Wide Bay business SSS Strawberries is harvesting the benefits of a $3 million investment secured after a TIQ roadshow toured the region last year.

The September Business Migration Investment roadshow brought 40 investment and migration agents and potential migrant investors from China, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan to the region for a week to show them local investment and export opportunities.

TIQ CEO Paul Martyn said it was definitely a sweetener for one agent, who subsequently secured a $3 million investment for a joint venture with the Bundaberg farm.

‘The investment has helped SSS Strawberries to develop their business and expand operations, leading to a situation where they are now one of Australia’s 3 largest strawberry producers,’ Mr Martyn said.

‘The farm is also a strong local employer, supporting a seasonal, full-time workforce of 300 people from July to October and sending a daily container of delicious fruit to Woolworths to satisfy the strawberry cravings of Australian consumers.’

Investment Director for CIM Australasia Son Duong, who introduced the overseas investor to SSS Strawberries, said the 2019 roadshow was the catalyst for the deal.

‘As someone who attended the roadshow, it was a great opportunity for me to learn more about local businesses and the potential for investments for my clients,’ he said.

‘TIQ has opened up exciting investment opportunities in Queensland regional centres and we are thankful for such initiatives which have brought us valuable partnerships with local reputable, trustworthy and hardworking partners.

‘We hope to facilitate more investments in the near future,’ Mr Son said.

SSS Strawberries is a family-owned strawberry farm, run by the second generation of the Dang family.

The family has enjoyed great success since relocating to Bundaberg from Western Australia 10 years ago, currently growing over 2.6 million strawberry plants on a farm that covers more than 140 acres.

The $3 million investment is supporting a farm expansion and enabling SSS Strawberries to increase their export capacity and investigate processing options to expand their freeze-dried strawberry product line.

The 2019 roadshow was organised by TIQ’s Wide Bay Burnett office and Business and Skilled Migration Queensland team in partnership with local Wide Bay Burnett regional councils.

Agriculture is identified as one of Queensland’s export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The Queensland Government has also recently launched the #pickqld program to help Queensland producers like SSS Strawberries attract more pickers amid the impacts of COVID-19 travel restrictions.