Agribusiness Taskforce

Harvesting growth for Victoria

Agribusiness encompasses agricultural production and food and beverage manufacturing. Important industries include dairy, beef cattle, sheep, grain and fruit and vegetable production. The Agribusiness Taskforce has drawn on the expertise of our members and key industry leaders to identify issues, opportunities and ideas that will accelerate Victorian agribusiness success into the future.

Explore our key recommendations below or view the full report:

Harvesting Growth for Victoria

Increase quality, innovation and value capture across the agribusiness supply chain

  • Encourage state and local government investment in food clusters, including the Geelong Seafood Cluster, Plenty Food Group (formerly North East Food Cluster) and East Gippsland Food Cluster.
  • Embrace advances in gene editing technologies that have the potential to accelerate productivity in crop and animal systems while reducing negative impacts on the environment.
  • Fund an agribusiness supply chain development program to connect more established agribusinesses with Victoria’s agri-tech sector.

Grow new agribusiness markets

  • Develop a coordinated national brand for international marketing of Australian agrifoods, integrating aspects of both export and tourism brands based on common and consistent imagery across all jurisdictions. 
  • Increase funding for the Free Trade Agreement Export Pathway Program to provide Victorian small and medium sized agribusiness with a dedicated hotline, workshops and one-on-one coaching to build awareness of Australia’s three new FTAs with Japan, South Korea and China.
  • Fast track the development and adoption of serialisation to ‘trace and track’ individual items through the entire agribusiness supply chain, to assure consumers they are receiving the genuine food product for which they have paid.

Facilitate investment and increase output

  • Encourage investment, including foreign investment in agribusiness that is productive and strengthens food security, and promote a positive narrative about the role of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in lifting agribusiness output and efficiency, transferring new technology, management knowledge and culture, increasing employment and raising incomes and living standards.
  • Pilot a new $5 million Regional Agribusiness Trade and Investment Ready Program, delivered by industry, to identify and support small sized Victorian regional agribusinesses seeking inward investment as part of their business growth and trade expansion strategies.
  • Develop and promote a positive narrative about the role of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in lifting agribusiness output and efficiency, transferring new technology, management knowledge and culture, increasing employment and raising incomes and living standards.

Fast-track infrastructure and reduce transport and distribution constraints

  • Complete the North – East Link to support the transport of agricultural products around the state and to the Port of Melbourne to address the growing freight truck traffic from the Dandenong area to the Hume and Western Freeways and relieve congestion in Melbourne’s northeastern suburbs. 
  • Accelerate the pace of the NBN rollout in areas of regional Victoria to provide the greatest benefit to agribusiness establishments, and mobile blackspots in rural farming communities.
  • Standardise Victoria’s freight rail network to reduce the complexity and cost of transporting freight both within the state and nationally. 

Improve workforce skills, grow jobs and build business capacity

  • Expand Victoria’s existing city farm models by establishing a city farm at the Melbourne Showgrounds to provide metropolitan based students with hands-on agricultural experience.
  • Maintain the maximum loan cap of $15,000 for all agricultural courses and qualifications funded under the Commonwealth Government’s VET Student Loans Bill 2016, and ensure continued funding support for Victoria’s Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) to help young people remain engaged in education or training.
  • Amend the Working Holiday Maker Programme to allow both Working Holiday (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa holders to work an additional six months with one employer in Victoria, if they work in the agribusiness sector.

Lower agribusiness costs and reduce red tape

  • Encourage greater inter-government cooperation over the design and conduct of regulations in the agribusiness sector to improve outcomes in the areas of heavy vehicle regulation and road access, and the use of agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines. 
  • Encourage Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority to work more collaboratively with agribusinesses to help them to understand the environmental regulations that affect them and their obligations under those regulations. 
  • Adopt a consistently used definition of ‘agribusiness’ that incorporates the primary production sector and the food and beverage manufacturing sector.