Brisbane Valley Protein co-director Duncan Brown with a quail.
Brisbane Valley Protein co-director Duncan Brown with a quail. Rob Williams

Tiny bird's maiden voyage putting region on food map

THOUSANDS of miniature birds destined for dinner plates in Asian's most elite restaurants are the first of their kind to be exported from Coominya.

Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct this month exported the first quail to Hong Kong and already international diners have developed an appetite for the delicacy.

More than 1000 quail were frozen and packed into a shipping container on the maiden voyage as part of the company's plan to put region on the international fine dining map.

There are already orders for more. Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct poultry director Tim McCarthy said Hong Kong was the ideal market for niche food products like quail.

"The first aircraft container went Hong Kong to a distributor there that is well connected with with restaurants," Mr McCarthy said.

"It was unexpected to have a repeat order a fortnight after the first one so we are hoping we can build momentum. We have the capability to send (quail) weekly.

"I think Hong Kong is the ideal market broadly because there are a lot of expats and a lot of fine dining in very nice restaurants."

Mr McCarthy said there were plans to expand their export operation into other Asian markets.

"We have out sights set on Singapore too," he said.

"The beauty of the product is it stands up by itself and is unparalleled for size, taste and texture.

"It's a brand new product over there." Mr McCarthy said French companies were their most significant competition.

"They sell chilled quail so we are competing with the French," he said.

Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct is a master planned farm business spreading across 2500 acres at Coominya that holds neighbours and international investors in the same regard.

Stage one of the precinct - an integrated, 'hatch to dispatch' quail business - was completed in August and included the quail farm and export business.

There are plans for another three stages and close to 10 years of development. 

Quail eggs from Brisbane Valley Protein.
Quail eggs from Brisbane Valley Protein. Rob Williams

Company putting jobs, regional food on the map

A MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR integrated protein production hub at Coominya is the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia.

Somerset Regional Council this month approved the masterplan for Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct, designated as the Coominya Food Production Investigation Area under the Strategic Framework.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the development was the first dedicated protein production hub in Australia.

"This development is well planned, strategic and will bring huge benefits to the region," Cr Lehmann said.

"This is great news for our community in that it will bring more jobs to the region and showcase Somerset on the international stage through production, exports and hospitality modelling."

The master planned area will include a variety of rural and food production land uses that could include poultry, quail, game birds, cattle protein precincts including food processing, hatcheries and a growing farm.

Also contained within the master plan is the establishment of a produce pavilion, restaurants, markets, food hospitality areas including state-of-the-art training facilities, tourist park and a function facility.

BVPP director Duncan Brown said the company had undertaken proactive community consultation prior to submitting the development application with the council.

Quality assurance manager Robyn Hall from Brisbane Valley Protein.
Quality assurance manager Robyn Hall from Brisbane Valley Protein. Rob Williams

Masterplan pre-approval secures future

PRELIMINARY approval of the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct masterplan is expected to position the region for a future satisfying Asia's appetite for quality meat. Brisbane Valley Protein Managing Director Duncan Brown said Somerset Regional Council's approval of the Coominya precinct would help provide a future opportunity in food production for generations to come.

"The Somerset Region already punches above its weight in terms of producing quality meat products for the world and food production accounts for more employment than any other sector," Mr Brown said.

"Council's support means this future is secure with nearly 3000 acres set aside for projects that support the growing, processing and exporting of quality products as well as training of young people for a future in food and hospitality initiatives that will continue to put the region on the map as a food tourism destination.

"Our hope is the precinct becomes a hub for conceiving and realising food production dreams."

The masterplan is set on 2500 acres near the township of Coominya and features 10 sub areas accommodating a range of uses from food-based tourism, training, meat processing and livestock production. The project will be rolled out in stages, each stage subject to a code assessible development application.

Mr Brown said the preliminary approval reflected the strong community support for the project and meant the "heavy lifting" had been done up front in terms of environmental modelling.

"We went through a 60 day community consultation process and didn't receive a single negative submission. We'd like to thank the community for their belief in the project and the positive outcomes we all believe it can deliver in the area. The approval provides a major shot of confidence for investors and others seeking to bring the precinct to life," he said.

"This project is helping put the Brisbane valley and Somerset Region on the map."

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