Hume Food Opportunity Strategy author talks food, farming and the future at Ag dinner

David McKenna
David McKenna

Author of the Hume Food Opportunity Strategy David McKenna will be the guest speaker at the second North East Ag Industry dinner next month.

The three-year Food Opportunity Strategy and Action Plan was produced through Regional Development Australia to help unlock the potential of the North East’s agrifood sector and to take advantage of the growing global demand for safe and sustainable food.

“When aggregated across all agrifood industries, food processing and value-adding is the largest overall employer accounting for 6136 employees,” the report said.

“The region is well placed to take advantage of the predicted global growth in demand for food.”

Dr McKenna established McKINNA et al in 1983 and has provided strategy consultancy across agrifood, retail, FMCG, international education, manufacturing, mining, rail, tourism and regional development.

During the dinner, at Wangaratta Gateway from 6pm, Tuesday, November 21,  Dr Kenna will outline the need for a food and agricultural plan for the North East.

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan said the inaugural dinner in August attracted about 80 people, and she expected at least that number again.

Ms McGowan hoped to see the plan realized as soon as next year.

“David McKinna is going to be also accompanied by Graham Nickless, who was economic development officer in Wangaratta when all that work took place,” Ms McGowan said.

“Those two are going to talk about the status of the plan, what needs to be done … Then next year I’m really keen to get the plan underway and implemented.”

The dinner follows the North East Catchment Management Authority one-day North East Agriculture Summit at CSU Wangaratta.

The summit will bring together key industry leaders and regional agribusiness participants to look at managing a changing economy, climate and social environment, and positioning for growth.

The day will explore the value, activities, opportunities and employment these industries and organisations bring to the region. 

Topics covered include:

  • The role they play and their scale
  • Operational activities, competitive advantage and why choose the North East
  • Their successful strategies for managing a changing economy, climate and social environment.