56,000 RATS for Victorian farmers
More than 56,000 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are on the way to Victorian farmers as part of a joint initiative by the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), Food and Fibre Gippsland and Fruit Growers Victoria to minimise the disruption to essential food supply chains.
VFF President Emma Germano said the overwhelming response from people received within 48 hours, highlights the critical need and demand for RATs in the community and the Victorian Government’s response has been an afterthought.
“Our industry, as well as many others have been crying out for RATs for months. We decided to get on the front foot and secure a supply of tests ourselves.”
“Farmers and industry have been telling the Government that without access to RATs, the new isolation directives intended to ease the pressure on our supply chains, won’t work.”
“The response has been enormous. We’ve had over 56,000 orders within two days from literally every corner of Victoria.”
“Our ability to get it done, despite a number of frustrating delays goes towards ensuring our industry continues to operate.”
“Our industry works as one and these RATs are importantly available to all farmers,” Ms Germano said.
Ms Germano said the effort to initially secure and quickly distribute the orders demonstrated the willingness to work together.
“In two weeks, the tests have landed in Sydney, been driven down to Victoria and distributed out to 24 towns across the State. We’ve dubbed it the ‘rat race’.”
The VFF, Food and Fibre Gippsland and Fruit Growers Victoria collaborated together to secure the supply of RATs from HiCraft Safety. Orders have been offered to purchasers at a fair price, with a small fee added to cover distribution costs.
We would like to acknowledge Mobil for donating the fuel needed to dispense the orders throughout Victoria and extend a huge thanks to everyone involved in this initiative.