The Murraylands Food Alliance is developing an action plan to present to the South Australian Government.
The group, founded by Regional Development Australia (RDA), consists of 10 of the Murraylands’ major food growers.
Some of its goals include developing a workforce strategy and increasing respect for food companies in the region.
RDA Murraylands and Riverland chief executive Brenton Lewis says the food industry is not taken seriously.
“Very much aware that the food industry in our region doesn’t attract anywhere enough respect in the eyes of RDA, also in the eyes of most of the owners and managers of the large businesses … for a group that punch 6,900 jobs between them direct and indirect, they really go under the radar,” he said.
He says the alliance has agreed to promote an initiative for a long-term workforce.
“They’re saying that short-term migration, while that gets them through tight spots … [is] costly,” he said.
“Having a changing, revolving workforce on short-term visas is really not the best outcome for them.
“They would prefer to have [a] more stable workforce.”