John and Margaret Cochrane
John and Margaret Cochrane Philippe Coquerand

Expansion of Gympie-owned business will create 24 new jobs

KENILWORTH Dairies will conquer new markets and create up to 24 direct and indirect jobs thanks to grant funding from the State Government.

The Mary Valley business, owned by former dairy farmers, Gympie couple John and Margaret Cochrane, was one of 15 in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development grant to help fund the expansion of their business.

"Kenilworth Dairies is a well-known local dairy producer in the Sunshine Coast area with a strong reputation for producing high-quality dairy products and the funding will go towards establishing their own bottling plant,” Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said.

Mary Valley dairy farmers John and Margaret Cochrane are the owners of Kenilworth Country Foods.
Mary Valley dairy farmers John and Margaret Cochrane are the owners of Kenilworth Country Foods. Contributed

"The project is expected to create five jobs through the construction phase with another 24 direct and indirect jobs upon completion to carry out business operations.”

Mr Cochrane said the RED grant would help cover set up costs and the purchase of equipment for the bottling plant.

"We will use the money to purchase equipment used to pasteurise the milk and set up a laboratory to monitor the milk for quality and safety purposes,” he said.

The bottling plant will help Kenilworth Dairies complete their product line, which includes yoghurt, cheese, mousse and ice cream.

John Cochrane
John Cochrane Renee Albrecht

"We want to become a completely independent local dairy provider and the new equipment will help us achieve this by adding bottled milk to our product range,” Mr Cochrane said.

"The plant will process approximately 12,000 litres of milk per day, sourced from our current dairy production and will be distributed to local consumers in the Sunshine Coast area.”

The Rural Economic Development Grant program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.

A total of 15 businesses have received $3.3 million under the first-round of funding for the RED Grant program. Overall these 15 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.

Funding for Round 2 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administers the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au

Gympie Times


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