More than 100 food businesses, farmers and suppliers across Victoria are keeping workers safe and supply chains going thanks to support from the Victorian Government, helping workplaces adapt to physical distancing and hygiene measures.
Springhill Farm, a second-generation family-owned food manufacturer in Ballarat that makes treats under their own brand and for clients under contract has received funding through the government’s Business Adaptation Grants program.
The $132,000 grant has seen a new packing room and extra equipment installed to allow greater physical distancing between workers, as well as additional washbasins. It will also support the retraining of 30 employees in COVID-safe processes and use of the new equipment.
Another grant recipient, Western Plains Pork is a breeder and supplier of free-range pigs in the Grampians region. Western Plains Pork’s grant of almost $72,000 has gone towards new equipment, including touch-free washbasins, new wash bays to clean operational equipment and an automated industrial cleaning robot.
In Victoria’s east, dairy food manufacturer Village Dairy in Traralgon is receiving $76,000 to semi-automate the business’ cheese packing process to allow for greater physical distancing between employees.
The Business Adaptation Grants have been rolled out across Victoria as part of the government’s Agriculture Workforce Plan, which is also providing grants for worker induction and re-training, and worker relocation and transport.
The plan is supporting businesses within key agriculture and food processing industries through job-matching, case management, targeted industry skills development and initiatives to support Victorian producers connect into new markets.
Applications for Business Adaptation Grants have now been extended and are open until the end of 2020, to support Victorian agribusinesses through the summer harvest season.