Brisbane Economic Development Agency’s Future Food global accelerator has returned for 2023 to help ten local food suppliers scale and export to new markets.
Since 2018 the Future Food Initiative, has supported more than 400 businesses, generating $480 million in economic activity with JBS Foods Australia, Merlo, Priestley's Gourmet Delights, and Kehoe's Kitchen among past participants.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said supporting local suppliers was crucial to retain and create jobs and business investment in Brisbane.
“We are committed to ensuring Brisbane continues to be the most small-business friendly destination in Australia,” Cr Schrinner said.
“Brisbane has all the right ingredients for the food industry to thrive: fresh, locally grown ingredients, advanced manufacturing capabilities and port access to some of the world’s largest markets.
“We want to make sure Brisbane suppliers can grow their impact locally, and scale globally, by connecting with networks and buyers that can fast-track products to the market.
“This Future Food Initiative is a fantastic launchpad for expansion for these local Brisbane businesses.”
As part of the initiative, businesses participate in an eight-week global readiness accelerator facilitated by industry leading experts and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Past participant Alexander Bell, Director of Milton Rum Distillery said the program had helped him connect with key investors and contacts in the food space.
“BEDA were able to help us build our network and find our collaborators,” Mr Bell said.
“It allowed us to turbocharge our growth, so rather than struggling with the challenges of growing a small business all by ourselves, we had access to networks and data we would never have had access to before.”
Food, beverage and grocery manufacturing generated $27 billion in turnover for Queensland’s economy in FY20/21, employing over 52,000 people and producing $7.4 billion in exports*.
Brisbane City Council granted over 8,300 food business licences in 2022, including 548 for bakeries, 264 for mobile food, 615 for food manufacturers and 48 for beverage bottlers.
The figures show industry has rebounded since licence numbers dropped to 7,813 in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on our programs and events visit the Future Food Initiative page.
*Figures from the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s State of the Industry Interactive Dashboard.