The first export of fresh Queensland broccoli from Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport to Singapore takes off tonight in a positive sign for the region’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Palaszczuk Government assisted industry to get the shipment off the ground.
“1824 kilograms of broccoli grown by Qualipac near Inglewood and picked on Wednesday will be on supermarket shelves in Singapore tomorrow,” Mr Furner said.
“The initial load is 228 boxes, each weighing 8 kilograms, of fresh broccoli packed in ice and two additional shipments are also planned in the near future.”
Mr Furner said the Queensland Government aims to make the most of a weekly freight flight subsidised by the Federal International Freight Assistance Mechanism.
“Like other economies around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Queensland businesses hard,” Mr Furner said.
“We are continuing to manage the health response well and that means we can start to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“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.
“Around one in seven Queenslanders are employed in agribusiness and food and we must do all we can to protect those jobs including the $11 billion export market.
“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has been working with growers to source fresh produce for the Singapore Airlines flight from Wellcamp Airport, with a view to it becoming commercially sustainable after the coronavirus pandemic.
“Broccoli exports to Singapore were previously done on passenger flights out of Brisbane which are now rare and freight costs are prohibitive.”
The Department has also been supporting the production of new high value horticultural crops in the Inglewood area and the development of new export markets and logistics options under the Queensland Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification project.
The Queensland Government is developing a blueprint for economic recovery in the agriculture and fisheries sectors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has announced a range of economic initiatives in partnership with industry to reinvigorate the State’s economy.