Only one Warwick eatery makes region's new Food Map
ONLY one Warwick eatery has been listed on the Southern Downs Food Map for sourcing a majority of their ingredients from producers in the region.
The Southern Downs Food Map is a resource for tourists and residents to find out where the region's foods can be found and sourced.
The Food Map was launched during the 'Celebration of Local Flavours' event on Saturday.
Along with listing farmers selling directly to customers in the region, the map also lists eateries that use a majority of Southern Downs-sourced ingredients on their menu.
Owner of the Little Gallery Cafe Sarah Littleproud said using locally sourced ingredients was an important part of her business.
The cafe sources its beef, eggs and a variety of fruit from farmers in the area, including the apples used to make the popular apple pie.
Ms Littleproud said buying straight from the farmer presented more of a challenge.
"It's not like just going to the butcher or the shops, a lot of farms will kill their meat once a month,” she said.
"There is a bit of extra planning involved so we know when we are going to be able to source the ingredients.
"When you are already busy, it can add a bit of stress.”
Ms Littleproud said the extra work and cost involved with buying locally could be the reason why her cafe was the only one to make the cut for Warwick.
"It could also be the price as well, it is more expensive to source ingredients the way we do, you pay for the quality,” she said.
This boost in quality is what makes the extra work and cost worthwhile for the Little Gallery Cafe.
"The beef we source from Picot's Farm and Echo Valley Farms is all grass-fed, chemical-free and I know Picots age their beef for 20 days.”
As well as the quality, Ms Littleproud said sourcing from the region meant they could provide customers with the story behind their meal.
"People are becoming more aware about the importance of buying locally,” she said.
"Tourists like to have some acknowledgement of local produce, we found a lot of people during Jumpers and Jazz were very receptive to it.
"The farmers we source from are ethical producers, they set a good example of how to operate and that is worth supporting.”
Helen Lewis from Picot's Farm spearheaded the Southern Downs Food Map project.
She said establishing communication between farmers and chefs in town was a priority for her going forward.
She has begun planning farmer and chef networking nights for later in the season.
"Farmers need to learn how to provide their food in a manner which suits the chef while chefs need to learn how to ask for it,” Mrs Lewis said.
"There needs to be acceptance of how seasons affect the availability of products.”
The launch is only the beginning for Mrs Lewis as she is determined to keep the map updated.
"We're keen to talk to any producers who sell directly to the customers,” she said.
Any producers who sell directly to customers or eateries who source a majority of their ingredients from local producers can contact Mrs Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.