The concept of paddock to plate post pandemic is growing beyond just the vineyard cellar door experience to include all food production in the agri-tourism movement.
From egg producers with cabins on their property to pick your own mango farm-stays, the opportunity exists for more regional entrepreneurs to tap into this resource.
Consultant Rose Wright, Regionality, will help explain this opportunities at the Farm 2 Plate Exchange,a special expo at Beaudesert, Qld, May 18-19.
"The agri-food sector is expected to grow by 30pc by 2030 according to the CSIRO," she says. "That's $5.6 billion in direct investment with $18.6b generated from the flow-on.
"The consumer is moving on. They want to embrace animal welfare and the clean and green nature of food production They like luxury and novel ideas. It is important for farmers to pivot their business in order to tap into these trends. Agritourism is like the cellar door for the rest of the food producers.
"Agritourism is a pathway to market for products that provide health and well-being. It is a way for the value chain to connect directly with customers provided these products have traceability and provenance."
"Consumers were already shifting towards supporting local food production but that trend has been accelerated in the wake of COVID-19," she said.
One of the speakers at the Farm 2 Plate Exchange is Kay Tommerup who, with her husband Dave, diversified their farm after participating in a series of agritourism business development programs offered by Ms Wright and Regionality.
"The agritourism program really made us value working with others," said Kay. "We began to see what could be achieved by banding together."
Kay's pride in her region is reflected in the way she has re-imagined her business, working with other producers in the Scenic Rim to develop a vibrant agri-food region while maintaining a sustainable working farm.
Kay joins Feather and Bone Providore's Laura Dalrymple and Bundarra Berkshire farmer Lauren Mathers on a Farm2Plate Exchange panel on May 18 to discuss changing the system through collaboration.
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