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    Murra Warra farmer and VFF president David Jochinke.

Farm group urges rethink on COVID-19 roadmap

Victorian farmers’ peak body is calling on the State Government to change a restart roadmap for the meat-processing industry.

Victorian Farmers Federation wants the government to open the industry where safe to do so.

VFF president and Wimmera farmer David Jochinke said the organisation was concerned about a hard approach to the meat-processing sector.

“Our message on abattoirs hasn’t changed and we are in lockstep with the meat-processing sector on this: we need to return to at least 80 percent processing capacity as soon as possible,” he said.

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“The current proposal for all metropolitan and regional meat-processing facilities to remain highly restricted until at least November 23 is simply not workable.

“If we don’t get to 80 percent soon there will be lambs that cannot get processed, limited capacity to process grass-fed beef and continued uncertainty in the pork and poultry industries that are already operating on a knife edge. 

“The risk to animal welfare is just unpalatable. Add to that the potential impact on markets and the current proposal will be disastrous for industry and the food supply chain.”

Mr Jochinke said the VFF would like to see regional differences recognised in the pathway out of restrictions for regional Victoria.

“Where there are no COVID-19 cases in regional Victoria we think a common-sense, risk-based approach to the relaxation of restrictions is appropriate,” he said.

The entire September 9, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!