News

Agriculture businesses backed during coronavirus

By Country News

To ensure Victoria's supply chains can continue unbroken during the coronavirus pandemic, Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes has established the Victorian Agriculture Industry Reference Group.

The group brings together Agriculture Victoria and industry representatives to share information from the government, ensure farmers and producers have up-to-date health and business advice, and directly respond to feedback and concerns.

“I’m extremely grateful to everyone working so hard across the agriculture supply chain to ensure we have the food and goods we all need,” Ms Symes said.

“Through the feedback they’ve brought to the group, our agricultural businesses have shown yet again how resilient they can be in the face of hardship, and some invaluable insight into the reality of the pandemic on regional Victoria.”

The group of representatives from 25 peak industry bodies are working with the government to address issues facing the sector.

This includes information on commuting and accommodating seasonal workers, managing staff safety and health, and directives for people with responsibility for animals.

Ms Symes said it was vital the entire agriculture supply chain adopted enhanced cleaning regimes, hygiene practices and physical distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Dairy Australia managing director David Nation said many businesses had come together to ensure work could continue to run smoothly.

“This work has brought together all of the Victorian agricultural industries to ensure each industry is connected to the latest developments, can share common issues and provide a direct line of feedback to government,” Mr Nation said.

Businesses seeking advice have been urged to phone Business Victoria at 132 215 or visit: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/

For the latest advice on commuting and accommodating seasonal and contract workers during the coronavirus pandemic, visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au