Food production businesses and farms in Victoria will be supported by the state government in making their workplace safe and keeping supply chains uninterrupted.
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes, today launched the Business Adaptation grants program – part of the Working for Victoria Agriculture Workforce Plan – to support food supply chain businesses in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas.
Under the program, individual grants of between $10,000 and $300,000 will support eligible businesses to meet the costs of adapting their workplaces to meet health, safety and social distancing requirements or adapt to business changes imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adaptations may include changes to transport used to take employees to and from work to ensure physical distancing, changes to employer-supplied accommodation, or the creation of extra washrooms and other facilities.
Grants can also be used to buy machinery or appliances needed by businesses to adapt to maintaining operations during the pandemic.
Each grant will cover up to 50 per cent of the costs of individual adaptation projects, with the remainder to be covered by the business.
The Business Adaptation grants are part of the broader $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan supporting regional businesses across Victoria during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Plan is supporting businesses within key agriculture and food processing industries through job-matching, case management, worker relocation needs, transport and training.
“These grants are a practical and tailored way to protect workers and employers by supporting them through what may already be a tough financial situation,” said Symes. “Industry have identified adaptation support as an important way we can help them continue doing their vital work – we’re listening to that advice and considering other ways we can help businesses.”