SCENIC Rim foodies, producers and tourism operators gathered at Towri Sheep Farm today as they celebrated their accreditation as Eat Local ambassadors for the region.
The 57 businesses are now able to use the official Eat Local Scenic Rim branding in their shop windows, menus and marketing, and consumers will be able to clearly see where they can find, buy and taste truly local produce.
Hosted by Carolyn Davidson and her family at Towri Sheep Farm, the launch featured a range of gastronomic delicacies made from local produce and prepared by The Vintage Pickle at Tamborine Mountain.
Among the accredited Eat Local businesses was Worendo Cottages and Wild Lime Cooking School, headed by Nathan and Jodie Overell, who agreed the initiative was a great idea.
“We have been banging on about the benefits of Eat Local since 2005,” Mr Overall said.
“In terms of produce we have everything you could need here in the Scenic Rim, right down to cooking oils, tea and coffee.”
Lunch included beetroot and feta bruschetta, slow-braised beef served in cheese sauce and garnished with finger lime caviar and a variety of cheeses, meats and fresh vegetables.
The event also launched a cutting-edge digital platform to allow farmers, food producers, winemakers and chefs in the region to attract customers by showcasing a bounty of local products on an online platform.
Federal member for Wright Scott Buchholz, who attended today’s launch, said the Eat Local Scenic Rim initiative gave tourists and locals a pleasant and fulfilling way to tour the region.
“By developing an online platform featuring local producers and businesses – complementing the existing Scenic Rim Eat Local Week – consumers now have an exciting new way to connect to the region’s producers,” Mr Buchholz said.
“People visiting our beautiful region can have some real and engaging experiences with the men and women who produce our vegetables, dairy products, olives, honey, wine, craft beer and coffee all within the Scenic Rim area.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the federal government’s $80,000 investment in the Eat Local Scenic Rim project would help promote tourism within the region and increase turnover for local businesses.
“This exciting program is already off to a great start, with 57 local businesses being accredited for the new Eat Local Scenic Rim initiative and even two volumes of an ‘Eat Local’ cookbook being produced, showing the depth of the community support for the initiative,” Mr McCormack said.
“It will also encourage social interaction and community engagement by making it much easier for local residents to meet and engage with local producers.
Mayor Greg Christensen said consumers were hungry for Scenic Rim produce beyond Eat Local Week and the region’s growing reputation as a gourmet destination meant the time was right.
“The Scenic Rim has been emerging in recent years and developing a growing reputation for producing wonderful food and wine, for gourmet getaways and stunning scenery,” Cr Christensen said.
“It's now taking its rightful place alongside Australia’s other iconic foodie destinations, and we have the added advantage of only being an hour away from Brisbane or the Gold Coast."
The $160,000 Eat Local Scenic Rim project was jointly funded between the Australian government and the Scenic Rim Regional Council.