Let me begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet today.
I pay my respects to their elders past and present.
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Sirromet winery and announce the establishment of the Palaszczuk Government’s Food and Beverage Supplier Directory.
Since then, 224 Queensland suppliers of food and beverages have applied to be included on the directory.
Now, with this launch, we are making the directory public, so all households and businesses can support local producers.
And while I think of it, where better to have this event than at the premier showcase of Queensland’s agricultural industry!
The Ekka celebrates and champions the essential role agriculture plays in the everyday lives of Queenslanders.
It’s where city kids come to learn how their food travels from field to fork and to meet the farmers behind their favourite foods.
All about jobs
Food and drinks are an important part of our lives as you know.
From getting us going each day, to our accommodation providers, health services…
To major events and venues, and celebrations promoting our state.
But what you might not know is just how important they are in providing jobs for Queenslanders.
Each year the Palaszczuk Government spends around $100 million on food and beverages to support the services we provide such as our correctional centres and hospitals.
And through Buy Queensland First, we are spending it in Queensland.
Because it means jobs in Queensland for Queenslanders - and that matters to all of us.
That’s jobs for growers, jobs for manufacturers and jobs for processors.
It’s about companies that employ Queenslanders while giving us great produce.
The Food and Beverage Suppliers’ Directory is an expansion of our Buy Queensland first policy.
This is a policy puts Queenslanders first – where they deserve to be.
It is just one of the things the Palaszczuk Government is doing to boost jobs, boost the economy and protect workers.
In the building space, the Palaszczuk Government’s $12.9 billion capital works program is estimated to support 40,500 jobs.
Importantly, more than 60% of these capital works and 25,500 of the jobs supported are outside the Greater Brisbane area.
We have also enacted laws to protect workers from cowboys in the building industry.
We have introduced an Ethical Supplier Mandate to ensure suppliers deliver genuine, quality, secure and ongoing jobs with fair pay and safe working conditions.
We are developing a Forward Procurement Pipeline so suppliers can see opportunities coming up and plan ahead.
We’ve cut payroll tax to give small business a leg up.
We’ve launched a 10-year sports strategy to level the playing field for less fortunate families.
And our FairPlay vouchers are now helping kids in places like Longreach and Winton learn to dance.
We’re about growth.
We’re about maximising social, economic and environmental benefits for Queenslanders when it comes to Government procurement.
Keeping the dollars in Queensland
Queenslanders are rightly proud of the standard of the food and beverages from the growers and producers in their state.
In fact, Queensland is home to some global icons.
We’ve got Arnott’s Biscuits at Virginia, XXXX Beer in Milton.
There are even some award-winning suppliers on the Food and Beverage Directory, with special mention to Woombye Cheese Company from the Sunshine Coast.
Under the Buy Queensland approach the government aims to ensure - as much as we possibly can - that every dollar invested by us stays right here in Queensland.
We have made a commitment to buy only Queensland food and beverages for government-run services, events and facilities, like our hospitals.
I mentioned earlier that each year the State spends around $100 million on food and beverages for our government services.
How that breaks down is very interesting, for example:
In the 12 months from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, over $12 million in meat was purchased - that’s something to think about as you look at the beef cattle on display here at the Ekka.
We purchased $9.8 million in fruit and vegetables; $7.8 in milk and bread, $1.3 million in poultry and $6.4 million in dairy products.
It’s an amazing amount of meat, fruit, vegetables and other food and beverages.
Suppliers in the directory are those who are helping Queenslanders and backing Queensland jobs.
To be on the directory they have shown they have a strong presence in Queensland, employ a Queensland-based workforce and supply Queensland grown or made produce.
Each applicant is assessed by the Advisory Group.
Why would a supplier want to register for the directory?
Because government agencies and organisations acting on their behalf will go to these suppliers first when purchasing food and beverages.
And now I would like to ask Stephen Tate from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland to talk briefly on the benefits to his members.
Stephen Tate talks: 2-3mins
We all know about the “Australian Made” campaign. Now we can go one better and Buy Queensland.
Now the directory is public all Queenslanders can see the businesses that are right behind their state.
The private sector also is a significant purchaser of food and beverages.
I call on large corporate buyers and organisations, such as the tourism sector, private hospitals and boarding schools to get on board.
And I call on Queenslanders to back these companies by putting them at the top of their shopping lists.
One thing that many people have pointed out is that not only does it make sense to ‘buy local’ as it supports local businesses but it also helps the environment.
That’s because, in most cases, the distance the products have to travel is shorter.
And that means less fuel and other resources are used in getting it from source to table.
Very importantly, it also means the food is fresher and healthier.
Working with the industry
I would like to reinforce that this directory was industry’s suggestion and has been developed hand-in-hand with representatives from every part of the industry.
We have been advised on this journey by a committee of representatives.
I would like to acknowledge their work, their advice and their support.
They have volunteered their time to build a better Queensland.
Since that day at Sirromet when I announced this directory was being set up, we have taken the Buy Queensland policy around the state in a series of roadshows.
We held 17 supplier sessions at 15 locations, attended by an enthusiastic 904 suppliers.
At this point I would like to ask the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation’s Sarah Ferguson to give us some insight into the industry support for the directory.
Sarah Ferguson, QDO talks: 2-3mins
The inaugural Buy Queensland Awards will be held on 28 August where we will acknowledge those companies that have supplied to government the highest standard of delivery and given the greatest benefit to the people of this state.
This is just the first step of the journey.
From here, the next step is for more suppliers who believe they meet the criteria to apply for inclusion on the directory.
And that’s as simple as logging on to qld.gov.au/buyqueensland and answering some questions.
All about Queensland
The Buy Queensland policy is unashamedly pro-Queensland.
The Food and Beverage Suppliers’ Directory is unashamedly pro-Queensland business.
And by supporting Queensland businesses we are supporting jobs for Queenslanders.
So thank you to all suppliers who are on the directory and in particular to Stephen Tate and Sarah Ferguson for their words today.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day at the Ekka and are able to take in some of the best foods and beverages that Queensland has to offer.