Coalition’s Ag Plan acknowledges key veg industry priority areas
11 May 2022
AUSVEG, Australia’s peak industry body for the vegetable and potato industries, has welcomed the announcement of the Coalition’s Ag Plan, which outlines initiatives and funding that will help the agriculture industry to achieve its goal of reaching $100 billion in value by 2030.
The Plan, announced today by Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Assistant Minister Jonathon Duniam, includes the continuation and extension of the Australian Agriculture Visa, a strong focus on improving trade conditions for horticultural exporters and additional support for Australia’s critically important biosecurity system.
AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote said that the Ag Plan addresses some of the key priorities called for by the vegetable and potato industries, which highlight the economic and health benefits that growers in the sector contribute to regional and national communities and their economies.
“The announcement of the Coalition’s Ag Plan provides some clarity on the priority areas identified by the Coalition Government that will help the agriculture sector grow into the future,” said Mr Coote.
“It is pleasing to see many of the vegetable industry’s key priorities addressed in this plan, including a commitment for the continuation and expansion of the Ag Visa, additional support for exporters and more funding for Australia’s biosecurity system.
While AUSVEG welcomes the plan from the Coalition, it does not include a commitment to establish a National Labour Hire Licencing Scheme, which will help protect vulnerable workers and growers against illegitimate labour hire operators.
“The horticulture industry relies heavily on labour hire to supply a workforce, and the majority of growers and labour hire contractors do the right thing and look after their workers. A national labour hire licencing scheme will support vegetable and potato growers by making our entire sector a fairer, safer and more attractive workplace for workers,” said Mr Coote.
“AUSVEG also notes the funding announcement to improve market transparency and bargaining power for the industry, including funding to improve market transparency across perishable agricultural goods supply chains, which also aligns with its election priorities to ensure a profitable and productive future for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers.
AUSVEG represents over 3,600 vegetable producers that account for 3.83 million tonnes of vegetable production worth $4.9 billion in farmgate value and over $5 billion in retail value annually – it is one of strongest performers of Australia’s agriculture industry that has tremendous potential to continue its growth trajectory.
The production and supply of fresh produce is a truly a national industry that employs over 60,000 workers, not to mention the tens of thousands of additional jobs through the supply chain to process, transport and stock produce.
Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org