Dried Vine Fruit Diversification & Sustainability Initiative
The Dried Vine Fruit Diversification and Sustainability Initiative has been designed over the past year, with the support of the Victorian Government through Regional Development Victoria (RDV) and the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, through MDBREDP. The project is part of DFA’s strategy to attract new investment and to ensure the industry operates at a critical-mass necessary for securing its long-term future.
The project is promoting economically efficient production blocks, phasing in of sustainable new varieties, continued implementation of advanced production technologies, and a realistic average annual farm gate price level. Participants will need to plant new vines in 2015-16, 2016-17 or, if funds remain available, in 2017-18. Developments which are staged over two years will be welcomed, while staging over three years may also be possible if funding remains. A further Expression of Interest process will be conducted in 2016-17 and possibly 2017-18.
How it works
The initiative will provide participating growers with 20% of the capital costs associated with the development of new vines and vineyard systems (18% on completion of capital works and 2% when fruit production is achieved), including:
- Purchase of new commercial varieties (top-worked and/or grafted vines)
- Vine production systems (posts, end assemblies, trellis heads, wire, and trellises)
- Installation costs (contract installation of posts, wire, trellises, vine planting, grafting).
Intending participants should note that they will be required to show evidence of capital expenses, before funding contributions can be made. Also, funding support cannot be provided for retrospective capital costs.
Selected participants will need to enter into an agreement with DFA which will include:
- Having a vine development proposal which involves a minimum of 4 hectares (for new vine growers) or 2 hectares (for existing vine growers)
- Committing to a capital development schedule within the project timeframe
- Demonstrating that they can secure at least 82% of the capital costs1 to implement the new plantings (as well as any necessary additional assets or infrastructure that may be involved in their specific proposal)
- Being prepared to comply with the initiative’s Code of Practice
- Entering into a contract for the sale of fruit to a processor, or provide other firm evidence of a market for fruit from the new varieties.