Exploring Southland's food and fibre opportunities
We are on a mission to uncover commercially viable opportunities that will diversify Southland's economy and create new job prospects. If you're part of the food and fibre sector, let's team up to unlock the region's untapped potential.
We want to future-proof the region’s food and fibre industry with community ideas. Southland's strength lies in its land, making the food and fibre sector integral to the region's economy. Thriving Southland aims to support landowners with their decision making by providing robust and trusted information resources freely.
Thriving Southland's Stage One engagement process has uncovered exciting possibilities for the region's food and fibre sector. The Project Team conducted workshops, collaborated with stakeholders, and prioritised nine themes: Grains, Legumes & Vegetables, Forage and Feeds, Pastoral Farming, High Value Niche, Forestry, Regional Differentiation, Processing Infrastructure,Waste streams, and Science & Technology. These themes guided an online engagement process to capture diverse insights on potential food and fibre opportunities. The user-friendly online platform was visited by 1967 people and received 80 contributions, shaping the project's direction based on community feedback.
In October 2023, the project team held a workshop in Mataura to discuss the contributions, opportunities and issues with farmers and landowners. Discussions revolved around understanding market potential, processing logistics, cost-benefit analysis, and the challenges and opportunities each contribution presented.
Following a successful workshop, the Project Advisory Group worked alongside the Project Team to shortlist seven opportunities to progress to Stage Two. The seven opportunities were also prioritised across four tiers, so that funding can be sought via a phased approach. The seven areas of focus include on-farm energy and biomass technology, niche food and fibre enterprise, local markets through food and beverage tourism, industrial hemp, regional processing solutions, industrial food ingredients and precision fermentation.
The next phase involves developing blueprints, guidance documents and discussion papers on seven shortlisted opportunities. Stage Two encompasses a range of tasks, including research, writing, design, publication and project management.
Thriving Southland is gearing up for Stage Two by identifying key organisations and businesses to participate in and contribute to the project in 2024.
Join us on this journey towards a more sustainable and diversified regional economy!
A Guidance Document on On-farm Energy and Biomass Technology Options for Farmers and Growers
A Guidance Document on Establishing a Niche Food and Fibre Enterprise
A Guidance Document for Developing Local Markets through Food and Beverage Tourism
A Blueprint for Regional Processing Solutions
A Blueprint for Developing an Industrial Hemp Sector in Southland
A Blueprint for Developing an Industrial Food Ingredients Sector in Southland
A Discussion Paper: Preparing Southland for Precision Fermentation