Great food and networking was on the menu at Melbourne’s North Food Group Business briefing on October 4. Proudly supported by the City of Whittlesea, Hume City Council and Quest Epping, 30 people gathered on the top floor of Quest Epping Apartment Hotel. Partners were invited to the event as an opportunity to have input and learn about the services MNFG provides for businesses.
The room was a buzz of excitement as partners alike, networked among each other. Conversation only to be disrupted by a bite or sip of local catering.
Partners were welcomed as NORTH Link Executive director Chris James began proceedings. Chris highlighted four key recommendations received from roundtables and consultations. The following recommendations have since been an integral aspect of MNFG’s actions:
- Establish industry-owned representative organisation
- Establish an innovation cluster
- Establish a skills cluster
- Actively promote region’s food and beverage sector.
Team leader for Economic Development at City of Whittlesea Sarah Rowe, spoke of MNFG’s evolvement from beginnings as the Plenty Food Group. She explained how the food group has evolved into an industry group with an impressive list of services continue to create opportunity for businesses. Sarah emphasised the level of support the council places behind MNFG as it continues to service Melbourne’s north.
2018 trade shows & future activities
MNFG General Manager for Membership, Events and International Trade Margaret McLelland, highlighted the list of 2018 trade shows that partners were involved in under the MNFG banner. Overseas trips saw partners travel to Dubai and Thailand for Gulfood and Thaifex. Both trips proved greatly beneficial as partners gained access to buyers across the globe.
Of course, travelling abroad does not hold all the opportunity. Melbourne’s North Food Expo and Fine Food Australia allowed partners to proudly display their product to Melbourne and beyond. Following the list of success partners experienced at these recent shows, Margaret was excited by the opportunities that lay ahead. One of those opportunities being the upcoming Food Hotels China trade show in Shanghai in November.
“One of our valued partners mentioned to me that they’d attended four of our past briefings and because of the activities that had been announced, tonight’s briefing has been the best one so far,” she said.
Words from MNFG partner
Proud MNFG partner, Connie Manglaviti from Naturally Good Products spoke of the businesses journey alongside MNFG. Connie flipped the dynamic by highlighting that for all partners to benefit, partners must contribute just as much as they receive.
“It’s important that we not only get value, but that we also add value back,” she said.
MNFG General Manager for Operations Tony Coppola, informed the crowd on MNFG’s role and the capabilities it has to benefit Melbourne’s north:
- Leadership, voice and advocacy for the sector
- Drive growth, productivity and competitiveness
- Build export capability
- Build business capability & collaboration
- Foster innovation
- Generate new jobs
- Reduce business costs.
Tony advised the group on current opportunities partners can benefit from that will assist in reducing costs and to stimulate business growth.
- Group buying for energy and insurance gives partners the chance to save money by aggregating demand.
- Free strategic business reviews allow partners to gain a deeper level of understanding into their business.
- Industry and education roundtables allows business to have input into services provided by education institutes.
- The partnership MNFG has with RMIT, La Trobe University, Melbourne Polytechnic and Kangan Institute offers businesses free student placements, benefitting both students and partners.
“We are delighted that food and beverage business partners are taking advantage of our high value services and activities such as trade shows and exhibitions to increase sales; and business reviews and forums that build business capability. It was also great to network and get feedback directly from business owners on current and future issues,” he said.
Doing business with China was considered a major draw card for partners entering the group. Tony highlighted the successful relationship MNFG have fostered with Chongqing and Beijing delegations, which will continue.
Thanks to Sponsors
The briefing concluded by thanking event sponsors City of Whittlesea, City of Hume, Hot Coals Catering, Shearasun Brewing, Wine By Sam and Quest Epping. Following a quick tour of the Quest facilities and more mingling and food, the event came to a close.