Help at hand for farming community

Small local farmers say regulation designed for big players is making it hard to grow their farm-gate businesses.

Many will raise their concerns with Victorian red tape commissioner Matthew Butlin at Daylesford’s Lake House on Wednesday night. 

Jonathan Hurst

Jonathan Hurst

The Daylesford Macedon Produce run session will allow farm-gate businesses to share their experience of  regulatory protocols with Butlin, a commisioner who works to identify regulatory inefficiency.

Brooklands Free Range Farms’ Jonathan Hurst said Brooklands had no issue with complying with regulation. 

“We’re not saying open the door for us and let us do what we like,” he said.

“There needs to be regulations for health and safety.

“But when small scale farmers are trying to set up an on farm butcher and abattoir they are facing the same regulations as the big scale farmers. It makes it hard for us.”

Daylesford Macedon Produce chair Alla Wolf-Tasker said the discussion session was a chance for the industry to get together. 

“It is an opportunity to hear a collective voice of agricultural business,” she said. 

Local farmers have also raised the issue of confusion due to frequently changing regulation and conflicting advice from different bodies. 

Victorian government body Prime Safe and local council both hold regulatory responsibilities. 

Prime Safe is responsible for administering food legislation as detailed in the Meat Industry Act (1993), Seafood Safety Act (2003), Meat Industry Regulations (2015) and Seafood Safety Regulations (2014). 

Local council is responsible for monitoring the compliance of food in their jurisdiction.