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AU: Funding boost helps Queensland businesses' export plans

Five Queensland fresh produce companies have received funding from the state government to increase their export potential, under a new $1.3 million-dollar program.

The Burdekin’s VFPlus Pty Ltd is developing exports of high-quality melons out of North Queensland to Japan and Singapore. Manbulloo Ltd is hoping to capitalise on new opportunities to expand its mango exports from North Queensland to Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. Mulgowie Fresh Pty Ltd plans to improve packaged sweet corn consumer traceability.

Macadamias Australia is developing export ready macadamia retail products, and E & A Coco and Sons Pty Ltd based at Elimbah near Caboolture hopes to capitalise on market access to export Queensland strawberries to Hong Kong and Indonesia. They have been collaborating with other Sunshine coast strawberry businesses Ashbern Farms and Berry Patch, as well as the Queensland Strawberry Grower Association.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner says the produce companies had received first round funding from the Growing Queensland’s Food Exports program.

“From macadamias, mangoes and melons, to strawberries and sweet corn – the producers selected for grants are either already exporting or are ready to export and seeking to access overseas markets,” he said.

The Queensland government has set a target of increasing the the state’s exports to 22 per cent of the national total, and Mr Furner says these grants are part of the commitment to deliver more jobs and strong economic growth in regional areas.

“By providing funding of up to $100,000, we’re assisting these food companies to build their business capability to take advantage of opportunities to grow exports," Mr Furner said. "There’ll be an increased knowledge of target export market destinations and consumers and an improved understanding of competitors, product specifications, supply chain handling and export business practices.”

The Growing Queensland’s Food Exports program focuses primarily on horticulture as Queensland is Australia’s largest producer of vegetables and the second largest producer of fruit and nuts. Matched funding of up to $100,000 is available over two years per eligible project, with applicants to co-contribute at least 50 per cent of the total funds required.

It is not just the fruit and vegetable industry, with SunPork Fresh Foods Pty Ltd also getting a share of the first round funding to develop pork products at its Kingaroy and Murrarie plants for the high-end Asian market.

There will be a second funding round in July 2018.

For more information:
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Phone: 13 25 23 (Australia only)

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