Regional jobs on offer at boutique supermarket development

A rural Queensland community will have its first taste of a gourmet grocery experience with up to 24 fulltime job opportunities through grant funding from the Palaszczuk Government.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Fair Dinkum Meats at Springsure and Emerald was of 15 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant to help fund the expansion of their business and create job growth in regional areas.

“Fair Dinkum Meats already operates from shops in Springsure and Emerald but managing director Jason O’Loughlin has ambitious plans to build a state-of-the-art boutique produce supermarket and smokehouse,” Mr Furner said.

“Supported by a grant of more than $217,000, the project will need 12 full time workers during the shop fit out and installation phase, 12 meat industry specialist roles including butchers, apprentices, chefs, retail and administration. Up to 48 indirect jobs will stem in the community.”

Mr O’Loughlin says he is aiming to ‘re-invent the butchers shop experience by providing unparalleled levels of quality, value and service’.

“We already run a successful regional business which prides itself on bringing traditional old school butcher values to providing excellent service, quality products and supporting local employment and communities,” he said.

“Establishing our own facilities mean we are able to expand the range of goods and better service the needs of customers as well as developing increased control over the quality.”

The CQ Meat Hub smokehouse and automated meat processing project will include dry ageing cabinets and meat processing technologies for cured meats and small goods including bacon, ham, beef, poultry, sausages and salami.

The boutique supermarket will retail meat, fruit and vegetables and selected grocery items as well as a café-bistro showcasing seasonal, local and regional produce.

Primary producers of beef, pork, lamb and chicken are best placed to benefit from the project, as well as fresh produce growers including herbs and leafy greens.

The Rural Economic Development Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.

A total of 15 businesses have received $3.3 million under the first-round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 15 projects are expected to create over 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.

The recent State Budget locked in funding for the remaining rounds of the program, taking the total amount of grants available up to $10 million.

“This program represents the Palaszczuk Government investing in regional jobs now and for the future,” Mr Furner said.

“By supporting regional businesses today we are helping them expand and growing our economy for the future.”

Expressions of Interest are now open for Round 2 of the Rural Economic Development Grants.

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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