Artisanal producers in the Hepburn Shire will be better equipped to identify business challenges, support each other and connect to the community thanks to a new Hub for Premium Produce supported by the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited Danny’s Farm in Blampied to announce the new project, which will receive $570,000 from the Labor Government as part of a joint effort with local council to support artisanal producers and communities in the Macedon region.

The hub will provide an opportunity for small-scale and craft producers to have a direct say in the services they need to help them build their skills and knowledge, and access extra resources to grow their businesses and take their produce to the world.

The Labor Government’s support, boosted by $150,000 from Hepburn Shire Council, recognises the important contribution that artisanal agriculture and premium food producers make to vibrant and thriving regional communities and to Victoria’s reputation as a world-class agricultural centre.

The Hub for Premium Produce was identified as a priority through the Central Highlands Regional Partnership, and secured early support from the Labor Government with $50,000 for a business case as part of the Victorian budget 2018/19.

The Hub is being delivered in addition to the Government’s Artisanal Sector Program – which has provided grants to 248 recipients across Victoria, supporting small-scale businesses to invest in skills and training, equipment and small scale infrastructure, and consultancy and advice services.

The second round of the program will soon open – with a further $10.2 million in grants to increase production of Victorian craft food and drink, and spread our local produce more widely.

Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“Artisanal producers are a growing and important part of our Victorian agricultural production landscape. This hub is a testament to how the Central Highlands community values the contributions and quality produce – and we’re proud to bring the Hub for Premium Produce to life.”

“In Macedon we’re proud of our quality artisanal produce, and I look forward to seeing how this hub will help bring together our small-scale and craft producers and provide them with more opportunities to grow.”