with free range pigs, chickens and eggs, growing vegetables and coffee, running cooking classes and hosting long table farm lunches and picnic days.

Kel Grey, The Pines, Kiama shared the story of how his family dairy farm moved from supplying major processors to processing and directly supplying local retailers. 

Pia Winberg, Venus Shell Systems provided insights into her new venture developing food products from seaweed with a focus on nutrition and sustainability.

"The success of the dinner is a pleasing result for South East Local Land Services and its partners," Mr Carson said.

"Large industry events, briefings, workshops and field days, are important ways in which Local Land Services promotes latest practices, research and development to its customers.

Funding for the event was provided by the Australian Government through its National Landcare Program. Sponsors included the NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Department of Trade and Investment and Kiama Council.

Media contacts:

Jason Carson 
Telephone: 02 4429 4446

Debra Thompson
Telephone: 02 4224 9707