Boost for artisans

By Country News

Four Goulburn Valley businesses have received a leg up thanks to a recent grant aimed at spreading local produce further across the state.

Dairy Fresh Gelato, Eden Farm Produce, Ethical Dairy Company and Strathbogie Meatsmiths were all recipients of the Victorian Government Artisanal Sector Program grant.

Each recipient will receive between $4000 and $5000 to grow their business by purchasing new equipment or infrastructure, completing training in specialist food and agricultural techniques or hiring consultancy services to build their marketing and business capability.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes visited Strathbogie Meatsmiths near Euroa to announce the program.

Run by Fiona and Andrew Townsend, Strathbogie Meatsmiths produces rare-breed British white beef sold at farmers’ markets, and will use its $5000 grant to help purchase a new coolroom.

Numurkah’s Eden Farm Produce, run by the Baker family, also received a grant. The family produces grass-fed beef on its bio-dynamic farm, specialising in chemical-free, drench-free, pesticide-free, herbicide-free and fertiliser-free produce.

Ms Symes said the grants helped to support rich and diverse businesses across agriculture, improve market opportunities and build agri-tourism.

‘‘We’re proud to back producers right across the state to improve their agricultural techniques and business skills, so they can increase their production and share their produce more widely,’’ she said.

The Artisanal Sector Program has been extended, with an additional $10million available, as well as opening the grants to craft brewers and distillers.

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