A south-west coast food and fibre lobby group is calling on regional farmers to spread positive messages about responsible and ethical practices, to counter the controversial Aussie Farms map.
Aussie Farms has created a website and Facebook page, targeting producers across the country, by publishing farm locations.
But Great South Coast Food & Fibre Council chair Georgina Gubbins said the negative perceptions of farming, on the website and Facebook, were outdated and incorrect.
“This is one of the main areas the council is working to counter,” Ms Gubbins said.
“The Great South Coast region is a food producing powerhouse that drives our community’s economic well being.
“Our farmers and manufacturers on the whole produce safe, environmentally sound and ethical products for Australian and overseas customers.”
But rather than just raging against the misinformation being peddled by extremist groups, the council was asking local food and fibre producers to educate the wider community on their professional best practices.
“We need to spread the word about the responsible animal husbandry methods that our producers in this region, and Australia wide, implement,” Ms Gubbins said.
That’s something former United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president, Adam Jenkins, South Purrumbete, has already done.
GSCFF executive officer Tony Ford, said the food and fibre industry was the backbone of the region’s economy.
Negative perceptions potentially acted as a brake on continued growth and prosperity.
“The Great South Coast Food & Fibre Council believes education is key to correcting the negative stigma associated with food and fibre production,” he said.
“Yes, those very rare cases where poor practices are carried out need to be identified and stamped out. But these cases are the tiny exception not the wider reality.
The Aussie Farms Map not only breached a business’ rights by inviting people to trespass on private property, but more importantly, it posed a biosecurity risk
It was completely against local operators’ world class biosecurity protocols.
“We are proud of our responsible, innovative producers who operate ethically and sustainably and we will actively work to showcase our clean green practices to our customers and our community,” Mr Ford said.
“This is an exciting industry and we hope that more local producers will join with us to spread this message.”