June 2018

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Project explores potential for Indigenous-branded beef

A collaborative project will explore the potential for bringing Indigenous-branded beef products and services to both the domestic and international markets.

A collaborative project will explore the potential for bringing Indigenous-branded beef products and services to both the domestic and international markets.

The new project – a collaboration between Central Queensland’s Western Kangoulu Indigenous Group, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) – will examine the desirability, feasibility and commercial viability of Indigenous-branded beef products, and development of a supply-chain strategy for them.

The impetus for the project was an Indigenous-branded product concept called ‘BlackFella Beef – Murri Yuri’, developed by Growing Central Queensland and Wangan Jagalingou and Western Kangoulu Indigenous groups.

Western Kangoulu Director Jonathan Malone said the Blackfella Beef concept had huge potential for Indigenous communities.

‘Through this project, we aim to demonstrate a business model that could support sustainable Indigenous communities, employment, education and training outcomes,’ he said.

‘It also has the potential to enable future Indigenous opportunities in the red-meat sector and broader agricultural industries.’

USQ Professor Alice Woodhead said the University would collaborate closely with the Western Kangoulu Indigenous Group to work on economic modelling, product development and a supply-chain strategy.

‘USQ will work with the group to establish the economics of Indigenous herd quality and quantity, and the value proposition for Indigenous-branded beef products.

‘This will build capacity in Indigenous communities to manage additional beef enterprises and understand supply chain and market access.’

The project will be delivered through MLA’s Producer Innovation Fast Track program, which supports the development and adoption of innovations that can improve farm-gate returns and supply-chain performance.

Agricultural products like beef are identified as one of Queensland’s traditional export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Hort Connections showcases cool mangoes

Research to keep export mangoes cooler and fresher is just one project being showcased at the Hort Connections conference in Brisbane this week.

Research to keep export mangoes cooler and fresher is just one project being showcased at the Hort Connections conference in Brisbane this week.

Hort Connections is one of Australia’s largest horticulture conferences, attracting around 3,000 buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and flower supply chain.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Queensland Government had been collaborating with industry on a project to reduce temperature variations in fruit exports to help them reach their destination markets in great shape.

‘Specialised monitoring equipment has tracked actual changes in temperature along the journey from here to Asia,’ Mr Furner said.

‘We have used that information to identify “hot spots” and make recommendations for how our iconic mangoes should be packed and transported to ensure they are in the best shape on arrival at their final destination.

‘By ensuring the fruit is adequately cooled each step of the way from a North Queensland packing shed to Beijing supermarket, the mangoes arrive in China with very little change in colour and are actually firmer which increases their shelf life.’

Industry partners on the project are Montague Fresh, Manbulloo and Glen Grove Orchard, with the research focusing on sea and air consignments of mangoes, summerfruit and lemons bound for Asian markets.

Innovating to futureproof traditional export industries like agriculture is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Pixie Ice Cream goes global with $1.5m grant

Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to create 23 new jobs over two years by upgrading its equipment to become more internationally competitive using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

Toowoomba manufacturer Pixie Ice Cream is set to increase its export presence and create 23 new jobs by upgrading its factory using a $1.5 million Queensland Government grant.

The company will use a Made in Queensland grant plus matching company funds to install automated wrapping and boxing equipment in its Toowoomba facility.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said Pixie was a family-owned company that had been turning Darling Downs milk and other local products into ice cream for nearly 60 years.

‘This technology will save the company approximately $1.1 million a year in operating costs and increase distribution capacity in Australia, as well as helping to increase Pixie’s recent foothold in North American and Asia-Pacific markets,’ Mr Dick said.

‘The combination of Pixie’s equal investment with the State Government means its workforce can increase by more than 25% to 110 employees, up from 87.’

Mr Dick said Pixie was one of the first recipients of a grant from the Made in Queensland program, which offers matched grants to help Queensland’s manufacturing sector become more internationally competitive and adopt innovative processes and technologies.

He said a new round of grant applications was now being assessed.

‘Queensland’s $20 billion manufacturing sector already employs approximately 165,000 people,’ Mr Dick said.

‘In April I announced the opening of the second round of the $40 million Made in Queensland program and we have received 115 expressions of interest.’

The EOIs are currently being assessed to see which applicants will move onto the next phase of assessment.

The Made in Queensland funding program complements the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan, which sets out a vision for an innovative, sustainable and globally recognised advanced manufacturing sector in Queensland by 2026.

Advanced manufacturing is one of the emerging export sectors identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.