Under the first tranche of the new Food to Market program, 13 key industry and regional peak bodies will receive grants for projects that add value to food grown and processed in Victoria.
The Victorian government has contributed $8.4 million to help agricultural producers grow their exports, build domestic market capability and manage supply chain risks.
The state’s trade facilitation agency, Global Victoria, has also bestowed an additional $2.8 million to supply export recovery support for industries impacted by pandemic disruptions.
“The Food to Market program is an excellent example of how we are providing timely support to agribusinesses impacted by the pandemic, while capitalising on opportunities to expand into new markets over the longer term,” Victorian minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas said.
AUSVEG, the peak body for Victorian fresh vegetable exporters, has received $960,000 to investigate and trial alternative packaging and transport options. This will ensure viable export pathways remain open for broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery and lettuce crop producers in Victoria.
“This funding will allow AUSVEG to explore new packaging and export pathways to ensure Victoria’s high-quality vegetables can continue to make their way onto dinner tables around the world,” AUSVEG chief executive officer Michael Coote said.
Citrus Australia and the Australian Table Grape Association received $1.4 million to lead two traceability pilots for premium fruit in order to grow, diversify and protect high-value exports.
These two pilots will use leading technology, isotope testing, cool-chain tracking and orchard mapping to enhance traceability. The aim is to safeguard the industry from fraudulent products and protect the integrity of Victorian premium fruit brands and varieties.
Cherry Growers Australia has received $750,000 to support the development of a Chemical Use for Export Toolkit. The toolkit will help industry provide evidence-based, practical advice to Victorian businesses who are planning to export their produce, to meet the expectations of international markets.
“By supporting our agri-food sector to grow and expand into new markets, we are protecting Victoria’s global reputation as exporters and suppliers of some of the world’s best food and fibre products,” minister for Trade Martin Pakula said.
The Food to Market program is funded through the government’s Agriculture Strategy and will help deliver its vision for a strong, innovative and sustainable agriculture sector.