Regional farmers could secure sales to city customers with a new program launched by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West and funded by the Australian Government. The collaborative business model called Central West Fresh was developed following the Small Agricultural Enterprise Logistics workshop facilitated by RDA Central West which investigated the problems small farmers and food processors face delivering produce to metropolitan clients.
The Central West Fresh project has received $130,000 in funding from the national Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program, known as Farming Together. Local Rodger Shannon from Carbeen Pastured Produce in Manildra attended the workshop and reported that “All of the businesses identified that our biggest demographic for marketing our produce was in Sydney,” said Mr Shannon. “We all had tried and/or were supplying into this market, but were struggling getting our produce there. We all identified that we needed a cost-effective and time-sensitive way of getting our produce to our customers.”
The Farm Co-operative and Collaboration Program is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.