The Victorian Government has committed $5 million to help establish food and fibre marketing co-operatives. Managed in partnership by the Department of Primary Industries and Rural Finance, the Food and Fibre Marketing Co-operative Grants program will provide funding to promote the establishment of new marketing co-operatives in the food and fibre industries.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said co-operatives could help maximise the marketing potential of the state’s farm produce, allowing farmers to band together to promote their world-class products more directly and effectively to consumers.
The initiative was opened at Ballarat co-operative Southern Quality Produce’s grain storage facility in Wernerth today, with Mr Walsh saying new or recently establish co-operatives or collaborative marketing groups were now eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000.
"The purpose of the Food and Fibre Marketing Co-operatives Program is to support cooperative groups of food and fibre producers and other businesses along the supply chain to market their produce more effectively and improve market access," Mr Walsh said.
"The Coalition Government is supporting the formation of local co-operatives or collaborative marketing groups to provide food and fibre producers with more marketing power."
Grants will be available for a number of costs, including: legal costs associating with establishing, feasibility studies and business plans, business and technical advice, market research and training in business management.
"Grants will be provided on a dollar for dollar basis, with the cooperative group meeting half the cost of establishment and associated advice," Mr Walsh said.
"This year is International Year of Co-operatives and this funding commitment by the Coalition Government will boost the confidence, expertise and capacity of our food and fibre producers to market their product in domestic and international markets."
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