A telephone hook-up of agricultural ministers from around the country this afternoon has discussed a range of issues facing the sector during this COVID-19 crisis.
The Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the conversation was both cooperative and constructive.
“The Federal Government sought agreement from the states to adopt the strict protocols for infection of staff found to have COVID19 and for food processing under the standards set by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand or FSANZ,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Adoption will provide clear direction to processors in addressing the safety but also continuity of their business if they find any staff to have been infected. This will provide confidence to the community that not only their food continues to remain safe but also reliable.
“State ministers were also asked to agree to the livestock saleyards and wool auctions protocols so that they can continue.
“This is an important link in the supply chain and the confirmation will reduce anxiety among the sector and producers.
“The saleyards and auctions standards that industry has put in place are both practical in reducing the threat of COVID-19 and allowing those who need to attend to do so.
“These standards includes limiting attendance to essential saleyard staff, accredited livestock agents and genuine buyers.
“I thank my state and territory colleagues for their hard work and dedication to agriculture and the nation’s food secure.
Cooperation is the way we will make it through this crisis and at when come out the other side we will have stronger and more robust agricultural sector.”