Deputy Premier Bryan Green announced on Wednesday that a North-West berry producer will employ new techonology in its operations as well as increase jobs with the help of the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund amounting (TGIIF).
Berry producer Turners Beach Berry Patch will receive a grant from the TGIIF amounting to $105,000 for the establishment of a controlled agriculture environment spanning one hectare, a state-of-the-art production facility and a prototype mobile chiller unit.
“These are the sorts of projects that help unlock the potential that exists within our economy,” Green said. “The innovation of creating a mobile chiller unit to help maintain berry quality from the point of harvest, is particularly impressive.”
“There is also potential for this type of chiller unit to be applied to other crops, potentially driving innovation across the broader fruit-growing sector.”
According to Green, regional employment difficulties prompted the state government to mount the TGIIF initiative.
“The State Government is committed to building jobs and opportunities, and by assisting producers with these sorts of grants we are getting on with the job of diversifying our economy.
“As a result of this investment, Turners Beach Berry Patch will employ another 13 people in the first year alone,” Mr Green said.
Green also said that in hopes of improving business sustainability, performance and productivity, the TGIIF also seeks to inspire investments in innovative projects.
“I am pleased to see businesses such as Turners Beach Berry Patch with the confidence to invest in technology has the potential to be applied to their industry more broadly. The innovations this investment will bring to Turner Beach Perry Patch, will improve quality and extend the life of the harvested berries,” Green said.
This, according to Green, will translate to more satisfied customers, which will then contribute to Tasmania’s “reputation as a producer of high quality gourmet produce”.
“I congratulate Craig Morris and his team for securing this investment, and will watch with interest to see how the innovations developed here will flow into the fruit-growing industry more broadly,” the Deputy Premier said.