Chilli, herb and avocado mash fresh from Queensland farms will be available in Australia when a Bundaberg company invests in new infrastructure to process produce.
New food processing capacity to spice up chilli, herb and avocado products and create extra jobs in Bundaberg
The move will allow New Fresh Farms to capitalise on an opportunity for Australia’s foodservice industry to utilise Bundaberg produce, utilise second grade produce, increase Australian manufacturing and support regional farmers as well as support up to 18 regional agriculture jobs.
New Fresh Farms was one of 15 businesses to receive a co-contribution grant of up to $250,0000 under Round Three of the Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant program administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).
The funding will support the company to install three new machines and associated pre-fill and post-packing equipment items to create new, high quality 100% Australian grown and made products. These products will feature a higher percent of fresh content than the industry currently provides.
Overall production is expected to increase by 20%.
On the menu are chilli, herb and avocado mash for restaurant, supermarket and food service customers.
“We’re always looking to take advantage of market opportunities which add to our existing supply chain of chilli and avocado products. This project adds value for our restaurant clients and consumers who purchase from supermarkets and allow us to use produce which is not suitable for the fresh retail trade,” chief financial officer Ian Gaffel said.
“We have a passion for innovation and experience in food production and engineering. These features, combined with state-of-the-art business management systems and unique processing, delivers fresh chilli varieties to consumers around Australia, and vegetable, herb and chilli products to clients nationally and internationally.
“The new product range is produced and manufactured in the Bundaberg region to supply fresh ingredients with extended shelf life. This has revolutionised the way manufacturers can take advantage of convenience and consistency in the ever-growing market.”
The project will support 13 direct jobs and 5 indirect jobs.
“The new innovated lines create efficiencies and therefore products which are more cost competitive against imported products. The food services industry is a very big market, and this is a great opportunity to generate significant local jobs,” Mr Gaffel said.
Mr Gaffel said the project would increase revenue for regional farmers and significantly reduce waste as the ingredients would come from second-grade produce.
“We intend to chop up this process-grade fresh produce and use it for supermarket retail sales and food service to the restaurant trade,” he said.
“New Fresh Farms has designed a range of products which are cleaner and healthier than anything else on the market. Most importantly, Australian grown produce helps us to utilise excess streams of the region’s farming businesses and allows growers to enter the value chain.”
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 15 businesses have received $3.14 million under the third round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall, these projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Across the three rounds of the RED Grant program, a total of 43 agricultural businesses have received funding toward economic development projects worth $40.8 million and estimated to create 1,897 new direct and indirect jobs over the lifetime of these projects.
QRIDA offers a range of assistance to primary producers, small business and non-profit organisations. To find out what’s available visit Programs and Services.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.