Do food cultures define a place or the other way around?
Uncovering the Challenges of Local Produce & Food Tourism Experiences
in Pursuit of Developing a Culinary Destination
How do consumer expectations determine what is placed on a menu? Can our perception of a region influence what we’re willing to pay for a meal? How invested are consumers in knowing where their food comes from and are they willing to pay more for local produce? Is sourcing local produce a myth for chefs? How important is it that provenance be maintained on menus?
The Tweed shire produces a wide variety of farm fresh produce. However, there are challenges and limitations in the distribution of this produce to local restaurants.
On the demand-side of food tourism, the literature shows that there is a strong connection between local produce and the image of a destination known for its food.
The desire of consumers to seek local food experiences can enable a region to develop its reputation as a food tourism destination. Part of the value of this research has been to gain a greater understanding of the challenges faced by both farmers and chefs in the pursuit of food tourism experiences for the Tweed shire.
Amy Colli is the Industry Development Manager at Destination Tweed: 2050 Collective, a membership-based industry body specialising in food tourism industry development for the Tweed shire.
Amy’s career spans 25years in food, wine, events, education and industry development in regional areas. She has organised local food festivals, industry networking events, and is an advocate for local producers. She is dedicated to connecting farmers, food producers and chefs to improve connectivity within local food system networks.
Amy has delivered agritourism programs and resources (for example, ‘Byron Region Food: A Northern Rivers Food & Beverage’ handbook) for local government, assisted local farmers to diversify and connected tourism operators with local food activation opportunities.
She is a frequent MC and committee member of industry organisations such as Northern Rivers Food, seasonal events such as Greet Your Growers and the biennial Symposium of Australian Gastronomy. She has experience in food writing, food tourism tours and restaurant judging.
Prior roles with Southern Cross University and TAFE NSW (Wine & Food Technology Centre) involved the organisation and hosting of domestic and international study tours, and industry engagement. She has experience in training roles within the wine industry, hospitality and founded her experience in restaurants and resorts.
In 2019, Amy completed a Master of Gastronomic Tourism (Le Cordon Bleu/Southern Cross University).