Agriculture and food businesses with innovative ideas for the future are encouraged to apply for a place in the Agrifood Evolution program.
Up to 12 business from the Great South Coast will be chosen to take part in the 90 day program to give them the tools they need to scale up their existing business.
AgriFood Evolution has been successfully delivered across Australia over the past four years by industry experts Beanstalk and the Federal Government’s Food Innovation Australia Limited.
With generous support from Food Innovation Australia Limited, the Warrnambool City, Moyne, Corangamite, Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shire Councils have worked together to bring AgriFood Evolution to the region, and to make more than $15,000 worth of mentoring and training available for just $100 per business.
The Great South Coast is Victoria’s largest food and fibre region, producing more than $2 billion in agricultural output each year.
Beanstalk Director Cal Foulner said the ability to add value to an existing product was one of the best ways to grow your business and enter new markets.
“I think there’s a big trend towards businesses moving from being a price taker to a price maker,” he said.
“Typically, Australia has been good at growing bulk commodities and selling them off, but there’s a shift towards people thinking in more innovative ways – bringing a structured process to clearly identify the right customer segments, getting products into their hands, and consequently gathering feedback to refine their value proposition.
“Examples are people who are taking quince and turning it into high-end quince paste products or growing hops locally to make completely locally-sourced beer.”
Mr Foulner said that as well as running through the theories and topics needed to launch and run a successful business, the journey that the program’s participants share and the relationships they build are just as important.
“A lot of the value is bringing people together from the region to collaborate and learn from each other,” he said.
“The old-school way of business is not telling anyone about what you’re doing, keeping everything a secret and working away to be a market leader on your own.
“The new approach, and certainly the approach we are championing, is working out how do you establish the right partnerships to make sure you can focus on doing the thing that you’re the best at.
“The tide of innovation raises all boats in the region, so the more success stories we can generate through programs like AgriFood Evolution, the more everyone stands to benefit.”
Free virtual information sessions will be held to give people an overview of the program as well as some general advice and inspirational ideas to digest. These will be held on March 29 at 6pm and March 31 at 9am and 12.30pm.
To register visit www.agrifoodevolution.thinkific.com/courses