IDEAS SPROUTING: Chef Darren Robertson and TAFE NSW students at Pocket Herbs in Burringbar.
IDEAS SPROUTING: Chef Darren Robertson and TAFE NSW students at Pocket Herbs in Burringbar.

Farmers think outside box to connect with consumers

LOCAL food identity, Chef Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks) is joining Australian and international farmers, food and drink producers, chefs, tourism and hospitality businesses to discuss innovative ideas at innovative event Farm 2 Plate Exchange.

The Farm2Plate Exchange is packed into two days with optional masterclasses that allow you to dive deep into a range of areas across agritourism, policy, marketing, food and farming.

It follows the trend where farmers are moving away from old business models and embracing innovative business partnerships and farming collaborations to connect directly with customers.

Farm2Plate Exchange is for everyone who wants to share their interest and passion for a healthier and sustainable farm-to-plate approach to food.

Celebrity chefs, leading farmers, tourism and hospitality experts will take part in case study tours, masterclasses, keynote speeches and workshops

During the even Mr Robertson will oversee a dinner with Tafe students where a zero-waste menu was formulated using local ingredients.

He said there was "definitely a growing closer connection between farmers and chefs" and there was a growing interest in where food was coming from because of "sustainability, nutrition and real food tastes better".

He said good food, thought provoking ideas and problem solving would come of the Farm2Plate Exchange.

Regionality Managing Director, Rose Wright said, "People are producing profits on micro-farms and in urban agriculture, an acre in size upwards, using the latest in technology, tapping into farm tourism and selling directly to health conscious consumers."

"Chefs are even playing a pivotal role in educating people about seasonal foods being tastier and higher in nutritional value, creating menus around produce sourced locally.

"Farmers today are working towards a sustainable local food production system which doesn't require artificial inputs and aids in the regeneration of the local environment.

"Australia has some of the best food production in the world and I think farmers are trying to re-connect directly with consumers to educate them about how food is produced.

"To do this farmers are diversifying which is also generating additional incomes streams - selling branded products, creating farm tours, on the farm lunch and dinners, wellness on the farm as well as workshops on how to farm - the sky is the limit.

"Some farmers are establishing co-farming partnerships on part of their land to people who want to try their hand at different farming options."

Farm2Plate Exchange Map 13-17 2019. Register at