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Sunshine Coast – the food entrepreneurs’ land of opportunity

Australia’s premiere location for food and agribusiness production and innovation

Food and agribusinesses looking to grow, expand or relocate are attracted to Queensland's Sunshine Coast’s winning combination of location advantages.

An ideal climate, lower costs of doing business, economic resources and government support are just some of the variables that make the region a land of opportunity. 

Since COVID began, more consumers are buying from local businesses, providing increased opportunities for Australian food producers and manufacturers.

Industry opportunities at a glance

The Sunshine Coast is also home to Australia’s fastest growing industry groups, the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN).

Not only is the Sunshine Coast one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, it is one of the most dynamic locations for new food and agribusiness investment.

  • Prime location
  • Growing economy
  • Investment in infrastructure
  • Supportive business network
  • Financial benefits and incentives

Find out more about opportunities within the food and agribusiness sector on the Sunshine Coast.

Download the free ebook

World-class reputation

The Sunshine Coast offers the perfect climate for food producers. The favourable sub-tropical environment has a high rainfall and more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Recognised as one of Australia’s most pristine sustainable environments with rich, productive soils and an abundance of clean water, the region is has a reputation for producing high quality exports. It is also known for having some of the highest food safety and security standards in the world.

Reputation for food quality and safety is more important than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers have become more conscious about their shopping choices and are opting for local products and brands.

A growing economy

The Sunshine Coast food and agribusiness industry has experienced strong growth during the past five years.

It is one of seven high value industries playing a pivotal role in building and shaping the Sunshine Coast economy.

The region is already home to more than 900 agribusinesses employing 5,000 people.

With a wide range of products from strawberries and pineapples to wild caught seafood, dairy, poultry and cultivated turf, the industry injects around $700 million into the economy.

Product profiles

  • Poultry $80.67 million
  • Wild caught seafood $56.44 million
  • Strawberries $23.05 million
  • Macadamias $20.29 million
  • Dairy milk $14.81 million
  • Pineapples $11.54 million
  • Cultivated turf $7.75 million

The diversity of primary and value-added products is further strengthened by the Sunshine Coast processing sector valued at over $390 million.

The Sunshine Coast is also a foodie’s haven, with around 400 food tourism operators and an abundance of annual food festivals drawing visitors from across the world.

Food tourism has been showcased in a series of innovative food festivals and experiences like The Curated Plate festival showcase.

Domestic and international opportunity

Whilst most Sunshine Coast food products are distributed domestically, international export is a significant and growing opportunity for business.

  • 33% stays on the Sunshine Coast
  • 50% goes to other parts of Australia
  • 17% is exported internationally

Sunshine Coast Council is investing in support and infrastructure to better enable businesses to export overseas.

The recently completed Sunshine Coast Airport expansion will provide greater and direct access to international markets, in addition to Brisbane Airport and the Port of Brisbane.

Sunshine Coast Council offers support to export companies through a range of programs.

Driven by innovation

Vitality and innovation continue to shine in the food production sector on the Sunshine Coast.

The region is home to a global leader in applied research, development and extension. The Queensland government research facility services Australia’s nut, tropical and subtropical fruit industries.

It also boasts a dedicated food innovation accelerator program, Grow Coastal, which provides the best food and beverages businesses on the Sunshine Coast with the opportunity to grow and scale.

A welcoming business community

The Sunshine Coast food and agribusiness sector is made up of supportive and inspiring people and organisations like FAN.

It is home to a range of businesses from small-scale foodpreneurs to global exporters.

The ebook profiles a selection of the region’s most successful producers including McCormick and Company – Gourmet Garden, COYO and Walker Seafoods.

Organisations like the FAN offer a meeting point for members and affiliated services to share ideas, innovate and collaborate to grow their business.

FAN is the fastest growing food industry cluster in Australia with more than 300 members who benefit from industry and market information, collaboration opportunities, networking and training events.

Ripe for success

The Sunshine Coast boasts affordable business locations, both industrial and commercial, lower overhead costs and financial and non-financial incentives as part of the Sunshine Coast Investment Incentive Scheme.

Sunshine Coast Council has a team of investment specialists dedicated to helping businesses with free site selection assistance, relocation advice and introductions to government, industry and business networks.


To find out more!

Contact the Head of Trade and Investment, Sunshine Coast Council
Email invest@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au
Call + 61 407 753 645


External sources

McKinsey & Company, Emerging from COVID-19: Australians embrace their values, May 2020
McKinsey & Company, Reimagining food retail in Asia after COVID-19, April 2020

Give your business a boost of Vitamin SC!

As more Australian city businesses look to the regions to establish, relocate or expand, the Sunshine Coast is firmly in the spotlight, with an attractive range of business benefits and lifestyle advantages.

Download the free Vitamin SC magazine and find inspiration as you consider the Sunshine Coast as a place to live, work and play.

Cover of Vitamin SC - Sunshine Coast magazine in ipad pro - no shadow