Statement from AUSVEG Chair Bill Bulmer: COVID-19 resources
Information for horticulture growers
Hort Innovation has provided a list of resources intended to help growers and others in the horticulture industry keep up to date with trusted information in these unusual times – particularly news and updates relating to continuing to operate. Hort Innovation will update this page with further advice and links as they become available.
To view this page visit horticulture.com.au/growers/covid.
This guide offers horticulture-specific advice on top of the COVID-19 and your workforce resource produced by Australian Pork Limited, which includes some great general information all agriculture producers can access.
There have been multiple rounds of Stimulus Packages announced from the Federal Government, as well as various state and territory assistance and business assistance.
Information on the Australian Government’s economic response to COVID-19 can be found on the Treasury website here.
Growers are also encouraged to head to the Farmhub website for all the latest and up to date information for their business relating to COVID-19. See here for more information.
It is important to note that it is unlikely that COVID-19 will be passed on through fresh produce. For more information please visit the FSANZ website for advice on the Coronavirus for consumers and the fresh produce industry.
More information around the COVID-19 and fresh produce can be found at an updated article from the Australian Research Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry website by Dr Hayriye Bozkurt.
Information is also available from:
- The NSW Government Food Authority Food Businesses and COVID-19 webpage.
- The Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University in the US around Frequently Asked Questions for the food industry in relation to COVID-19.
It is critical that everyone look after their own health and that of their families, workers and their communities. If anyone wants more information on COVID-19, including the symptoms and what to do if you suspect you might be at risk of infection, please visit https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert or call the National Incident Response Centre on 1800 020 080.
I urge everyone to heed the advice of medical authorities to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of their families, loved ones, workers and communities. And please keep talking to your workers, your colleagues and your peers to check in.
AUSVEG continues to actively work with governments and industry to ensure critical issues that growers are currently facing are immediately addressed.
AUSVEG is also a member of the NFF Horticulture Council, which has urged the Federal Government to give them the confidence they need to plant the next crop by extending visas of seasonal fruit, vegetable and nut pickers who are already in the country.
More information on AUSVEG’s advocacy activities can be found on the AUSVEG website.
Information for employers and employees
Fair Work Ombudsman
It is critical at this time for all growers to remember that they have a duty of care to their workers, who are integral to the ongoing ability for our industry to keep supplying produce to consumers. The Fair Work Ombudsman has some important information that all employers should be across to ensure that they are meeting their obligatory requirements to their workers.
It is important to remember that everyone is a little confused and wary around what the future may hold, so I urge you all to look after your workers’ physical and mental health and well-being – they are our greatest asset and we cannot lose sight of this.
AUSVEG State Member Growcom has prepared a detailed guide for employers and employees regarding COVID-19 – please click here to view the document (please note that given the evolving situation with COVID-19, Growcom makes no claims or guarantees about the completeness, accuracy or currency of this information).
Information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace for employers can be found via https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-employers.
The World Health Organization has developed a factsheet on ‘Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19’, which details how you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace.
Coronavirus information and support for businesses, including information on employers’ obligations and information on government assistance, can be found via https://business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business.
Information from the Department of Home Affairs on international travellers, including travel restrictions, international travellers and information for visas, can be found at https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus.
Information and resources on the vegetable industry’s crisis preparedness and what to do in a crisis can be found on the AUSVEG website here.
If you require any further information, please contact AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.