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Australia: Grant helps greenhouses meet seedling products demand

One of Queensland’s herb and vegetable seedlings suppliers will expand their business and meet consumer demand with a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $200,000. Zoom Garden in Burpengary has seen a 30% increase in demand for the seedling products, inspiring the need for a new specialized greenhouse.

Member for Kurwongbah Shane King says the project will create good jobs and economic growth in the Moreton region. “This project will create up to 18 full-time, sustainable employment opportunities in the Moreton community,” Mr. King said.

“Economic value will be added both directly and indirectly as local employees contribute to the local economy through food, accommodation, entertainment, and general living expenses.” Chief Executive Officer of Zoom Garden, Alistair Pritchard, says the greenhouse will not only allow the business to meet consumer demand but also create a more sustainable product.

“The project was developed out of the need to improve capacity to meet current and future demand of fresh herbs and vegetables, which has increased 30% since the start of the pandemic,” he said. “The greenhouse will also allow us to isolate the herb and vegetable seedlings from the rest of our business, and we can insect-proof the facility to cease the use of pesticides and potential spray drift from other chemicals.”

“This results in a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable product for our customers, which is consistent with consumer trends on food safety. It would also allow the option of organic production should consumer demand cater for it,” he adds.

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