Expansion in Beerwah sees good jobs and local pineapples supplied all-year round

Published Wednesday, 09 November, 2022 at 10:39 AM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

For sweet tooths who can’t get enough juicy pineapples in the summer, the announcement of new fruit drying and juicing plants is welcome news.

Tropical Pines in Beerwah will soon expand its enterprise after receiving grant funding from the Palaszczuk Government’s Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant scheme.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner MP says the growth of Queensland’s agricultural enterprises benefits the entire industry.

“While a seasonal fruit, demand for Queensland’s fresh and juicy pineapples continues all year round.

“The addition of eight new direct, full-time good jobs as a result of this new facility will be an important boost to the local economy of Beerwah.

“Having stable jobs in regional towns doesn’t just benefit the agriculture sector, but feeds into the wider community to help them not just survive but thrive.”

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the agriculture sector remained an essential part of the economy, both on the Sunshine Coast and across the state.

“We want to see people getting good jobs right here in our communities so they can avoid a long commute and spend more time with their families,” Mr Hunt said.

“The RED grants are a great way to support successful local businesses like Tropical Pines to expand and make an even greater contribution to the local economy.”

General Manager of Tropical Pines Anthony Dobson said adding the fruit drying plant to their enterprise will ensure the continued farming of pineapple remains viable.

“There are times throughout the year when supply exceeds demand which results in price deflation.

“By turning this excess fruit into value-added pineapple with a 12-month shelf-life, we are able to eliminate those peaks.

“The new plant will allow us to process 16,000 kilograms of pineapple per week producing approximately 650 kilograms of dried pineapple.”

Mr Dobson also said both the drying and juicing plants will help the business become more sustainable by reducing the amount of food that ends up in landfill.

“We will be using shoulder size fruit and any marked or damaged fruit that is not suitable for fresh sale.

“While the fruit drying facility will initially focus on pineapple, our goal is to expand the plant to include other fruits and vegetables such as mango.

“The mobile juicing plant adds value to waste fruit and makes it instantly consumable.”

Mr Furner said Tropical Pines is one of 16 businesses approved in the fourth round of the RED Grants program with total funding of just over $3 million. Overall, these 16 projects are expected to create more than 217 direct long-term jobs across regional Queensland.

“Overall, these 16 projects are expected to create more than 217 direct long-term good jobs across regional Queensland,” Mr Furner said.

“The initial three rounds of the RED Grants program have seen funding of $10 million over three years to support more than 30 projects which have created 1,800 good jobs across regional Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government has continued its investment with a further $6.6 million to be delivered in two rounds over the next two years to generate even more good jobs, expand agricultural supply chains and provide significant economic benefit to rural areas.”

For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au

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


Media contacts:

Minister Furner – Ron Goodman 0427 781 920

QRIDA – Amy Buckingham 07 3032 0521