Published 11 December 2018
What is FoodLab Sydney?
FoodLab Sydney exists to support local residents in bringing their idea for a food business or career in food to life in their own community. It is Sydney’s own, local version of an internationally recognised food business incubator model that aims to support food entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and levels of education.
FoodLab Sydney seeks to capture the diversity of our city by working with communities to provide pathways to entrepreneurship and employment, stimulate local economies, and create healthier and more equitable food environments for all residents.
How does it work?
At the heart of FoodLab Sydney is a custom-designed program providing training and support to people who want to work in food. It gives them the qualifications they need to prepare and handle food plus the knowledge and skills to successfully package, market, and sell products.
Most importantly it provides an environment where the graduates of the program support each other and learn from business mentors and thought leaders. Access to kitchen spaces and retail opportunities will provide vital infrastructure for those who want to develop their own local food enterprises.
Who can participate?
FoodLab Sydney is for anyone who eats! And especially those with a desire or talent for turning their passion for food into a career. Our training program requires no specific education or experience.
In building an enabling environment for our food entrepreneurs and their fledgling enterprises, we are actively seeking innovators across the food chain to support and mentor graduates. Mentors, many of whom have been involved in their own successful food businesses, will provide advice and guidance in overcoming challenges in producing product, identifying the right marketing messages, accessing markets, and figuring out retail distribution problems.
What is distinctive about FoodLab Sydney’s approach?
Our vision is to increase everyone’s access to healthy and affordable food by enabling all residents to dictate the terms of their inclusion in our rapidly growing city through voice and participation. This program is all about providing people with the opportunities to gain skills, employment, and empowerment through food. In enabling individuals to realise their potential and contribute to a diverse food business ecosystem we are building connectivity and resilience in our communities.
Who are the partners in this project?
Based on the experiences and learnings of the highly successful FoodLab Detroit, the project is supported by University of Sydney’s Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and UNSW Canberra, in partnership with the City of Sydney, and TAFE NSW. The program is a unique example of local government-community-university partnership, and the first of its kind for the City aimed at tackling the complex causes of food insecurity.
Head to our website for more info: foodlabsydney.com