AUSTRALIA - The government of the state of Victoria have announced $80,000 of investment in the chicken meat industry’s “Chicken Care” programme.
The Chicken Care Programme is run by farm lobby organisation Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), and helps poultry producers to improve environmental and amenity outcomes on farms, and respond to concerns over new and existing developments.
To be announced at the Victorian Farmers Federation annual chicken meat conference today at the MCG, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said: “We are aware of the challenges facing the chicken meat industry, and of the significant economic contribution it makes to growing rural and regional jobs."
She added: “That’s why we’re providing $80,000 to support the VFF’s Chicken Care Programme to assist our growers improve environmental and amenity outcomes on farms.”
However, local media has reported a mixed reaction to the plans for industry growth, with some doubting the ability of the measures to solve problems in poultry production in the state.
Poultry organisations in Victoria have been calling on the state government to work with industry to regain lost market share, creating regional economic growth and jobs.
“Australian’s now eat more chicken meat than their combined consumption of beef and lamb. In fact annual growth of this $5.6 billion chicken meat sector is trending at 5 per cent,” VFF Chicken Meat president Allan Bullen said.
“Yet Victoria’s share of this booming meat industry has slumped from 28 per cent to 23 per cent in the past eight years. Compare that to South Australia, whose chicken meat industry has grown from 8 to 13 per cent of the national market over the same period."
The Chicken Care Programme was developed 15 years ago in response to community concerns over environmental impact and has since trained 126 growers in best practice environmental management.
“This funding is welcome and will go a long way to giving growers the support and confidence to invest in both the sustainability and growth of their farm businesses,” Mr Bullen said.ThePoultrySite News Desk