Priority testing for food supply chain businesses

Food supply chain businesses will be relieved the State Government has finally come out to confirm our agriculture sector is an essential service.

Farmers, food processors and businesses critical to making sure our supermarket shelves remain fully stocked have been desperate for clarification since Stage 1 restrictions to combat COVID-19 were announced more than a week ago.

But today’s announcement of an Agriculture Workforce Plan leaves questions about what steps the State Government will take to protect the integrity of our food supply chain.

Strict measures must be put in place to ensure our farmers and farm businesses are not exposed to unnecessary, lengthy shutdowns.

Our food supply chain businesses are prepared to do their part to comply with restrictions, but we can’t afford to have them in constant 14 day lockdown.

The Victorian Government must act on calls for priority access to testing for the agriculture workforce, similar to the provisions made for health workers.

Farms and farm businesses must be able to quickly, and safely, resume operations as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Producers, agricultural suppliers and other businesses that are crucial to the agriculture supply chain must have confidence they can continue their vital work feeding our state.

Peter Walsh MP

Shadow Minister for Agriculture

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