Australian melon grower receives grant to upgrade packing facilities bolstering its export capabilities

GEN watermelon

Queensland melon grower Daintree Fresh has received a grant from the state government to upgrade its packing facilities.

The upgrades supported by the Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $200,000 will be used to help develop exports to markets such as Japan. 

Director of Daintree Fresh, Shaun Jackson said Lakeland’s location and climate are perfect for growing the melons during the winter season.

“We don’t get the severe frosts or low temperatures that a majority of Queensland has throughout winter,” Jackson said.

“Our stable and dry climate from April to November makes it the ideal weather for growing cucurbit varieties. Because of this, there is an opportunity for us to supply consistent quantities of produce from June through to December.”

The grant will be used to help Daintree Fresh source and install essential packing infrastructure to effectively package and store their fresh produce.

“The packing equipment will package 400 trays per hour to meet our 15,000 trays per week quota,” Jackson said.

“A cooling facility will be installed to enhance the shelf-life of our produce to ensure it reaches the end market while obtaining its quality.”

Jackson said Daintree Fresh will employ 40 people over the next 12 months to assist with the current operations and to cater to the increased capacity the expansion of their business will bring.

“Exporting specialty melons to Japanese markets is an exciting opportunity to develop long term prospects, for the overseas export markets, whilst creating business and economic growth locally,” he said.