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29 July 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The Australian government should follow the lead of the UK and source food from local suppliers and producers.
That’s according to Ausveg, the national industry body for Australian vegetable and potato growers. Its comments follow last week’s news that UK central government will buy fresh, locally sourced food, where possible.
“The UK has taken an important step by committing to procure goods from local sources, which will without doubt benefit thousands of farmers in the United Kingdom,” said Ausveg manager for government and parliamentary relations, Andrew White.
“Australian vegetable growers and processors could potentially realise the same benefits if our government[s] followed suit and put in place its own plan and a local benefits test to source from local suppliers.
“We believe there is more that could be done and getting better information about the current situation in regards to the existing level of local sourcing across all commonwealth and state/territory agencies would be a sensible place to start.”
White explained if the Australian government was to follow in the footsteps of the UK government, it “could provide a significant boost for the industry”. But he added Australia needed a “balanced procurement policy”.