GROWER support is at the top of the list for vegetable vegetables according to a priorities list published by the sector's peak body.
As the nation awaits the federal election date, Ausveg has released its priorities for the competing parties to consider.
The organisation has echoed other industry calls for the development of an Agriculture Visa, strengthened commitment and increased cross-jurisdictional communication relating to biosecurity, and support for growers to be able to expand their businesses and continue to provide high-quality product to local and international consumers.
The priority list, named SPROUT, will form the advocacy agenda for the Australian vegetable industry for the next federal election.
The SPROUT list stands for:
- Supporting our growers
- Protecting our product
- Respecting our borders
- Outperforming our competitors
- Understanding our industry
- Transforming our business
Ausveg says it will work to ensure the ideas are acknowledged and embraced by all candidates.
"The SPROUT election priority wish list is endorsed by our state and territory grower associations and reflects a unified vision for the future success of our industry, which is currently worth nearly $4 billion annually and employs tens of thousands of workers across the supply chain," Ausveg national public affairs manager, Tyson Cattle said.
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"Our industry is focused on removing threats and barriers to producing healthy, high-quality vegetables - these include threats from pests and diseases, worker shortages that are crippling growers around the country, increasing market access and removing trade barriers to broaden our customer base.
"Removing these threats will allow growers to run a more efficient and effective business and help the vegetable and potato industry to play its role in agriculture reaching its $100 billion target by 2030.
"Labour shortages continue to be impediments to growth for our industry. While we have in-principle support for a recommendation from the Migrant Workers' Taskforce Report for a national labour hire registration scheme, which would help protect vulnerable workers and growers against illegitimate labour hire operators, this is only the first step; an Agriculture Visa is still needed to address the chronic shortage of workers in our industry.
"We call on all prospective politicians and their parties to consider the needs of our industry in the lead-up to the Federal Election. Ensuring Australia has a thriving and prosperous vegetable industry is of critical importance to the entire country - not just to regional communities that rely on a strong agriculture sector to survive, but to all Australians who require high-quality, nutritious vegetables to maintain a healthy lifestyle."