Small-scale and craft producers across the Mount Alexander Shire are now better equipped to grow their businesses and spread local produce more widely, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today announced that the Labor Government is backing local food, drink and produce companies from around the state as part of the first round of the Artisanal Sector Program.
Castlemaine Oakwood Smallgoods provides high-quality smallgoods made from free-range Berkshire Pork, wagyu beef and organic lamb and will receive a grant will to establish an online presence to increase their service to customers and retail outlets.
Goughs Range Olives grows organic olives and produces olive oil, sold directly to customers through farmers markets. Their grant will be used to improve business skills through an accounting course.
Harcourt Organic Farming Co-Op is a collaboration of four small farming businesses who operate on the same farm – producing heritage fruit, seasonal vegetables, a micro-dairy and a fruit tree nursery. The grant will be used to buy equipment for their farm shop that will help the co-op run their businesses efficiently from the same location.
Sella Farmhouse Creamery is the micro-dairy at Harcourt Co-op, and will also receive an individual grant to tailor an e-commerce platform that will facilitate the business’s expansion into new product lines later this year.
Blumes’ Historic Bakery has been a part of the history in Harcourt since 1920, and a grant will purchase a refrigerated prep counter to allow for the sale of artisanal sourdough alongside pizza production.
Across Victoria, almost 250 small-scale and craft food and drink businesses have received grants to support them to grow by purchasing new equipment or infrastructure, completing training in specialist food and agricultural techniques or hiring consultancy services to build their marketing and business capability.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $2 million to support small and micro businesses from around the state increase production and promote their local produce more widely.
Victoria is renowned for its high-quality premium produce, and the Labor Government is proud to support the agricultural businesses that not only feed and clothe Victorians, but create jobs, attract tourism and make regional communities vibrant.
The Labor Government is now continuing its support for small-scale craft food, beer and spirit producers, with a commitment to provide an additional $10 million.
The expansion of the program is part of a goal to keep Victoria as the nation’s number one food producer, support local economies, create local jobs and reach $20 billion in food and fibre exports by 2030.
The program has received a huge response and large number of applications in its first round, highlighting the important role of local produce, and the diversity of the sector across Victoria.
For more information please visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/artisanag
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“We’re proud to back local craft producers to improve their agricultural techniques and business skills, so they can increase their production and share their produce more widely.”
“The region has a rich and diverse agricultural sector, and we’re supporting our producers to improve market opportunities and build agri-tourism across the state.”