Drinking a fresh cup of milk, Georgia Ellem's farming bloodlines extend back to the early farming pioneers of the Clarence Valley.
Drinking a fresh cup of milk, Georgia Ellem's farming bloodlines extend back to the early farming pioneers of the Clarence Valley. DEbrah Novak

Forum to secure our food future

CLARENCE Valley food security are one of the issues that will be raised at next weeks Clarence Valley Agriculture and Food Forum.

As the forum countdown begins organisers are calling on any Clarence Valley farmers, growers, producers, manufacturers, educators and other stakeholders who have a vested interest in the agriculture sector, food and dining economy to register for the event.

Forum organiser Debrah Novak according to 2016 ABS statistics and of the 3854 registered Clarence Valley businesses, 996 are agricultural based.

"There is no doubt agriculture is a major player in driving our local economy," she said.

"There are some great opportunities to grow businesses in this area and for it to be more sustainable.

"The Clarence should be ahead of the game to so that we are not left dragging the chain and potentially missing out on opportunities".

Ms Novak pointed out world wide businesses are transitioning into the digital economy where technology enables greater returns on investment and diversity of production and this too would be a discussion point as a way to engage young people into our farming futures.

"Presently we have a country university and an international micro finance bank Grameen Australia scoping our area to set up shop. The company who will be managing the new Grafton Jail will also be calling for an EOI for someone to supply food to 2000 people on site for 20 years and I would like to think a Clarence Valley Food Co-operative could be their complete supply chain solution and put in a competitive bid," she said.

"We are providing this forum as opportunity to network with the supply chain while at the same time bring everyone to together and act as Clarence Valley Ag brains trust.

"We have many successful long time farmers who have a great knowledge bank of our area and by working together with them we can drive our Ag conversation to assist future generations take up farming as a career pathway."

The Clarence Valley Agriculture and Food Forum is a free event and will be staged in the historic grounds of the Trenayr Ag Station Monday December 11 from 10am-3pm. People are asked to register due to catering. at clarencevalleyfood@gmail.com or 0402 404 606.



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