A NEW website highlighting Bundaberg farm produce and where it is available will be launched next week by Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson.
Localfarmproduce.com.au is a national initiative that allows consumers, restaurants and tourists to find local farm produce, value-added products and events in their area.
The website is the initiative of Sarah Waldock, who in conjunction with her partner runs cattle on her parents' farm near Bundaberg.
Her first aim was to promote and sell their cattle direct to the public but she then realised there was a real need for something bigger that would benefit all local and national producers and consumers.
"It's a brilliant idea. Our local farmers produce top quality meat, fruit and vegetables and anything that makes it easier for people to buy it while it is at its freshest has to be a winner," Minister Leanne Donaldson said. "As the Member for Bundaberg, I've taken a lot of interest in this idea.
"I know that some local restaurants and cafes already use produce from local farmers but many don't know what's available or where to find it and the website will be a terrific resource for them.
"It will also be great for the local economy."
Sarah said the Local Farm Produce site listed the producers, what local produce they supplied to the public and where you could find their produce - by farm gate, by private arrangement or at specified locations.
It also lists events such as farmers' markets, food and wine/farm festivals and experiences.
"The heart of this project is about connecting people to local producers and supporting Australian farming, but we recognise that the benefits of this website are wider than this," Sarah said.
"Consumers and tourists can create their own food, wine and event trails, they can find dietary and specialty products more easily and there is paddock to plate visibility between producers to improve food traceability.
"Most people have lost touch with where their produce comes from.
"This will help people find seasonal, high quality food produce on their doorstep and make it possible for consumers to talk directly to the farmers.
"It will also help people find the restaurants and cafes that use local produce so they can show their support and eat at those businesses."
Bundaberg and North Burnett Tourism general manager Katherine Mergard congratulated Sarah on a great initiative.
"From a tourism perspective, the new website is a fantastic resource for visitors to find where to pick up the best local produce direct from the farmers and truly taste what a destination has to offer, connecting beautifully with what the Bundaberg region Winterfeast festival from July 8 to 18 is all about," she said.
Local Farm Produce will be launched in Bundaberg on the evening of Thursday, July 7 by invitation. Anyone interested in being a part of this project or wishing to attend this event can express their interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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