News Article

Covid 19 Workforce Challenges


   Tuesday 12th January, 2021

There has been some media activity this week in relation to the workforce challenges faced in the food & fibre industry, especially in the horticulture sector, due to covid-19.

So you might be wondering, what has Food & Fibre Gippsland been doing to assist with this, supporting both our members and the wider industry ?

Food & Fibre Gippsland has been attending the weekly State Agriculture Reference Group for several months now, together with various Government workforce joint meetings.

Offers to stand up workforce camps and provide transport have been presented to Government by other groups.

The proposal submitted by F&FG is literally the only one in the State presenting a total regional (Gippsland) solution, being;

  • accommodation
  • transport
  • catering
  • a ready workforce of up to 300 people.

The provider we have developed this with is proven and globally experienced operator in delivering and operating such arrangements.

The proposal is with Government who are talking directly with the provider. Whilst supported by Government in principle, there are still compliance, risk, and financial aspects to be covered off to gain formal approval and support, and a major ‘coalition of the willing’ to roll it out.

As all growers and businesses are aware, COVID-19 brings a very different set of compliance matters to address.

We continue to work hard on behalf of our members and the food and fibre industry as a whole to provide this total solution.

We anticipate further feedback from Government and the provider by end of this week/early next week.

For absolute clarification, we are not confirming this is a formally approved solution and ready to go at this point, but rather are updating on where the proposal sits currently and will continue to keep you posted as any further advancements are advised.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please email CEO Nic Pero