Funding boost takes Southern Downs produce abroad

Export-ready food businesses will soon be conquering international markets with funding from the Palaszczuk Government to help grow their enterprises.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said nine diverse food companies had received second round funding from the Growing Queensland’s Food Exports program.

Among the recipients is Gatton-based Qualipac Pty Ltd, who will partner with two local farms to deliver high-quality sea freight produce to Asia.

“Qualipac has been owned and operated by the Qualischefski family for seven decades,” Mr Furner said.

“I’m thrilled to see this funding go to such hard-working, passionate producers right here in Queensland.

“We all love the quality produce that comes from the Southern Downs and I’m confident it won’t take long for the Asian market to fall in love too.

Sutton Farms, south of Cottonvale, and Peak Crossing-based Gibb Brothers will join Qualipac in the sea freight enterprise.

“The juices, ciders and brandy crafted at Sutton Farms are exceptional because they come straight from the orchard,” Mr Furner said.

“David Sutton is at the top of his game and he is every bit deserving of international exposure.

“You haven’t seen a crisp Iceberg lettuce until you see Gibb Brothers’ lettuce either.”

Growing Queensland’s Food Exports supports regional producers ready to export break in to the lucrative overseas market and supply chains.

The $1.3 million pilot program aims to boost Queensland’s food exports, delivering jobs and economic growth in regional areas.

“By providing matching grants of up to $100,000, the Palaszczuk Government is supporting producers and food businesses to improve their export competitiveness through better understanding of their markets,” Mr Furner said.

“More than $550,000 had already been allocated under the program.

“So far, we’ve assisted macadamia, mango, melon, strawberry, sweet corn and pork producers to build their business capability to take advantage of opportunities to grow exports.”

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.

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