Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region

Friday, 14 July 2017

The City is calling for community feedback on a draft Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region that will support growth and development of the region’s agribusiness sector.

The Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region is open for community consultation until Thursday 27 July 2017.

The draft strategy provides information about the region’s entire agribusiness supply chain, including inputs, primary production, manufacturing, wholesaling and tourism.

The draft strategy highlights that agribusiness in the G21 region is a $1 billion industry, which is significant to both the economy and community.

It shows the “post farm-gate” sector, or businesses involved in transport, food processing, farm inputs, agritourism, wholesailing, research and education, generates the majority of agribusiness employment in Greater Geelong (78%)

The split between pre farm-gate (48%) and post farm-gate (52%) employment in the Colac Otway Shire is more even, while Surf Coast and Golden Plains shires are dominated by primary production, with only a small amount of processing and wholesaling.

The draft strategy shows that the region’s livestock industries have changed in the last 15 years, with growth in intensives such as poultry and pork, a decline in sheep and dairy numbers and “stable at best” beef numbers.

It suggests the G21 region is well placed to take advantage of strong growth in Victoria’s aquaculture sector and in agritourism, particularly on the Bellarine Peninsula and in the Surf Coast and Otway Ranges hinterlands.

These areas are predominantly occupied by lifestyle or peri-urban farms, while larger scale production is progressively confined to a shrinking area in the region’s west.

Quotes attributed to the City’s Director Investment and Attraction Brett Luxford:

The G21 region has a proud history in agribusiness but our regional landscape is changing and therefore so is the industry.

Once finalised, the Sustainable Agribusiness Strategy for the G21 Region will provide a framework to guide both government and private sector investment decisions on how best to assist ongoing growth and development of our agribusiness sector.

It’s therefore important that the community and all relevant stakeholders, including G21 region businesses involved in both the pre and post farm-gate sectors, provide feedback on this draft strategy.

The City will be consulting with stakeholders in July before finalising the strategy and presenting it to Administrators at a special meeting of council on 2 August 2017.