A Mount Barker project will benefit from a $1.5 million investment which has been allocated in grants to seven WA agrifood businesses, as part of the Asian Market Export grant program.
Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA said the State Government program was helping facilitate access to the growing premium export market of Asia.
“This program is part of the Department of Agriculture and Food WA’s $6 million Asian Market Success project, a component of the $350 million Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative and made possible by Royalties for Regions,” Mr Waldron said.
“I’m really pleased Royalties for Regions is continuing to invest in the future of our State’s agricultural industry. These business grants will support projects aimed at capturing export market opportunities and attracting important investment.”
Mr Waldron said the successful projects were independently assessed, looked at export growth capacity and sustainability, new opportunities for WA products in high-value Asian markets and the positive impact on regional communities and the wider economy.
“These grants will generate important long-term benefits to regional communities and the State by providing strategic support to WA agribusinesses to enter or expand their presence in competitive Asian premium markets,” he said.
Member for Warren-Blackwood Terry Redman MLA, whose electorate will include Mt Barker at the next State election, said Milne Agrigroup Pty Ltd had received two business grants under the initiative, with one comprising of $200,000 for their Mt Barker Free Range Farms export development project.
The aim of the local project is to launch Plantagenet Free Range Pork and Mt Barker Free Range Chicken into premium Asian markets. Initially targeting Singapore and Hong Kong, the project intends to deepen Milne’s understanding of each market.
“I understand the ultimate goal is to generate sustainable export market positions, which will support investment into new farms and expanded processing throughout the Great Southern,” Mr Redman said.
Mr Redman said the Asian Market Export grants had been distributed across a number of industries in the agrifood sector, including livestock, grains, seafood and horticulture, and would have potential flow-on benefits for several regions throughout the State.
“This is an innovative investment program that will continue to identify international marketing opportunities to benefit our local farmers and support our State’s agricultural industry,” he said.
Milne Feeds’ second grant was also worth $200,000 allocated to their Export Market Development project. This project targets market development in Korea, Japan and China for Milne’s leading pelleted feed products for ruminants.
Other regional WA businesses to receive funding are located at Harvey, Moora and Derby. The second round of Grants for Asian Market Export opened on 24 October 2016, offering grants from $20,000 to $200,000. Applications close on 25 November.