NSW Farmers working to ensure food supply

NSW Farmers is working closely with the highest levels of the NSW Government to ensure the continuity of agricultural supply chains if NSW moves into phase 3 lockdown.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the NSW Government has provided reassurance that business continuity in agriculture is a priority for food security as part of plans for further potential lock-downs.

“Grain growers in NSW are coming in to a critical time of year with the first reasonable chance to plant a winter crop in the last 3 or more years for many,” Mr Jackson said.

“Similarly, livestock enterprises are also at a key stage as farmers look to restock or to shear wool and horticultural enterprises are busy harvesting crops such as apples and bananas.”

“Our dairy, egg, pork and poultry farmers produce product on a daily and weekly basis, there is no off switch on their production and it needs to get to consumers regularly.”

“Ensuring continuity will be essential to ensure our fresh food supply chain remains dependable through this health and economic crisis. We have complex supply chains and dependencies, so careful planning is required to avoid any unforeseen interruptions.”

NSW Farmers is also working actively on advice to members on how to manage potential transmission risk in the farm workplace, and similarly through the agricultural supply chains.

“We believe these risks are manageable and social distancing is practical in most farm situations. Farmers understand the importance of biosecurity measures better than anyone, so fresh food supplies are in safe hands. “

NSW Farmers has welcomed the second NSW Government stimulus package released today, particularly the $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees.

“Farmers, to meet ongoing consumer demand for food and fibre, need certainty of supply from the many small and medium businesses that enable production. This announcement will help many of these critical services including mechanics and fuel suppliers, freight and delivery services and essential inputs to continue.”

“The extension of the payroll tax exemption to businesses with payrolls over $10 million for six months will also ease pressure as farmers ramp up production after extended drought.”

Date; Friday, 27 March 2020

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