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Three collaborative projects will share in over $250,000 in grant funding from the Australian government to improve their industries.

In announcing the successful recipients today, the Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams said the funding is provided under the government’s Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program.

He said the NSW/ACT Truffle Marketing Co-operative has been granted $133,500 to assist in the development of a co-operative of eastern Australian truffle growers through marketing, a standard produce and payment system, and a website.

It is anticipated this will lead to increased sales of Australian truffles nationally and internationally and improved customer focus and education.

Senator Williams said the Braidwood Garlic Growers Group will receive $60,000 to support the formation and implementation of the Braidwood Regional Garlic Co-operative.

The plan is to employ a project officer to develop a strategic marketing, quality control and biosecurity plan with the aim of improving production through the development of a model for affordable farm-based curing and storage facilities.

$60,000 has also been provided to Canberra Region Small Farms Co-operative to fully develop the co-operative and increase the buying power of members to reduce their individual costs and potentially establish a warehouse and distribution network.

Senator Williams said co-operatives support better and fairer farm gate returns, allowing farmers to pool their resources and gain greater control of the supply chain and give them more bargaining power.

The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program is an initiative of the Australian government’s $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

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