$35.4 million Food to Asia Action Plan
Premier Denis Napthine today launched Victoria’s Food to Asia Action Plan which will deliver a more profitable food sector and open doors for trade opportunities and sustainable jobs in the East Gippsland community.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said that The Plan provides an opportunity for local businesses and producers to take advantage of the rapid growth of Asia’s consumer class and their requirement for premium food and beverages.
“Gippsland is renowned for its dairy and meat production. The Coalition Government is committed to opening the doors for local farmers and business to expand their export opportunities in the growing Asian market,” Mr Bull said.
The $35.4 million Food to Asia Action Plan will: • strengthen representation of Victoria’s food sector in Asian markets,
• focus research and development investments on food that meets Asian consumer preferences, and
• will deliver a Food to Asia Trade Program.
The Plan builds on the work the Coalition Government has already undertaken to grow production and jobs in the agricultural and food processing sectors throughout Victoria and in East Gippsland;
• $62.6 million has been invested in the Victorian International Engagement Strategy that has resulted in 555 Victorian food and beverage companies travelling to Asia as part of 13 trade missions since July 2012.
• These trade missions have resulted in a projected $1.13 billion worth of exports for Victoria.
• Locally, The Maffra Cheese Company has benefited from the Coalition’s $150,000 contribution to its $380,000 expansion to promote its brand on the international market, a project that will create 10 new full-time jobs in the community.
• Another local employer to benefit is Vegco in Bairnsdale who received a $120,000 contribution towards its $2.4 million upgrade of its production facilities, creating up to 23 new jobs.
• $61.4 million has been invested in the Growing Food and Fibre program to double food and fibre production by 2030.
“Victoria’s food and fibre exports increased 5 per cent last financial year. There can be no doubt that Victoria is Australia’s premier food state, it is our largest export sector and the Government’s investment will ensure this remains so well into the future, “ Dr Napthine said.