7 August, 2022
Big grant boost for farmers
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 used 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 MP said Galati Farming’s expansion would help boost local employment and economic opportunities in the Mareeba area.
“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,” Mr Furner said.
“As a result of this project, a total of eight full time good jobs will be created,” he said.
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,” Ms 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.”
Mr Galati said the new cold room would allow the farm to have a continual de-greening cycle, getting more fruit prepared for sale at one time.
The farm’s old cold room had space for only around 88 bins, but the new room can accommodate up to 460 bins and will enable Galati Farming to cycle the citrus fruits through on a weekly basis.
“This allows us to have a constant supply of de-greened fruit without having to wait and hold up picking,” Mr Galati said.
Galati Farming was 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.
For more information about the RED Grant scheme visitwww.qrida.qld.gov.au