A leading Sunshine Coast exporter of macadamia products is rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic with a $50,000 grant as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Yandina-based Nutworks successfully applied for a share of the $500,000 Market Diversification and Resilience Grant Program.
“Like other economies around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Queensland businesses hard,” Mr Furner said.
“We are continuing to manage the health response well and that means we can start to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“The Queensland Government is working closely with industry on the economic recovery of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, including agribusiness exporters who support thousands of jobs.”
Mr Furner said the $50,000 project grant will help Nutworks, which employed more than 50 people before COVID-19, to introduce a new macadamia product to reduce exposure to market fluctuations.
“Queensland’s plan for economic recovery is all about jobs, and that is exactly what we are supporting with this grant,” Mr Furner said.
“The grant will be used for new equipment, e-commerce website development and trade show attendance, allowing the business to diversify and meet growing consumer demand for high-end macadamia products in the United Kingdom and Australia.
“Nutworks is a prime example of a Queensland agribusiness building resilience and finding opportunity from adversity.”
Company spokesperson and CEO Kylie Watson said the Queensland Government funding will ensure the impact of COVID-19 does not halt plans to enter new markets.
“The project will build our resilience by diversifying offerings, and ensuring reliable, ongoing turnover, both for our hundred growers and the company,” Ms Watson said.
“Project activities will provide job security for our staff in the recovery from COVID-19 and create 35 new jobs within our South East Queensland business, in areas such as research and development, production and marketing, and along the supply chain.”
Demand for Nutworks’ products has fallen across all markets due to COVID-19 and the company has been forced to stand down a large portion of its workforce.
More than 150 businesses applied for the first round of the Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Program for COVID-19 affected exporters – part of the Queensland Government’s $27.25 million coronavirus industry economic recovery package.