Scenic Rim wins Resilient Australia Award
An initiative to connect consumers with Scenic Rim produce after the cancellation of 2020 Eat Local Week has earned the Scenic Rim Regional Council a win in the Resilient Australia Awards. Scenic Rim Farm Box, which the council supported as part of its economic stimulus package in response to COVID-19 in lieu of its usual contribution to Eat Local Week, won an award in the Local Government Award category at the 2020 Resilient Australia Awards (Queensland) on October 14. The awards recognise projects that have helped communities better prepare for natural disasters and emergencies.
At a time when local producers were losing valuable income as a result of the global pandemic, Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen says the farm-to-fridge pivot went a long way to filling the gap caused by both the cancellation of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week and the loss of business as supply chains and restaurants closed due to COVID-19.
“Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, which was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020, pumps around $2 million into the local economy each year and attracts close to 40,000 visitors,” Christensen says. “It also provides our artisanal producers with a fantastic sales outlet for their products and builds loyal relationships with our city cousins. So, there was a big gap there which had to be filled in a big way.”
Since its inception, there’s been steady growth in the number of participating suppliers registered with the farm box, which now offers more than 240 different product lines.
By leveraging existing networks created by the annual Eat Local Week, the Scenic Rim Regional Council was able to work with local producers to ensure the Scenic Rim Farm Box had a fast turnaround, to bring much-needed economic stimulus to the region.
Genevieve Windley from Scenic Rim Farm Box says the council’s support of the Scenic Rim Farm Box concept has been critical to its success,
“Combined with the support from local producers and Kalfresh’s in-kind contribution, it meant we were able to get up and running within three weeks of launch,” she says.
Scenic Rim Farm Box is now delivering products from more than 50 Scenic Rim producers and has created 18 direct jobs, as well as more indirectly.
“Our local farmers and producers are benefiting and so are our local builders, drivers, box packers, uniform providers and sign writers,” Christensen says. “As a region that has faced drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, we are proud of the strength and resilience our communities have shown and their willingness to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
“This initiative is inspiring people to visit the Scenic Rim, enhancing our region’s brand for produce excellence and cementing our reputation as a foodie destination.”
You can find out more about Scenic Rim Farm Box at scenicrimfarmbox.com.au