Mareeba producers, Galati Farming are turning down the temperature on their fresh citrus produce and creating good jobs with the help of a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant.
As one of 16 businesses to receive a grant of up to $200,000, Galati Farming will use the funding to install an additional cold room to support the expansion of their orchard to help meet consumer demand for fresh fruit.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, said Galati Farming’s expansion would help boost local employment and economic opportunities in the Mareeba region.
“Fresh, locally grown produce is what the market is demanding, and this grant will help Galati Farming meet that demand by funding a project that will help them increase their fruit production,” Furner said.
“As a result of this project, a total of eight full time good jobs will be created.”
Galati Farming director, Gina Galati, owns and runs the business with her husband, Giovanni, who is the second generation to own the business, and says she looks forward to seeing the business grow with the help of the grant.
“We currently grow lemons, grapefruit, mandarins and pomelos but are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for fresh fruit,” Galati said.
“After much consultation with multiple agents in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne we knew that we needed to expand our orchard and the new cold room will help us accommodate the extra produce.”
Galati said the project will also support local builders in the area who will be contracted to install the cold room.
“We have great local contractors here in Mareeba who will help us construct the cold room. With an increase in production, we will also look to employ more fruit pickers to help with the processing,” she said.
Galati Farming is one of 16 businesses approved in the fourth round of the RED Grants program with total funding of just over $3 million. Overall, these 16 projects are expected to create more than 217 direct long-term good jobs across regional Queensland.
The initial three rounds of the RED Grants program have seen funding of $10 million over three years to support more than 30 projects which have created 1,800 good jobs across regional Queensland.
The Queensland government has continued its investment with a further $6.6 million to be delivered in two rounds over the next two years to generate more good jobs, expand agricultural supply chains and provide significant economic benefit to rural areas.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au.