The State of Victoria in Australia is investing AU$80,000 (US$59,000) in the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Chicken Care Program. The program has a track record in assisting growers improve environmental and amenity outcomes on farms, and respond to concerns over new and existing developments.
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 … and “That’s why we’re providing $80,000 to support the VFF’s Chicken Care Program to assist our growers.”
The funding comes off the back of lobbying efforts from the Victorian Farmers Federation to ensure the chicken meat industry growth strategy is achieved.
The Victorian Chicken Meat Farmers Federation and Victorian Chicken Meat Council (VCMC) have been calling on the state government to work with the industry to regain lost market share, creating regional economic growth and jobs.
“Australians now eat more chicken meat than their combined consumption of beef and lamb. In fact annual growth of this AU$5.6 billion chicken meat sector is trending at 5 percent,” VFF Chicken Meat president Allan Bullen said.
“Yet Victoria’s share of this booming meat industry has slumped from 28 per cent to 23 percent in the past eight years. Compare that to South Australia, whose chicken meat industry has grown from 8 to 13 percent of the national market over the same period.
The successful Chicken Care Program 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,” Bullen said.