An initiative that aims to make the NSW Far South Coast as recognizable as the Barossa Valley when it comes to producing quality products has received a huge financial boost from state and federal governments.
Launched in 2020, the Gourmet Coast Trail is a collective marketing initiative – primarily a website that promotes quality food businesses and experiences on the coast.
NSW and the federal governments recently awarded the trail $ 315,000 through the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, which will be used to improve the trail’s website and grow membership to a self-sustaining level.
The funding will also create a position to manage trail membership for two years.
“I think it’s a real recognition of what we have in this area,” said trail co-founder Fiona Kotvojs of Gulaga Gold Truffiere in Dignams Creek.
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She hoped the Côte Gourmet would become a nationally recognizable name in terms of quality produce, just as the Hunter and Barossa valleys are known to produce wine.
But she said the difference was that the far south of the coast “has it all” when it comes to quality food and drink, from seafood to wine to cheese.
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“We take this for granted and we just don’t realize that other people don’t have what we have access to at hand,” said Dr Kotvojs.
“The Gourmet Coast Trail will contribute to the development of year-round food tourism in our region.
“As more and more food tourists visit and stay longer, this will create year-round employment opportunities and primary producers should be able to get a better return for the quality food they produce. , thereby helping to make our communities and farms more viable in the future. “
While Dr Kotvojs said there had been a very difficult time for businesses in the region since the Black Summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the latest round of coronavirus-related shutdowns in Sydney had even more impact than previous closures.
She believed the trail would help show tourists what the area had so visitors could plan their trips more easily.
The Côte Gourmet stretches from Batemans Bay in the north to Wonboyn in the south and Nimmitabel in the west.
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“Some of the best food and drink in the country can be found on this part of the coast – served with spectacular views and easy driving adventures,” said Lucy Wilson, trail co-founder, Breakfast Creek Vineyard in Coolagolite.
“The fresh produce, wine, beer and spirits, artisan foods and restaurants here give foodies the quality they demand and connect them with local producers.
“This funding will help all of these food and beverage companies reach more customers in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.”
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Mountain View Tomatoes co-founder Greg Lissaman at Coolagolite said the funding has enabled the trail to promote member companies beyond board borders.
“This will inspire visitors to explore the entire far south coast,” he said.
The Gourmet Coast Trail website will launch in August 2021 and 55 member companies have already signed up.