MINISTER for agricultural industry development Mark Furner said the Galaxy Entertainment Group, which own six hotels in Macau, trialled the Queensland grown Red Rhapsody variety in June.

“Galaxy Entertainment Group’s trial of the sweet, nutritious and juicy Red Rhapsody strawberries is an exciting opportunity with the potential to open up new and lucrative export opportunities,” Mr Furner said.

With an average of 2.5 million visitors each month, Macau’s 44 world-class gaming resorts, with a total of 2284 restaurants and food service facilities, have pushed the demand for high-quality food ingredients to serve their guests.

“Galaxy Entertainment Group has used Red Rhapsody strawberries in deserts and their initial feedback has included positive comments about the fruit’s size, colour and taste,” Mr Furner said.

“Red Rhapsody is very resistant to diseases and bruising in the supply chain, which makes it ideal for export and Galaxy Entertainment Group’s feedback gives us confidence that commercial shipments might soon be possible.”

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Mr Furner said the Macau trial was part of the Queensland Government’s $1.3m Growing Queensland’s Food Exports program to assist food companies to build their business capability to take advantage of opportunities to grow exports.

“Through the 13-month GQFE program, five strawberry export trials to Macau, Hong Kong and Jakarta have provided a detailed analysis of the supply chains,” Mr Furner said.

Queensland produces 41% of Australia’s strawberries and the industry has a farm gate value of $182m.

Since September 2018, the government has partnered with the Queensland Strawberry Growers’ Association and provided $1m in funding to boost the strawberry industry and help farmers.

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