People, Place, Innovation, Growth
MFA and Thomas Farms Kitchen Launch Meal Boxes
The Murraylands Food Alliance received funding through PIRSA’s Premium Food and Wine Co-Innovation Cluster Program for a number of projects designed to strengthen the region’s profile and competitive advantage, and to increase product sales for Alliance members.
One of those projects is a collaborative online marketing platform, Thomas Farms Kitchen, which allows consumers to select meals from a weekly menu inspired by South Australia’s finest produce. The recipes and pre-portioned ingredients are then packed and delivered to the consumer’s door.
This project was launched in October 2017, which included a structured marketing plan to ensure the launch of the platform, and the promotion of each business’ produce is widespread.
The region-specific meal boxes are an Australian first in paddock-to-plate eating, reducing food miles and supporting our local farmers, as the consumer has an ever expanding need to know where their food comes from. The co-branded food boxes will cater to this demand.
The Murraylands is South Australia’s largest food bowl, with the MFA members producing nearly half of the region’s economic activity, and has now established itself as a go-to food source with its authentic, local and premium quality reputation appealing to discerning foodies.
Choose your own recipes or choose a meal plan and Thomas Farms Kitchen will do it all for you! Order your meals today: www.thomasfarmskitchen.com.au
Producer in Residence, MFA at the Adelaide Central Market
For three weeks in July 2017, regional food producers showcased their wares at the Producers in Residence stall at Adelaide’s Central Markets, with local chefs also spruiking food from the region at the Demonstration Kitchen.
The stall provided a very cheap, low-risk and high visibility platform for thirty small businesses to test a retail space in Adelaide. Producers offered tastings of their produce and received direct feedback from consumers, and spoke with retailers and distributors about ongoing opportunities for supply.
To complement the stall, chefs from Monarto Zoo, Thomas Farms Kitchen and Loxton Hotel featured local produce at the market’s Demonstration Kitchen each Saturday.
Participating producers have already seen great returns, with an independent supermarket in Murray Bridge now stocking some of the featured products, and a distributor in Queensland recruiting five producers to send ongoing regular shipments to shops and venues in that state.
Businesses who took part in the project:
Little Local Cafe, Ausnat Fruits, Illilangi Gourmet Food, The Kumquater, Aussie Apricot, Almond Grove Turkeys, River Murray Honey, Tuckeroo, Southern Emu, Parrilla Premium Potatoes, The Honey Alchemists, Thomas Foods Kitchen, Beston Global Foods, Longridge Olives, Australian Bush Foods, Riverland Activated Nuts, Southern Sky Peacans, Singing Magpie Produce, Obsession Coffee, Bassham Wines, Arnold Brothers, 919 Wines, Whistling Kite Wines, The Woolshed Brewery, Jachmann Cider, Nippys, 23rd St Distillery, Monarto Zoo, The Loxton Hotel, Adelaide Oval Catering
MFA presents Taste the Murraylands Degustation
MFA partnered with RDAMR and Monarto Zoo in May 2017 to host the first ever Tasting Australia event in the Murraylands. The event was designed to bring visitors into the region, and to highlight the premium food, wine and tourism experiences available in the Murraylands.
The event was sold out, with 85 guests in attendance. RDAMR worked with MFA producers and other stakeholders to prepare a locally sourced five-course degustation menu with paired wine. In true paddock-to-plate style, producers of the featured ingredients were interviewed throughout the night.
Guests were treated to sunset on the Giraffe Platform, with two new babies proving a popular feature. The evening concluded with mulled wine, cheese, chocolates and an astronomer illuminating the zoo’s night sky. Regional tourism operators donated gifts of accommodation and experiences that will inspire guests to return to the region.
This event was proposed as a key opportunity to utilise established food and wine relationships, and incorporate up-and-coming businesses into this collaborative working group to further build the agri-food and wine capacity of the region.
MFA Jobs 4 Murraylands
Est 2016 – 2018
The MFA partnered with RDAMR, supported by the Department of State Development, on an innovative partnership to prepare job seekers for employment in the food industry. Since its establishment in 2016 this project has had life-changing results for more than 100 participants. 70% of whom have since moved into sustainable employment.
MFA Jobs 4 Murraylands was tailored specifcally to the needs of both participants and partner employers in the Murraylands region. Employers include MFA members, Thomas Foods International, Big River Pork, Inghams and Costa Adelaide Mushroom.
Before undertaking their industry training, participants were assisted to overcome employment barriers, and to build resilience, self-esteem and motivation. They also received a gym membership to prepare them for the physical demands of the industry.
The idea behind the program was to address the disconnect between high unemployment levels in the region, and they high demand for suitably skilled and motivated workers. Following the success of the three rounds of the program so far a fourth round has commenced in the Murraylands, and an expansion is in the works for the Riverland.
To download our program overview flyer click here – RDAMR_Jobs 4 Murraylands training program flyer