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Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) has scored its first major win for 2016 with confirmation of a conference worth up to $700,000 for the Sunshine Coast region.

Caption:  Local Sunshine Coast macadamia growers and business people Allen and Jodie Morgan will be attending the conference.

The 2016 Australian Macadamia Industry Conference will be held at the Events Centre in Caloundra from 17 to 21 October, 2016. The conference will attract 350 delegates from around Australia and the world.

BESC Manager, Tiffany Bower said the local bureau was very excited to have won the business for the Sunshine Coast.

“Our team needs to be innovative as we go head-to-head with cashed-up cities around Australia and the world to win conference business. Securing this piece of business kicks off the year in a positive direction and in addition, recognises an important part of the Sunshine Coast food and agricultural sector – the macadamia nut,” Ms Bower said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Macadamia Society, Jolyon Burnett said Australia leads the world in the production of macadamia kernel and events like this are crucial in helping Australian growers to stay at the forefront of the global macadamia industry and keep up with growing global demand.

“In 2015, Australia’s macadamia growers increased their production by 10% to 48,300 tonnes and we predict another strong crop this year,” said Mr. Burnett.

“The mood in the burgeoning industry is one of optimism, investment levels are strong and we anticipate a strong attendance at this year’s conference, including an international contingent from countries like South Africa, China and Vietnam, who are keen to learn from the world’s best.

“The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s key macadamia growing regions, Mount Bauple has been widely acknowledged as the ancestral home of the macadamia nut, and our world-leading breeding program is housed at Nambour’s Maroochy Research Facility, so it is only fitting that we hold our 2016 conference in a destination that provides an inspiring and relevant environment for our participants.

We’re very excited to be working with the Business Events Sunshine Coast team and look forward to bringing the conference to Queensland in 2016,” added Mr Burnett.

Sunshine Coast Council CEO Michael Whittaker said the conference delegates would be warmly welcomed by the region’s residents.

“The Sunshine Coast is an outstanding location for conference groups, and in The Events Centre Caloundra we have the ideal facility to help organisers and delegates have a very successful stay,” Mr Whittaker said.

“The macadamia industry is an important part of the Sunshine Coast’s burgeoning agribusiness sector which has been identified in our Regional Economic Development Strategy as one of seven high value industries that offer the greatest potential to succeed as our regional economy grows.

“I’m sure our local producers will appreciate having this conference in their own backyard as they look to enhance their businesses.”

Supported by Business Events Sunshine Coast, the Australian Smart Communities Summit will be held 2-4 March 2016 and the Australian Macadamia Industry Conference will be held 17-21 October. Both business events will be held at the Events Centre in Caloundra.

Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) is the convention bureau for the Sunshine Coast, and a division of the regional tourism organisation, Visit Sunshine Coast. BESC is a not-for-profit, membership based entity.

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