$100K grant to help Flow Hive keep up with demand
NORTHERN Rivers company Flow Hive will receive a $100,000 government grant from the Manufacturing and Modernisation Fund.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot visited the Newrybar-based company to confirm the news.
The funding will allow the popular company to upgrade and add two higher-powered laser-cutting machines to the existing manufacturing line, Mrs Elliot said.
"These upgraded machines will improve Flow Hive's ability to cut its beehive components at an expected rate of between three and for times greater than its existing laser machines," she said.
"This promises to be a huge increase in Flow Hive's production capacity."
Endorsed as an 'epic' enterprise recently by Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth, Flow Hive is the brainchild of father and son duo Stuart and Cedar Anderson, whose new design for a hive that allows easy access to honey crowdsourced millions in 2015.
Stuart Anderson said the grant will allow the company to employ more people as demand for their product has exploded during the pandemic.
"Before Covid we had hives in various warehouses around the world, we had a bit too much stock," he said.
"It was (during) the fires here and we thought it would be business as usual, and with the pandemic we didn't know if business would die.
"But as it happens more people want to get into beekeeping while they are at home.
"We can't keep up with demand at the moment."
Mr Anderson said the new laser-cutting machines will be purchased and should arrive to the Northern Rivers within the month.
"There has been a fair bit in the news lately about Australian manufacturing capabilities, and I think we can do easily as well as China or whoever, just give us a go, don't automatically head overseas.
"We are proud that we manufacture in Australia, and that we can employ locals, but also we can maintain the quality and hands-on nature of our production."
The company offers around 50 jobs to people around the Northern Rivers from their Newrybar offices.
With a big grin on his face, Stuart Anderson said the main feedback they get from customers is "delight".
"Most of them are first time beekeepers, and it is such a fascinating hobby, and then there is the chance of easily harvesting honey with their children or neighbours, and have an event together, and they feel more connected with their food," he said.