Funding plugs big future for strawberry industry
Published Friday, 27 March, 2020 at 04:02 PM
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner
A Stanthorpe seedling producer will boost production of strawberry plants to meet market demand and create up to 20 regional jobs with a funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Spring Creek Seedlings at Stanthorpe was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.
“Spring Creek Seedlings produces 2.5 million strawberry plug plants per season and is one of the larger plug plant producers in Australia,” Mr Furner said.
“The funding will fast track the expansion of the production facility and scale up production to a 7.5 million plant facility.”
“Importantly, this project will create 20 direct and indirect jobs in the Southern Downs.
“These are tough times for everyone so projects like this that create jobs are even more important for Queensland.”
Company director Peter Burnell said he spent 15 years researching and developing the plug plant process for propagation of strawberry materials.
“We’ve successfully commercialised an innovative, extremely water efficient and soilless system that from our customers feedback are now reaping the benefits of integrating our plug plants into their planting programs.”
The Rural Economic Development (RED) 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 14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 14 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for Round 3 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au
Minister Furner – Ron Goodman – 0427 781 920
QRIDA - Emma Clarke - 3032 0137