Over 130 people from across the West Australian agriculture and food industry gathered on 24 January 2017 for the official opening of the Southern Forests Food Council’s Genuinely Southern Forests market floor, which also coincided with the launch of the 2017 retail marketing campaign at Market City Perth. The event was well attended by members of industry including trade, buyers, chefs, retailers, and regional and state government.
Representing the Premier at the event, Minister for Agriculture and Food Mark Lewis praised the initiative commenting, “This is the greatest innovation I have seen on the market floor in 21 years. What I see here today is all about collaboration; opening doors to better local and international supply opportunities by strengthening the supply chain and ensuring the growers are benefiting. It is a collaboration that I would like to see broaden as Agriculture Minister.”
Minister for Regional Development, Terry Redman also commended the partnership between the Southern Forests Food Council and Allstates Farms calling the Southern Forests region “The gourmet platter of the South West.” He went on to say, “The importance of agriculture in our regions is building as a key area within the WA economy. We are seeing global interest and investment increasing significantly, in the last 4.5 years we haven’t seen such great investment in the sector as we have in recent times. The Southern Forests team are doing it for themselves with backing from Royalties for Regions, and I for one have a great amount of confidence in the agricultural sector and the region moving forward.”
The Southern Forests region includes the major towns of Manjimup, Pemberton, Northcliffe and Walpole. Renowned for the black truffle and home of the Pink Lady apple, the region is responsible for 50% of WA’s apple production and 40% of WA’s potato production.
Over the next 6 months across sixteen independent retailers stretching as far north as Mindarie and south to Mandurah, consumers will have the opportunity to sample, purchase and learn more about Southern Forests growers and the community behind their produce. The participating retailers are:
- Peaches Fresh Food Market, South Fremantle
- Napoli Mercarto, Harrisdale
- Rustico Gourmet Grocer, Riverton
- Gilberts Fresh Market Mandurah
- Gilberts Fresh Market Midland
- Gilberts Fresh Market Willetton
- Gilberts Fresh Market Hilton
- Fresh Provisions, Mt Lawley
- Fresh Provisions, Bicton
- The Good Grocer, Applecross
- Canning Bridge IGA
- Shenton Park IGA
- Limes Fresh, Myaree
- Supa IGA Wembley
- IGA Leederville
- Basil’s Fine Foods, Mindarie
With the Genuinely Southern Forests branding firmly established, both fresh produce buyers and consumers will be further encouraged to select products identified with the Genuinely Southern Forests brand. This will be strengthened with stores displaying a range of branded point-of-sale material including grower cut outs, aerial hanging cards and in-store digital displays. An in-store tasting schedule with all retailers over the campaign period will ensure a genuine taste experience while maximising retail and brand exposure, and truly connect consumers to the region.
The Genuinely Southern Forests market floor now provides a centralised point for buyers, chefs and retailers to access the region’s extensive seasonal range of over 50 fruits and vegetables grown, along with valued added grocery lines including honey, green tea and sparkling non-alcoholic juices by member producers.
See below for pictures from the launch event, including some delicious food from Heyder and Shears catering.