BOOST: Ecotourism is one way to go.
BOOST: Ecotourism is one way to go. Contributed

Noosa food producers set to gain research 'mileage'

TRACKING Noosa's "food miles” and identifying the shire's future land use is part of a rural enterprise plan to promote sustainable primary production while protecting the environment.

Country Noosa spent most of 2018 in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast and Noosa and District Landcare to fill in data gaps in areas like production capacity and landholder interests for the rural enterprise plan (REP).

USC students have been gaining insights into local food consumer behaviour and "attitude towards buying locally produced foods” as part of mapping "food miles” behaviour.

In May, four workshops in Cooroy, Kin Kin, Tewantin and Pomona gathered input from 33 local producers to help guide the REP research.

"Work is currently under way to develop a series of concept papers on the topics of sustainable grazing, small-crop and niche- product farming, permaculture, carbon farming, ecotourism, collaboration and networks, holistic farm planning and management, pest and weed control and agricultural history of the region,” the Country Noosa website reports.

"Recently, a second round of workshops were completed, with three events gathering a total attendance of 89 community members, land and business owners and other interested parties.”

November meetings in the Cooroy Memorial Hall looked at "new products and markets” and "collaboration and resource sharing”, while a meeting in the Kin Kin School of Arts Hall featured a panel discussion on ecotourism, with representatives from Tourism Noosa, Country Noosa, USC and a local business owner.

A Country Noosa representative said the priority now was to "get the ball rolling on some of the opportunities that have been identified”.

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