Ekka proves Lockyer Valley is Qld's food bowl
THE Lockyer Valley is undoubtedly the state's food bowl if the crowds at the Ekka waiting to check out the produce from the region are anything to go by.
What the region produces each year is more than staggering.
More than 110,000 tonnes of fresh produce are harvested across the region each year including an impressive 26,000 tonnes of lettuce.
Add to that the 21,000 tonnes of potatoes and you have a region that sells more than $250 million worth of fresh produce annually.
Seatonfire Chilli Chocolate owner Jason O'Connor said attending the Ekka was about promoting the whole region, not just a particular business.
But he said the exposure his Murphys Creek business experienced at the state's premier show was invaluable.
"I have been coming to the Ekka for many years with the council to cross-promote the whole region," he said.
"Coming to the Ekka gives people the chance to sample all the products the region produces.
"It is all about showcasing what the region has to offer."
Mr O'Connor said the idea to combine chilli with chocolate was born about seven years ago and had been a hit ever since.
He said his family grew the chillies on their property and even had a fully functional chocolate factory onsite.
"Our family has had the chilli farm for about 20 years and we decided one day that the world needed hot chilli chocolate," he said.
"A lot of other companies make chilli chocolate but we are certainly the hottest.''