MEDIA RELEASE Monday 10 January 2022
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) today welcomes the response by Federal and State Governments to protect food supply chains across Australia, and actively address meat processing, manufacturing, and distribution issues as part of the wider food supply chain easing of isolation rules.
Today, National Cabinet endorsed the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) interim guidance on permissions and restrictions for workers in food and grocery supply.
AMIC was the initial voice this time last week, joined by Australia’s food and grocery bodies, the big supermarkets, and the transport industry, calling on the Australian government to address close contact isolation rules impacting essential food chain supply workers. The warning of a supply shortage since being experienced.
“AMIC was on the front foot with government immediately after hearing from our members that they are experiencing a serious wave of staffing unpredictability,” said AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson.
“We welcome National Cabinet’s endorsement today of the medical expert panel’s new set of arrangements, which allows workers who are close contacts, to return to work if they have no symptoms and are fully vaccinated.
“This is a great outcome to support Australia’s food production and supply chain capacity and to feed Australians.
“I thank our representatives in State and Federal Government for listening, consulting with us and responding to our concerns with this action,” he said.
“AMIC will work with its meat processing and manufacturing members on the implementation of the new guidelines and relevant state-based rules.
“The issue of access to free or low-cost RATs for our industry which is deemed critical, and prioritised PCR testing and turnarounds, remains a challenge to be addressed by government, and we will be continuing discussions on this,” Hutchinson said.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), is the sole Peak Industry body representing the post-farm gate meat industry, including processors, smallgoods manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors through to independent retail butchers and exporters.
Catharine Heffernan, General Manager, Communications
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