The Food and Fibre group started through a round table discussion in 29th April 2021. This event was supported by Regional Development Australia Committee $2,000 grant.
This Dinner highlighted the challenges the industry was facing including skilled workforce shortages, limited housing availability, both rental and housing stock for sale. This in all reduces our ability to attract any workforce to our area to fill our jobs. It provided a great opportunity for the industry to connect and network on the night.
Continuing to collaborate as a group “the collective”, Kagome approached Committee for Echuca Moama to support the industry around the concerns of the easing of COVID restrictions will increase the risk of businesses incurring infections. With this came concern that the current directive at the time, including up to 14 days of isolation for close contacts, created a significant risk to continuity. A closure for our industry could:
Financially cripple our Food & Fibre businesses;
Create loss of product and affecting supply chains
The collective met, discussed internal processes, discussed learnings from positive covid tests within our businesses and collectively agreed on options to help support our industry so we have a clear procedure to enable us to continue to manufacture, process and supply through these times.
This report called “Navigating COVID into 2022” was then presented to Minister Mary-Anne Thomas office which provided insight into the industry and supported Government to navigate through these challenges.
The collective will continue to meet and raise concerns within the industry, share local knowledge and insights into policy and support each other where needed. Click below to read the report.