• Last updated:
  • 19 Apr 2018

The Sunshine Coast’s agribusiness industry is characterised by a diverse range of sectors including horticulture, dairy and specialty dairy production, seafood, nurseries and value- add producers. With more than 900 businesses located on the Sunshine Coast, the agribusiness industry is valued at $700 million (University of the Sunshine Coast Food Research Group, 2018). 

With strong growth in the economic value of agriculture in the past five years and demand expected to continue to grow significantly from Asian markets (particularly with the advent of Free Trade Agreements with Japan, China and Korea), the Sunshine Coast is rapidly being recognised as one of the most dynamic locations for new agribusiness investment in Australia.

The 2018 Economic profile of Sunshine Coast Food and Agribusiness values the industry at $700 million representing 4% growth on the previous year with steady growth in the value add (processing) segment. Processors who have invested in new facilities, product development and achieved supply into major retailers have shown strong growth whereas those reliant on local produce have suffered from local supply issues despite increased consumer support for local produce and increased consumption of health products. Strong growth in strawberries, turf, dairy milk, cattle and calf slaughtering, macadamias and tomatoes was counteracted by significant decline in ginger, eggs, pineapples and pig slaughtering.

The region has strong foundations in niche food and beverage production and value adding, and a reputation for producing high-quality fresh foods in a clean environment. Leading Australian food manufacturers and exporters such as Gourmet Garden, Nutworks and Buderim Ginger are located in the region, showcasing the Sunshine Coast as an ideal investment location for similar high calibre companies.

Key agribusiness enterprises on the Sunshine Coast include:

  • Gourmet Garden Botanical Food Company
  • Buderim Ginger
  • Country Chef Bakery Co
  • Basset Barks
  • Sunshine Tropical
  • Kunara Organics
  • Walker Seafoods
  • Happy Snacks
  • Epicurean Products
  • Maleny Dairies
  • Nutworks
  • CO YO
  • Freeze Dry Industries

Why invest in agribusiness on the Sunshine Coast?

  • The region has year-round favourable climatic conditions that are ideal for food production with rich soils, a clean water supply and water security with relatively high and reliable rainfall.
  • The region produces a wide range of primary agricultural commodities such as fruit and nuts, dairy, meat and livestock products, plus hosts innovative value-add products and food processing operations like Gourmet Garden.
  • The Sunshine Coast is just over one hour by national highway from a major international seaport and airport in Brisbane, providing excellent access to freight and export gateways. 
  • The region has a strong agribusiness history and culture and an experienced workforce, with some leading manufacturers and processors providing expertise in exporting.
  • Sunshine Coast based producers of dairy products, seafood, horticulture and processed foods are well placed to capitalise on the advantages that will arise from tariff reductions under the China-Australia Free Trade agreement.

To find out more about the industry, please download the Agribusiness brochure.[1673KB]

To view the strategic direction of each of the seven High-Value Industries please visit the Industry Investment Plans.

Case studies

Gourmet Garden[279KB]

The Sunshine Coast is the sustainable business location that marries with Gourmet Garden’s brand image, culture and aspirations and offers a close link to our agricultural roots. The Sunshine Coast also attracts a high calibre of employees due to fantastic lifestyle benefits, lower regional living costs, tourism attractions, good infrastructure including the regional airport to service our domestic market.

Andrew Eves-Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Gourmet Garden