The McGowan Government’s Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants are delivering for Peel businesses and jobs, with a new cooling system in Waroona creating new local jobs in the region.
Capogreco Farms received a $210,000 co-investment RED Grant in the program’s first round to assist the company to install a state-of-the-art rapid cooling system in the Peel region.
The cold storage expansion enables a prolonged shelf life and quality of fruit for Japanese customers, and has created a facility that can also be used by other businesses in regional Western Australia.
Export produce can be cooled to its most beneficial temperature, maximising shelf life while sustaining this temperature throughout the receiving and dispatch process.
With the assistance of the RED Grant, Capogreco has hired four new full‑time staff in the packing facility: a Quality Assurance Officer and three forklift operators.
The project has allowed Capogreco to double grower input, equating to approximately 1,700 tonnes this season (ending July), and with larger cold storage capabilities, Capogreco have been able to increase their purchase of pumpkins and watermelons from Broome and Kununurra.
Applications are now open for round three of the RED Grants program, with more information available at https://www.drd.wa.gov.au/rfr/REDG
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Our $28.8 million RED Grants program is delivering on-the-ground results and jobs across regional WA.
“Capogreco have embraced technology to improve picking time, cold storage innovations, testing and certification processes, as well as the development of their state-of-the-art ‘Guaranteed Sweet’ labelling.
“Through the RED Grants, our Government has been able to support this job-creating local project that has benefits for growers across the State.”
As stated by Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke:
“Capogreco Farms is a great local business creating jobs in the Peel and putting top-quality produce on tables across WA and the world.
“The success of this project shows how RED Grants can facilitate real outcomes for local businesses in the Peel region, and I encourage anyone with a job-creating project in mind to contact their Regional Development Commission for more information.”