A Far North Queensland manufacturing and retail confectionery company is tasting sweet success with a Queensland Government economic recovery grant to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said Smithfield-based Stillwater Sweets successfully applied for a share of the $500,000 Market Diversification and Resilience Grant program.
“The Queensland Government is working closely with industry on the economic recovery of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, including agribusiness exporters who support thousands of jobs,” Mr Crawford said.
“A $24,775 grant will help Stillwater Sweets diversify its export offering by adding production capability to make centre-filled confectionery with a unique vegan and allergen-free formula for export to Korea, Japan and other countries.
“Stillwater Sweets is a prime example of a Queensland agribusiness building resilience and finding opportunity from adversity.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner, who visited the business last month, said the grant was a great example of the support provided to agriculture and food businesses to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have managed the health response well so far, and that means we can continue to implement our $8 billion plan for economic recovery,” Mr Furner said.
Company Director, Kim Kanigan said Stillwater Sweets plans to increase export capability, particularly to Korea after COVID-19 dramatically affected its retail outlet and domestic wholesale market.
“The Korean market is our best export market because of low duty, favourable transport, and customer acceptance, Mr Kanigan said.
“We’ve produced some samples of our new product and the response was very positive, with our client in Korea ready to purchase as soon as we can supply.
“With funding support from the Queensland Government, we can purchase the specialised equipment needed to produce the new confectionery product and meet this new market demand.”
Stillwater Sweet’s factory at Smithfield produces a unique regional Australian brand of confectionery using locally-grown cane sugar.
The company has a retail outlet in Kuranda, supplies the wholesale travel market and has previously exported to Japan, Denmark, China, Hong Kong and Korea.
More than 150 businesses applied for the first round of the Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Program for COVID-19 affected exporters – part of the Queensland Government’s $27.25 million coronavirus industry economic recovery package.