Peanuts destined for landfill will soon become specialty cold pressed oil thanks to funding of up to $200,000 from the Queensland Government’s Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants scheme.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner MP says the funds provided to Plenty Foods in Kingaroy on the South Burnett will help Australia meet a growing demand for peanut oil, and create good jobs in the region.
“With Plenty Foods increasing its production capacity of peanut oil, we can further reduce Australia’s reliance on the imported product,” Mr Furner said.
“The more we can support Queensland businesses and the more they can grow and manufacture, ensuring dollars earned on home soil are dollars spent on home soil.
“Investments like this are critical to not only local communities, but the wider Queensland economy.
“This project alone will add eight new long-term, full-time good jobs in the South Burnett.”
Plenty Foods Managing Director Joshua Gadischke said increased demand for peanut oil has put pressure on their existing filing lines and staff.
“We simply need to increase our output capacity or risk losing contracts to interstate and overseas suppliers.
“The additional demand for peanut oil will allow Plenty Foods to acquire peanuts that have traditionally been treated as ‘waste’ and have been discarded by local growers.
“We will now be able to acquire the ‘waste’ product and turn it into a food-grade cooking oil of high standard. The entire process greatly reduces waste and food miles, creating a real value-add for local growers.”
“The project will be made up of various items of plant and equipment so that we can maintain the entire bottling line solution for 750ml bottles used in the bottling of refined peanut cooking oil.
Plenty Foods is one of 16 businesses approved in the fourth round of the RED Grants program with total funding of just over $3 million. Overall, these 16 projects are expected to create more than 217 direct long-term jobs across regional Queensland.
The initial three rounds of the RED Grants program have seen funding of $10 million over three years to support more than 30 projects which have created 1,800 jobs across regional Queensland.
The Palaszczuk Government has continued its investment with a further $6.6 million to be delivered in two rounds over the next two years to generate even more jobs, expand agricultural supply chains and provide significant economic benefit to rural areas.