The founder of Red Dragon Organics Richard Patton with employee Nina Giblinwright at the Goonellabah office. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
The founder of Red Dragon Organics Richard Patton with employee Nina Giblinwright at the Goonellabah office. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

Jobs plan fires up dragon

RED Dragon Organics has gone from strength to strength and the secret is in the ingredients: passion, sustainability and organic produce.

Richard Patton started the business in 2003, although he has been selling drinks based on his own recipes at The Channon markets since 1980.

In August last year, he released a drink called Living Elixir and this product has proved so successful the business's turnover has increased by 80%.

Red Dragon is best known for its hand-made, cold-pressed, ginger beer, but after a little more than 12 months they are selling just as much elixir as ginger beer.

Mr Patton said the elixir was popular because of its nutritional and health properties and was now being sold all over Australia.

The drink is based on turmeric, which is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and contains ginger, lemon, honey, sugar, ginkgo biloba, brahmi and gotu kola.

The business's strong growth has made it eligible for a grant under the Northern Rivers Jobs Plan which will allow it to buy new equipment and employ five staff.

Mr Patton said the labour cost of producing handmade drinks was "remarkably high".

The new equipment will see the business develop a cordial and that means more jobs.

Red Dragon is one of eight Northern Rivers businesses to benefit from the Northern Rivers Jobs Plan which will provide $31 million in investment to create 70 new jobs.

The plan was launched last week in Lismore by Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services and acting Premier Andrew Stoner.



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