CocoNutZ , a patented agricultural bio-manufacturing platform which seeks to diversify FNQ agriculture through producing a range of condiments using local sugar cane, has received a significant shot in the arm thanks to a Federal Government grant.

The Morrison Government is providing Mossman-based manufacturer CocoNutZ Australia with a grant of $1 million to increase its competitiveness and productivity while also helping support local jobs.

The grant is being delivered under round two of the Morrison Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund which is providing grants totalling $55 million to 86 projects around Australia.

In November last year, Newsport quoted a Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority report stating that a $250,000 grant had been awarded to CocoNutZ Australia, who would commence their demonstration facility on the Mossman Mill site this year.

“The technology allows for production of Kecap Manis, a sweet soy sauce commonly used in Asian dishes, in Queensland at a lower cost than current market participants, while paying farmers more than a standard mill quality sugar cane.

“The CocoNutZ food facility, to be established alongside the Mossman Sugar Mill, will have the ability to process up to 20,000 tonnes of cane in the first year,” the report said.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch congratulated CocoNutZ Australia and said the grant would help the business create greater efficiencies by transforming and upgrading their manufacturing operations.

“This grant will help CocoNutZ Australia to modernise its business and create new opportunities, including local job opportunities.

“It reflects well upon the quality of businesses in Far North Queensland as well as providing an example of what others can also achieve,” said Entsch.

CocoNutZ will replace coconut sugar in the manufacturing of Kecap Manis with its own bio-transformed sugar cane juice through its patented process, which aims to turn sugar cane juice into a natural coconut like sugar product. Demand for Kecap Manis, based on coconut sugar, is growing annually.

The project has created 12 new jobs including plant operators, laboratory analysists and microbiologists, and another six during construction and support a further three indirect jobs during its first phase of operations.
During subsequent phases more jobs are likely to be created.

The community of Mossman has grown around the Mossman Mill over the last 120 years. It employs 90 people during the cane season, and 60 in the off-season, along with being the main customer for many supporting businesses in the area.

The CocoNutZ platform has been identified as a key diversifying strategy for the mill and the CocoNutZ food facility will be the first tenant of the planned Daintree Bio Precinct, an advanced manufacturing hub that will be co-located on the Mossman Sugar mill site.

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