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9 February, 2021

Red claw farm approved for Tablelands.

A new aquaculture facility has been approved by the Tablelands Regional Council at a site in Wondecla, which is hoped will see red claw crayfish exported around the world.

By Phil Brandel

Red claw crayfish from the Tablelands could soon be exported around the world.

A new aquaculture facility has been approved by the Tablelands Regional Council at a site in Wondecla, which is hoped will see red claw crayfish exported around the world.

A material change of use was approved for the land at 157 Chester Road at Januarys ordinary council meeting.  The new project is moving forward as a joint initiative between William Pham from Melbourne and local businessman James Rattray and Stephen Till.

Mr Pham said he chose Wondecla because he already has a herb farm there.

“I fell in love with the region around the same time as red claw was introduced to me and we did some research and discovered it’s a great product that is lacking in commercial volumes,” he said.

“Coming from an agricultural and hydroponic background, it was the next step in our business.

“To start with we will be promoting and selling locally, but we have lots of contacts across Australia with our herb business. 

“When we scale-up, we will be targeting the Australian market and once we started hitting those big production numbers the end goal is to export globally.”

While red claw will be the main business Mr Pham said that they are hoping to be able to supply locals with turnkey aquaculture farms, so they can process larger numbers and combine together in packing sheds and export markets.

“We want to get it to a point where we can then sell our model of producing, growing, packing, distribution and marketing,” he said.

“Anyone who is interested will be able to chat with us and we can supply a solution and a model that is ready to go.

“We need more people growing red claw, our aim is to build a local red claw industry.”

Mr Pham said while their goal was to start small, eventually they are looking at putting in 40 ponds with about 10,000 animals in each pond.

“To finish building will take close to two years, but we want to finish a few dams this year and ideally we could start selling in about 12 months,” he said.

“We will start with a few dams and gradually scale up from there.”

During the building stage there will be about 10 - 15 tradespeople required to build the site and then the facility will require about 5 people to keep it running.

“Initially the red claw will end up in restaurants with a little in retail, we want to get this into the best restaurants in Australia who we currently supply with our herbs,” Mr Pham said.

“Our aim is to build an industry of growing the product locally and then selling it around the world.”

“We are going to be on a very steep learning over the next few months.”


 

 


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