Ventures toast expansion potential
Blind Corner Winery and Rocky Ridge Brewing Company have been the big winners from a State Government initiative supporting agriculture-based businesses.
Both businesses will receive more than $200,000 in funding to support value-adding opportunities and create local jobs.
Twenty-four food and beverage manufacturers and value-add processors across the State received a share of the $4.2 million Value Add Agribusiness grants in the second round of funding.
Blind Corner owner and winemaker Ben Gould said the $278,973 grant would help the winery expand with more staff expected in the winery and at the cellar door.
“The continued growth in visitor numbers to our organic winery was causing us to turn potential customers away. The increased capacity and facilities will allow us to welcome more people, and also allow for potential weddings, functions and festivals on a more frequent basis,” he said.
“Currently we are busier than summer as more visitors enter the region due to border closures, so the timing of the announcement is most welcome.”
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the grants would enable local businesses to more confidently invest in new projects, technology or expansion opportunities.
“We are pleased to see there have been strong outcomes from the first round of this fund in bringing forward investment in our regions, subsequently helping businesses expand and employ more people,” she said.
Rocky Ridge Brewing Company received $210,000 and national sales manager Ricky Watt said the money would be used for a “major expansion” of its Jindong brewing facility to help increase production capabilities.
“The funds are going to be used to increase our production capacity from 600,000 litres to over 1,000,000 litres, as well as to invest in QA/QC equipment to ensure optimum shelf stability and longevity,” he said.
“This is primarily so we can continue to expand our operations and continue to supply beer to Singapore, Hong Kong and other export markets which we see as an incredible segment of growth for our young brewery.”
Mr Watt said the the brewery would soon install new technology to help with the packaging process. Applications for the Value Add Agribusiness grants were submitted before COVID-19 restrictions.
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