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Special grants available to help maintain competitive edge

Forestry has been included in the second round of the Promoting Australian Produce (PAP) funding scheme.

Under the program, matched-funding grants of between $50,000 and $750,000 are available to help food, agriculture and seafood industry organisations build their capacity to better market and promote their produce, by undertaking projects that will:

Ø enhance industry marketing and promotional capabilities

Ø develop new strategies for industry marketing

Ø help gain consumer insights

Ø strengthen links within domestic and international markets.

The scope of the program has been expanded in round two to include non-food agricultural industries, such as live animals, forestry, wool and cotton and applications will be assessed continuously until 28 February 2011 or until otherwise advised.

Australia’s agricultural industries have a competitive edge that is increasingly being challenged by a range of factors such as rapidly changing global markets and the impacts of climate change. The Australian Government is investing in a range of activities to assist its agricultural producers to remain competitive in this changing environment.

However, there is a need to provide additional support for major collaborative events that aim to assist the sector to boost productivity through improved efficiency along the value chain, innovation and adoption of new technologies and management practices. Sharing of information may include the latest innovations in soil and pasture management, gene technology and breeding, energy efficiency, quality assurance systems, labelling, advances in transportation, cold chain efficiency, distribution and consumer preferences, marketing and emissions reduction practices.

PAP (major events) will invest up to $4 million over two years from 2009–10.

The program will end on 30 June 2011. Approved projects must be delivered before 30 April 2011, in order to ensure final funding is paid before 30 June 2011.