The Coromandel Food Collective is a network of niche food producers on the Coromandel. Our Council created the network, as part of our Economic Development Strategy, to bring together the local food and beverage industry to share opportunities and discuss common challenges that could be solved as a collective. We also help put members in touch with organisations and contacts and funding opportunities for food-related businesses and industry on the Coromandel. We support the Collective with two key events during the year: The Coromandel Food Forum and the Coromandel Food Collective exhibition space at the Auckland Food Show. You can read more about these initiatives below Local and homegrown food is an important part of the Coromandel economy, with mussel farms organic growers and artisan producers among those helping to establish our district as the pantry of artisan and locally-grown food products You can read more about the benefits of leveraging the New Zealand tourism industry to showcase food and beverage experiences in the recent report New Zealand Food and Agri Tourism, produced by ANZ Bank and the Ministry for Primary Industries. Coromandel Food Collective workshop Eric Pateman, one of the world’s leading consultants and strategists on culinary tourism, led a Coromandel food workshop in May 2022, as part of a shared initiative between our Council and Auckland Council's Economic Development arms. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together Coromandel Food producers and providers to improve collaboration and networking between the local food, hospitality and tourism sector businesses and start to devise an action plan for food tourism opportunities. “Auckland is one of our biggest visitor markets, and part of the discussion at the workshop was about how we can balance and manage what the Coromandel food and hospitality sector has to offer with customer expectations and satisfaction,” says Laurna White TCDC’s Economic Development and Communications Group Manager. “It also continued the conversation and planning on what public and private sector action could be made available to help spur innovation in product development, destination development and successful marketing of the Coromandel,” says Mrs White. Eric’s work takes him around the world to provide expert advice to the food sector on how to improve and better promote local markets, He also has a focus on seafood and aquaculture, which is why his insights are invaluable to our region. The forum is part of our Council’s development of the Coromandel Food Collective work, which is supporting and promoting local food producers and providers. Our role is bringing together the local food and beverage industry to share opportunities and discuss common challenges that could be solved as a collective. We also help put members in touch with organisations and contacts and funding opportunities for food-related businesses and industry on the Coromandel. Local and homegrown food is an important part of the Coromandel economy, with mussel farms organic growers and artisan producers among those helping to establish our district as the pantry of artisan and locally-grown food products In the past we have hosted a stand at the Auckland Food Show, where local producers have been able to showcase their wares to a wider market and allowed them to connect with restaurants and retail outlets from around the country. With the impact of COVID, our approach this year has been bring food tourism and industry experts to the Coromandel to meet with the sector. At the workshop this week was 309 Honey, Castle Rock Fine Foods, Opito Bay Salt, Espy Café, Gastronomics Restaurant Thames, representatives from the aquaculture sector and the food nutrition unit of the Mercury Bay Area School. “There was some good discussion that have come out of the workshop including the return of the Coromandel Food Trail guide, which we’ll be working on alongside Destination Coromandel, our Regional Tourism Operator,” says Mrs White. Auckland Food Show 2020 (Photo: The Auckland Food Show 2019) 2020 hit businesses hard through the COVID-19 lockdown period but our Council continued to show support to kick-start our local economy. Our Mayor Sandra Goudie says we were pleased to be supporting our local food producers again in 2020 by marketing the Coromandel as a foodie destination, and promoting homegrown. "This event gives our local food producers the opportunity to get in front of more than 35,000 people and showcase that we're not just pristine beaches and beautiful bush, there is a lot more going on here that drives people to come visit us," says Mayor Sandra. “Supporting local is a focus we have at Council and this is a really good opportunity for local producers to get their products known further afield and in front of chefs who are looking for new products and the media covering the Food Show,” she says. Five food or beverage producers located in our showcased their products at The Coromandel Food Collective’s stand, located within the Food Show's 'Artisan Village', where handmade, high-quality goods were featured. The Auckland Food Show has helped put Coromandel on the map as "Food experience hotspot". “Food is becoming more and more important for tourism across the district and we have amazing restaurants, cafes, markets, home-made products and not to mention approximately 90 per cent of the North Island’s Green Shell mussels are loaded in Coromandel Town each year,” says Laurna White, our Economic and Communications Group Manager. The Auckland Food Show is loaded with the latest trends in food, premium, innovative ingredients, and much more, so expect to uncover new inspirations and lots of delicious food and drinks. You can learn how to cook like a celebrity chef at home with live cooking demonstrations and the hottest recipes being revealed. The Food Show is a must attend event for lovers of everything food, wine and everything in between. The local businesses that were involved include: Mercury Bay Winery Mercury Bay Estate is owned by Simon & Veronica Ward and was formed from the vineyard established by Alex Morcom in 1996 (named Shakespeare Cliff Vineyard and later spawned Cooks Beach Vineyard). The vineyard originally contained plantings of Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc. - mercurybayestate.co.nz Uncle Dunkles Chilli Uncle Dunkles Chilli's produces locally-sourced ingredients to make its wood-fired chilli sauces, slow cooked and smoked in a wood-fired oven with NZ tea tree wood. Flavours include chilli, chilli BBQ, and extra hot chilli sauce. Visit their shop at 20 Black Jack Road Kuaotunu. - uncledunkles.co.nz Blue Fridge Brewery Blue Fridge Brewery stays true to its roots by minimising its environmental footprint as they craft their beers: they use quality local ingredients, sell locally, reduce waste by giving their spent grain to animals on their lifestyle farm, and clean their equipment and brewery with eco-friendly products. Their well-balanced, ultra-drinkable beers cater to different tastes, but they’re all made with heart. Blue Fridge Brewery is located by the beach in Kuaotunu. - bluefridgebrewery.co.nz Blackbeards Smokehouse Blackbeard’s Smokehouse is a family-run business in Whitianga. Inspired by the Coromandel’s spectacular pristine waters and amazing array of seafood. Blackbeard’s Smokehouse uses traditional methods of smoking Green-lipped mussels by hand with brine, manuka wood smoke and tasty recipes. - blackbeardsmokehouse.co.nz Omahu Valley Citrus Omahu Valley Citrus is a family business run on a small farm where they produce high quality, artisan citrus preserves and fragrances, claiming both national and international awards. There are no artificial ingredients and the preserves are made from fruit grown in the farm's orchards. These are hand-crafted in small batches in the commercial kitchen on the property and the recipes are unique to the business. - omahuvalleycitrus.co.nz To find out more about the Auckland Food Show click here. Coromandel Food Trail Guide gets bigger push through the Coromandel Visitor Guide In 2019 we partnered with Destination Coromandel to spread the word about the Coromandel Food Trail Guide to a much wider audience. For the past four years, The Coromandel Food Trail Guide has been published as an individual brochure, but for the 2020 publication we are incorporating it into 'The Coromandel Visitor Guide' which is produced by Destination Coromandel. "The Food Guide presents a variety of local food and beverage offerings showcasing the Coromandel's appeal as a destination for lovers of local food and beverages," says Laurna White, our Council's Communications and Economic Development Group Manager. "But after having discussions with Destination Coromandel, we decided that we could get a more far-reaching audience if we incorporated all this amazing information into the Coromandel's official Visitor Guide for the region," says Mrs White. The Coromandel official Visitor Guide distributes 80,000 copies nationwide, with all i-SITE and information centres nationwide required to stock a copy of the guide, which will be distributed through visitor points.