A sweet solution that’s too good to waste
  • Friday 05 June 2015

They’re delicious, nutritious and thousands of tonnes of them are grown right here every year.

Strawberries are worth around $16 million per annum to the Sunshine Coast and they’re a household favourite.

Unfortunately though much of their goodness is going to waste with vast quantities of strawberries discarded each year.

Sunshine Coast Council and Queensland Strawberry Association will join growers, food industry businesses and local and state government at a forum in Beerwah on Wednesday, June 10 to discuss ways to reduce wastage and develop more niche strawberry products.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the forum had the potential to unearth new opportunities in the strawberry industry.

“About a quarter of all strawberries grown in Queensland are grown right here on the Sunshine Coast but sadly a lot of that fruit is going to waste,” she said.

“The University of Sunshine Coast is currently conducting a survey to see how much edible and non-edible strawberry waste is being produced.

“This forum will look at ways we can reduce edible waste by developing new products and/or value-adding to existing strawberry products.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for strawberry growers and those interested in developing new niche strawberry products to discuss opportunities with industry and government representatives.”

Sunshine Coast Food and Agribusiness Taskforce Leader Andrew Eves-Brown said one of the key actions in the Sunshine Coast Agribusiness Industry Investment Plan was a “zero waste project” to eliminate the dumping of fresh produce.

“So this is a perfect opportunity to work towards this target and potentially find new niche markets for the strawberry industry and local growers, food manufacturers and technologists and suppliers to the strawberry industry,” he said.

The free forum will be held at the Beerwah RSL from 4pm to 7pm.

To register, visit https://eiseverywhere.com/ehome/129740 (please register by June 8) or contact Wendy MacDonald: wendy.macdonald@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.