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Sprout Tasmania calls for prioritisation of concerns and needs of small-scale producers in upcoming election

Media Release – March 2024

Sprout Tasmania, a not-for-profit organisation deeply rooted in fostering sustainable agriculture and vibrant local food systems, extends the organisation’s voice and vision to the upcoming Tasmanian state government election. Our mission revolves around growing and supporting our industry through advocacy and capacity building of the small-scale
agricultural sector, which are integral to the prosperity of Tasmania’s food system.

We urge the Tasmanian incumbent government and party challengers to prioritise the following areas in their election commitments, as they align closely with our organisation’s values and objectives:

  1. Collaboration: We believe that meaningful collaboration across various sectors is essential for addressing complex challenges and creating innovative solutions within
    Tasmania’s agricultural community. We encourage the government to support initiatives that facilitate cross-sector partnerships, fostering cooperation between
    government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, and community groups to drive positive change.
  2. Infrastructure: Infrastructure plays a critical role in supporting the growth and viability of Tasmania’s agricultural sector. Specifically, there is a pressing need for
    investment in infrastructure projects such as meat processing facilities tailored to meet the needs of small-scale livestock farmers, supported by fit for purpose
    intrastate logistics services and value-adding facilities. By enhancing these capabilities, we can create new market opportunities, improve supply chain
    efficiency, and support the economic sustainability of local producers.
  3. Capacity Building and Education: Investing in the capacity building and education of individuals involved in agriculture is vital for the long-term success of our food
    system. We advocate for initiatives that provide training, mentorship, and educational resources to farmers, particularly in the sustainable agriculture space.
    Additionally, we support peer-to-peer learning programs that enable knowledge sharing and skill development within the agricultural community.
  4. Food Security and Access: Access to nutritious and locally produced food is a fundamental human right. We urge the government to prioritise initiatives that
    increase food security and improve access to fresh, healthy foods for all Tasmanians, especially those in underserved communities. This includes supporting initiatives
    such as community gardens, farmers’ markets (online and physical) and institutional procurement.
  5. Sustainable Agriculture Practices: As stewards of the land, it is imperative that we prioritise sustainable agriculture practices that minimize environmental impact,
    conserve natural resources, and promote biodiversity. We advocate for policies that incentivise and support farmers in adopting regenerative farming methods, organic
    production techniques, and environmentally friendly practices.

As experts in the field of sustainable agriculture and local food systems, Sprout Tasmania is committed to providing evidence-based advice and recommendations to inform government policies and decision-making processes. We invite the parties competing in this election to engage with us and other stakeholders in collaborative advisory work, leveraging our collective expertise to shape policies that support the growth and resilience of Tasmania’s agricultural sector, particularly small-scale production and farming.

Tasmania’s farmers are the backbone of our agricultural sector, and their success is vital to the health of our local food systems. Our not-for-profit organisation is deeply invested in initiatives that support local farmers, promote food security and foster community resilience through sustainable agriculture.

In conclusion, we urge you to consider this request and these priority areas as you develop your election commitments. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working together to advance the interests of Tasmania’s agricultural community and local food systems.