SCENIC Rim Regional Council has cancelled Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, including the Winter Harvest Festival, in the interests of public safety amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular event is a highlight of the Scenic Rim calendar and attracts up to 40,000 people to the region every year.
Local Disaster Management Group leader Mayor Greg Christensen said the cancellation was decided after a special council meeting on March 26.
"Scenic Rim Regional Council works collaboratively with a wide range of local businesses to deliver Eat Local Week each year, and naturally it is a major disappointment that this cancellation of Eat Local Week must happen," he said.
"However, it is the right decision to put the health and safety of the Scenic Rim's visitors, producers, tourism operators and the wider community first."
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Cr Christensen said Eat Local Week's 10th anniversary was to be celebrated this year but would now be postponed until 2021.
"In the decade to date, Eat Local Week has gone from strength to strength, helping the Scenic Rim win its current title of 'Outstanding Region' at the delicious. Produce Awards and winning a national award at the Australian Economic Development Awards in 2019," he said.
"Eat Local Week contributes about $2 million to the Scenic Rim's economy each year, and has helped the region build a strong local food movement with many loyal followers from near and far. Eat Local Week will be sorely missed by locals and visitors alike in 2020.
"In these tough and constantly changing times, we can at least give ourselves something to look forward to by marking 2021 Eat Local Week in our diaries for 26 June to 4 July... now, more than ever, is the time to make the most of the abundant local Scenic Rim food still being produced right on our doorstep."
Cr Christensen said the idea was to create a system where local producers could join together and package their wares for delivery to households outside the Scenic Rim but local support was also vital.
"All of us have the opportunity to support our local producers and food businesses as they adapt to give us safe access to fresh, seasonal, high quality produce," he said.
"Council will publish a full list of participants and sponsors who had committed to be part of 2020 events on the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week website so you can show your support for those businesses affected now, and into the future."
Cr Christensen said a Go Local and Grow Local campaign would provide support to Scenic Rim businesses, including the compilation of a local business directory to be promoted on council's website and social media.
The initiative aimed to assist local producers to stay in business, with several Scenic Rim farmers having already amended their business model including Tommerups Dairy Farm now trading online and Towri Sheep farm marketing "isolation packs" for delivery to Brisbane residents.
Cr Christensen said the prosperity team was keen to work with local business and and appealed for those who had been forced to lay off workers or faced a reduced market to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org