Partner Update – September 2020

Food & Fibre – Great South Coast is the representative body for food and fibre on the Great South Coast.  Great South Coast is Victoria’s largest food and fibre region, producing $2.3 billion in agricultural output annually. The food and fibre industry accounts for 60% of the region’s GDP and 21.6% of total jobs.

Our region spans south west Victoria, taking in the beautiful coastlines of the Great Ocean Road to the inland majesty of the Southern Grampians. We are the people, natural environment and industries of Corangamite Shire, Glenelg Shire, Moyne Shire, Southern Grampians Shire, and the City of Warrnambool – collectively a population of 103,900 people, over 11,000 businesses, achieving a gross regional product of $5.5 billion.

Strategy

We’re working on a new Strategic Plan! Our current strategy and action plan covers 2015 – 2020, and we will draw on the strong foundations provided by this 116-page report to streamline our activities to match our resourcing and enhance our impact. We will achieve this by aligning our strategy and activities to the Great South Coast Economic Futures report to judiciously play our role to grow the value and capacity of the Great South Coast’s Food and Fibre Industry.

Governance

In transitioning from a community council to an incorporated association there is a hefty governance mountain to climb to achieve best practice for an organisation of our size and purpose. We’re 100% committed to achieving this goal within the next 6 months – knowing this is as important to our funding partners as it is to us and the business people we represent.

Advocacy

We understand the pivotal role and responsibility we have as food and fibre leaders to passionately advocate, promote and protect our regional food and fibre industries, people and products. We’re currently building advocacy into the very fibre of our new strategy (pun intended!).

This will include:

  • More active social media, including sharing content from key partners and individuals that fits our message
  • Advocacy as a component of every project we do, and attracting communications specific project funding wherever possible
  • Continued traditional media involvement and participation
  • Sharing more of the achievements and food and fibre voices of our region
  • Asking individuals and partners such as yourselves to help amplify our voice.

We’ll take some time to get where we aim to be but we hope you’ll notice a sustainable and steady uptick in momentum.

We’ve Been Busy!

Our new Executive Officer, Natalie Collard, took over the helm on 24 August. She’s hit the ground running, thanks to conversations with former Executive Officer Tony Ford and Project Officer Jane Young who has ably held the fort between EO’s. Natalie’s biography can be found on our website.

In her first month Natalie has had in-depth conversations with over 20 stakeholders, led or participated in project and grant discussions, and delivered the Great South Coast Food & Fibre Council’s inaugural Annual General Meeting on 8 September 2020.

At the AGM, our Chair, Georgina Gubbins recognised our past achievements and outlined our priorities for the current financial year. We welcomed three new Council members: Jonathan Jenkin (beef, Penshurst), Martin Clark (forestry, Hamilton) and Jack Luxford (banking and finance, Dunkeld).

Georgina thanked outgoing Council members Andrew Paton, Mark Gervis and Daker Pern for the strength of their individual contributions to the Council and welcomed their respective commitments to remain active supporters of our important work. Head to our website to learn more about new and existing Council members.

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