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Aussie herb company making mark across the seas

Coast manufacturer, Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices, a producer of fresh herbs and spices in Australia, has been recognised with awards both at home and abroad.

The dried herbs, which stocked on more than 25,000 supermarket shelves and is the most visible Australian retail product in the world, received a 2015 Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Impact Award at the PMA Fresh Summit in the USA.

Chief Operating Officer for Gourmet Garden Andrew Eves-Brown was also awarded the Outstanding Business Person of the Year at the weekend's Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

"Gourmet Garden is extremely proud to receive this recognition and it is further credit to all of our hard working staff for their outstanding efforts across all facets of our operation - from the growing and harvesting of our product to its packaging and distribution to 15 countries around the world," Mr Eves-Brown said.

Mr Eves-Brown, who is also Chair of the Food and Agribusiness Taskforce - one of seven high-value industries under the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) - said the opportunities were there for local producers within the Food and Agribusiness industry.

"The Sunshine Coast epitomises the image that the food and agribusiness industry wants to portray. It represents the clean, fresh, sustainability of the area - the true Natural Advantage," he said.

"One of the key actions of the Agribusiness Industry and Investment Plan 2014-2018 is implementing a 'zero waste project' to eliminate the dumping of fresh local produce. We held a forum in June this year and invited growers, food industry businesses and local and state government representatives to look at ways to reduce edible strawberry waste by developing new products or value-adding to existing products.

"This is already bearing fruit, with a number of local businesses looking into new niche products that can further boost the strawberry industry that's already worth around $16million to the food and agribusiness industry on the Sunshine Coast. Confidence is high and it's an ideal time to launch these initiatives."

Economic Development portfolio councillor Stephen Robinson said Gourmet Garden was among a growing number of Sunshine Coast businesses making a mark overseas and is a key participant in the Sunshine Coast Export Network.

"The success of Gourmet Garden in exporting to 15 countries and fellow Sunshine Coast company RADAQQUA in completing a lucrative aquaculture project in China are examples of the export opportunities that are well within reach of local businesses," he said.

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