Representatives from the Victorian food industry have bolstered their efforts to lobby the government to purchase locally grown and manufactured food for government run institutions.
In the lead up to the Victorian state election, the Pro-Local Supply Working Group (whose members include the Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC), AUSVEG, SPC, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and Australian Made amongst others) have developed a proposal that urges members of parliament to put locally sourced food on the agenda known as the Full Value for Victorian Food Procurement Policy.
Together with industry backing, the campaign has received significant support from the community with thousands pledging their support via an online petition at www.demandlocalsupply.com.au .
The proposed policy states that rather than purchasing the cheapest food available, decision makers will need to assess suppliers based on five selection criteria that includes: quality of service and value for money, food safety and quality; ethical sourcing; sustainability of the environment; and benefits to the Australian economy.
“Our food is produced to the highest quality and standards to ensure that it’s clean, green and safe for our families. The government needs to consider the full social and economic value that purchasing locally grown produce injects into the Victorian economy,” said AUSVEG representative Andrew White.
“Buying the cheapest imported food for state-run facilities fails to take the value of these factors into consideration.”
SPC Managing Director, Peter Kelly, said that the policy is simply about supporting the Australian industry.
“Sourcing from local supply is about all Aussie suppliers getting a fair go for these Government contracts. That’s all we’re asking for.”