Highlighting the Central Coast’s dynamic food, beverage and manufacturing scene

The Future Food Systems (FFS) team recently had the pleasure of attending the Central Coast Industry Festival at the Mingara Recreation Club, a vibrant showcase of the region’s agrifood and manufacturing sectors. This event served as a platform for networking, highlighting innovative products and initiatives, and provided an opportunity for the FFS team to raise awareness about the organisation and For Food’s Sake 2025 in Coffs Harbour.

Hosted by Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC), the festival brought together a diverse array of businesses from manufacturing and related industries. It offered participants the opportunity to exhibit their products, forge new partnerships and expand their professional networks.

Attendees were treated to a showcase of top-class products and innovations developed within the Central Coast region. Notably, a dedicated room featured ground-breaking innovations from circular economy businesses, many of which have garnered international recognition and awards.

Among the exhibitors were renowned global brands such as Mars and Sanitarium (the latter an FFS industry partner), alongside local food and beverage businesses such as EastCoast Beverages, Broken Bay Pearl Farm and Herbie’s Spices.

Luke McQuillan visiting the Sanitarium Health Food Company stand at the Central Coast Industry Festival
FFS Engagement Manager Luke McQuillan visiting the Sanitarium Health Food Company stand at the Central Coast Industry Festival. Credit: Future Food Systems
The Central Coast Makers Trail stand – an initiative to showcase local skilled artisans and award-winning providores. Credit: Future Food Systems

Frank Sammut, Executive Director of CCIC, expressed satisfaction with the event’s success and turnout, noting the particularly lively atmosphere around the food and beverage stands. He remarked, “The exhibition was buzzing, with significant interest in products and businesses from both local and visiting guests. The speaker sessions provided valuable insights into the marketplace and international markets, especially for SMEs.”

With a turnout of 600 guests, including partners, the festival received overwhelmingly positive feedback, setting the stage for the next edition in 2026.

Frank emphasised CCIC’s vital role as a facilitator of connections and an advocate for local businesses. He stated, “CCIC’s primary function is to connect manufacturers with government, research organisations, the education sector and fellow manufacturers. These connections foster problem-solving, enhance productivity, build resilience and ultimately, contribute to the growth of the manufacturing sector and job creation.”

A round of applause for Frank and the entire CCIC team for their outstanding efforts in orchestrating a great festival.

Lead image: Future Food Systems representatives, Luke McQuillan and Emma Hills, visiting Central Coast Industry Connect’s Industry Festival showcasing local manufacturers, including food & beverage companies. Credit: Future Food Systems