West Australian grants boost food export firms

| November 19, 2018

The McGowan Government is helping Western Australian food and fresh produce take on the world, with $1 million in grants to eight local agrifood businesses.

The Export Competitiveness Grants will enable businesses to build export capacity and competitiveness to capture new international markets.

Businesses set to receive funding through this round include a Waroona-based melon company seeking to expand exports to Japan, a Bunbury sheep meat processor boosting the quality of its export meat, and a Wandering miller supplying international customers with rolled oats free from gluten contamination.

The successful applicants will match the grants with more than $6.7 million cash and in-kind contributions.

The Export Competitiveness Grants program is part of the McGowan Government’s Agribusiness Innovation Fund, to help drive long-term profitability, sustainability, economic growth and job creation in the agrifood sector.

The state’s Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said “These grants will help dynamic WA agribusinesses overcome constraints and leap to the next level of growth and competitiveness.

“These businesses have the dedication, drive and entrepreneurial spirit needed to grab on to new export opportunities, helping to stimulate new jobs in the regions.

“The Agribusiness Innovation Fund is designed to generate benefits throughout the value chain, boosting efficiency, productivity, employment and innovation in the agrifood sector and regional Western Australia.”

Grant recipients

Fruit West (South-West) – to develop a cold chain disinfestation protocol for apples to satisfy the biosecurity requirements of high-value Asian markets.

Capogreco (Waroona) – to install a state-of-the-art rapid cooling system to prolong the shelf life and quality of melons and other fruit for Japanese customers.

AGRIFresh (Gingin) – to purchase robotic packing equipment to increase the efficiency and volume of citrus exports to Asia and the Middle East.

Patane Produce (Myalup) – to acquire an optical onion grader to identify internal defects to enhance quality, build consumer confidence and competitiveness.

Avena Mills (Wandering) – to construct a flaking mill to supply rolled oats free from gluten contamination to Australian and Asian processors.

V&V Walsh (Bunbury) – to invest in a sheep processing system to enhance efficiencies and product quality.

888 Abalone (Bremer Bay) – to increase supplies of juvenile abalone available for ranching and possible restocking of wild abalone.

Australian Sandalwood Network (Pastoral and Wheatbelt) – to increase the value of sandalwood oil through certification, ultrasound testing and production efficiencies and to service high-value markets and new product development.