Victorian farmers have consumers' backs during the pandemic

Victorian farmers have consumers' backs during the pandemic

Opinion
When faced with empty supermarket shelves, consumers need to know that Victorian farmers have got their back.

When faced with empty supermarket shelves, consumers need to know that Victorian farmers have got their back.

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It's important that Victorian agriculture remains adaptable throughout the crisis, though, of course, there are limits to how flexible we can be.

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Early this week the Victorian government confirmed the stage one restrictions that have shut down our pubs and restaurants will not apply to Victorian agriculture and agribusiness.

This was welcome news following some days of concern and confusion as states shut borders and signalled the need to force the closure of businesses.

It was also welcome news to see the Federal government announce a new Senior Agriculture Industry Engagement Officer to help agriculture industry perspectives inform state and federal governments' decision-making.

Even though many farmers may think they are far removed from the epicentres of the virus' spread, there is no excuse for putting our health and safety of those around us at risk.

It's also important that Victorian agriculture remains adaptable throughout the crisis, though, of course, there are limits to how flexible we can be.

That's why the VFF is actively engaging government to ensure the whole agricultural supply chain is high in the mind of decision makers.

That supply chain isn't only what comes off the farm and onto stock supermarket shelves, but what goes onto the farm to actually make something grow.

We must remember that along with the challenges we are now facing there are also opportunities for our industry.

We have it in our power to show the community just how resilient and reliable agriculture is.

When faced with empty supermarket shelves, consumers need to know that Victorian farmers have got their back.

The silver lining in all of this is the close partnership that the farming community, via the VFF, has established with government and the closer connection we can build with our communities.

  • David Jochinke is the VFF president
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