Message from CEO – Julia Andrews

Julia AndrewsWe hope many of you in our drought affected areas were lucky enough to get some much needed rain relief this week – and for those who missed out – we are all hoping for more rain soon!


This month, we are thrilled to be launching Farm to Institution Central West NSW – a first-of-its-kind project in Australia, and part of an embryonic movement in the region supporting not just regional economic development, but also social and environmental development. Farm to Institution is about creating new pathways to market for regional producers into regional institutions. It sounds simple, but economies of scale and modern procurement practices mean that most food that goes into regional institutions such as hospitals, jails, universities and aged care facilities (we have counted 196 institutions in the Central West!) is not purchased from within the region. Just imagine the difference it would make to our regional economy if more food was procured locally.

We are modelling Farm to Institution on a similar concept that has been successful in the US. We are also inspired by the French Government who, this year, mandated that half of all food bought by the public sector in France to be organic or locally-produced by 2022. We want to see an increase in regional products in our regional institutions by 2020.

If you want to know more, our Farm to Institution page will go live on our RDA Central West website from Friday 31 August and will include our Roadmap report explaining the concept and next steps in more detail.


Due to popular demand we will be presenting another e-commerce in China for regional businesses Masterclass on Monday 10thSeptember in Bathurst. If you would like to know more about e-commerce in China and what opportunities it may present for your business, I highly recommend you attend this event which features some very respected trade and Chinese digital marketing industry specialists.

Date: Monday 10th September

Time: 8.30 – 12.30 (Great way to start the working week – good coffee and breaky available on arrival!)

Location: Upstairs Start-up Hub

Cost: $22 pp

Speakers include:

  • Genya Miller, sharing the MSM Milling Auzure Canola Oil story
  • Tina Le, Stone Drums Group, Melbourne, discussing the Chinese consumer and the importance of social media, diagous and “key opinion leaders’
  • Jack Lu, e-commerce Trade Adviser from Austrade
  • Brent Bannister, Senior TradeState Export Adviser
  • Josh Gordon, Manager International Engagement, NSW DPI International Engagement Unit

For more information and to book tickets, please follow this link


Finally, many of you will know our incredibly talented and dedicated Projects Manager, Amelia Haigh. Amelia will be leaving us next week to pursue her brilliant career in the humanitarian/not-for-profit world. Lucky world! Amelia has been instrumental in delivering some of the fine work we have produced over the past few years including advocating for better telecommunications and connectivity for our region, and most recently,  scoping and creating the Farm to Institution Project. We love you Amelia – thank you for your professionalism and friendship. We will look out for you in the UN! xxx