Local environmental not-for-profit enterprise organisation Katanning Environmental Inc (KE Inc) have recently joined our Bush Foods Project, taking on the role of the Packing Shed business development and operation after the original delivery partner became unable to do so.

KE Inc, who already run Katanning Environmental Nursery, have just secured a block of land at the old Katanning Saleyards, which had been sitting vacant since the new Saleyards opened six years ago.

Over the coming months, KE Inc will complete site works and construct a shed on the vacant block from which to run two new operations, then fit it out with specialist equipment.

The first of these enterprises is a Food Packing Facility, commencing with providing a local service to properly process and pack bush foods produced as a result of this project – ensuring freshness and speedy delivery to the market. The site being directly across the road from the freight yard that sends the foods to Perth and beyond is an added bonus!

It may not look like much yet, but this bare expanse will soon host the Saline Bush Foods project new food packing facility!

We expect that as the Saline Bush Foods production system is rolled out towards the end of 2021 / start of 2022, the facility will begin handling produce from potentially dozens of Great Southern farms. They will also be in place to pack for market other niche food products grown locally, which may include nuts, herbs or olives for example.

The second operation will be Katanning’s Containers for Change recycling collection depot. KE Inc recently won the contract with the WA State Government to be the local depot for people to return eligible drink containers for their 10c refund. This will also operate from the same property.

KE Inc have also applied to the Great Southern Development Commissions Regional Economic Develop grants for funds to develop the business enterprises further.

The new undertaking is expected to increase employment opportunities in Katanning, encourage farmers to produce saline bush foods for the growing supply chain, ensure fresh quality produce is received by consumers and perhaps even foster innovation in new agricultural products for the area.

Containers for Change is expected to be operational October 2020, and the Packing Facility by February 2021.