The Honourable Tim Mulherin
Minister meets beetroot growers affected by cannery closure
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin today met with beetroot growers who will be affected by the closure of the Golden Circle beetroot cannery at Northgate.
Heinz Australia last week announced it will shift production of sauces, beetroot and some meal products from Australia to New Zealand with 160 jobs lost in Queensland and more in other states.
"This announcement by Heinz is another challenge to growers in a small, specialised industry, in a region recently affected by floods," Minister Mulherin said.
"It is also a blow to the confidence of the local community and economy with a significant potential to affect local suppliers, transporters and related businesses.
"The meeting today gave growers the opportunity to raise their concerns. It also allowed us to share with them the support Government can offer.
"Our aim is to ensure growers do not suffer any lasting impacts from this change - we will work with growers to transition them into other crops or markets within Australia.
"This may include working with industry and Heinz to identify potential joint projects to refocus the industry or working with growers to investigate alternate ways of using beetroot as an attractive high value healthy food product.
Minister Mulherin said the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) would be providing agronomic support, technical services and financial advice to growers affected by the closure.
"DEEDI senior horticulturist David Carey has been nominated as a relationship manager and will be a conduit between industry and government," Mr Mulherin said.
"Growers will also be able to access a range of services including Farm Financial Counsellors to help growers adjust to new circumstances and make the most of any financial assistance provided by Golden Circle."
Mr Mulherin said flood affected producers in the Lockyer Valley were able to access financial assistance under NDRRA.