BIG BOOST FOR SMALL-SCALE AND CRAFT AGRIBUSINESSES

Small-scale and craft producers across the state have received a funding boost to help grow their businesses and generate jobs thanks to grants from the Victorian Government.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes and Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, visited Dreaming Goat Dairy in Monegeetta to announce more than 130 businesses will share in $2 million from the Small-Scale and Craft Program Business Development Grants to help them scale up, expand operations and diversify their product ranges.

Dreaming Goat Dairy produces a range of handcrafted cheeses and yogurts, with a focus on sustainability. Their grant provided support for new infrastructure and equipment upgrades, allowing the dairy to expand their product line and grow their business.

Other businesses to receive support include several craft beer breweries, a range of specialist distilleries, sourdough bakeries, specialist livestock farmers, and horticulture such as mushrooms and olives.

Many of these businesses host tasting rooms or outlets on their properties for visitors to try their produce, whilst also supplying to restaurants and bars or exporting their products internationally.

The diverse range of businesses reflects the crucial role the small-scale and craft sector plays in regional economies, providing jobs and attracting tourists, as well as generating overseas sales.

The Small-Scale and Craft Program Business Development Grants are part of the Government’s $10.2 million commitment over four years to support the sector. A further round of grants for larger projects worth up to $200,000 each will be announced later this year.

For a full list of recipients and to find out more about the Small-Scale and Craft Program, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/artisanag.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

Small-scale and craft agribusinesses play a vital role in Victoria’s regional tourism and our reputation as a producer of quality food and beverages.”

“As we move into recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, these grants will help businesses grow and diversify, generate jobs, boost our regional economies and build resilience.”

Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Businesses in regional Victoria have had a tough year, so these grants are a fantastic boost to small-scale and craft food and beverage producers like Dreaming Goat Dairy, which are such a huge part of our region’s appeal.”