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Welcome to the first issue of our Farming Focus e-Bulletin.

In this issue ...

    Regional Outlook Conference 2013: food4$

      Personal insurance: your personal safety device

        Don't miss out: Small grants for small communities

          Daewoo, child slavery, forced labour and cotton - what's the connection?

            Let us know ...

            Regional Outlook Conference 2013: food4$

            Cardinia Cultural Centre – Pakenham, Victoria
            1 & 2 May 2013

            Conference highlights include:

            • Important news about the Victorian/regional food plans
            • Sydney-based Lowy Institute on future food supply
            • Woolworths on how we will shop and what we will eat
            • Canberra ABARES (Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics & Sciences) chief commodities analyst Jammie Penm presents his forecasts
            • Real-life experiences from beef, horticulture and dairy on funding farming growth and financing food processing.

            Cost: $110/day (GST incl) $55/student and $75 for the three-course gala dinner with guest speaker Sam Kekovich.


            The interest in this conference has been high, with more than 20% of seats for the first day already booked.

            To book, phone Sue Webster on 0402 267 802 or email:  agribusinessgippsland@

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            Personal insurance: your personal safety device

            Given the extremes of weather that we have been experiencing so far this year, and the accompanying stresses and trauma, brings home to you how important it is to have a back-up for those situations over which we have no control. Personal insurance is one safety measure that we can control.

            There are several types of personal insurance, most of which get lumped together under the broad heading of 'life insurance'.

            However, life insurance is just one of several different types of policies designed to protect you from financial hardship. Here's a list of the various policy types :

            • Death/Life
            • Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)
            • Trauma/Critical Illness
            • Income Protection/Disability Income

            Making sure that you get the right amount of money at the right time can be a tricky process. That's why we have a dedicated Risk Adviser here to help you.

            Phone us today on 03 5144 5207
            to book a complimentary meeting
            to discuss your circumstances

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            Don't miss out: Small grants for small communities

            Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday, 2 April 2013.

            The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has been established to stimulate rural and regional renewal in Australia.

            As well as delivering a range of grant programs and supporting the development of regional community foundations, FRRR has specialised programs to assist communities recover from floods, fires and cyclones.

            The Small Grants for Small Rural Communities is the longest running and broadest program offered by FRRR and the program, which is open twice a year, offers up to $400,000 per round  in grants up to $5,000 for projects and activities that offer clear public benefit for communities, with populations of 10,000 or less,  living in small rural and remote locations in Australia. The projects must contribute to development in social and community welfare, economic, environmental, health, education or cultural areas.

            Applications are invited from not-for-profit, incorporated community organisations. Organisations should have an ABN or Incorporation Certificate and projects must be for a charitable purpose (benefit the whole community).


            Organisations can check their eligibility and download application forms at:
             or contact
            FRRR on 1800 170 020 for more information.


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            Daewoo, child slavery, forced labour and cotton - what's the connection?

            ... and why Target Australia should not be unfairly targetted*

            You may recently have received an email or had a Facebook communication regarding a campaign asking you to 'tell Target to ensure slave-picked cotton is not in its supply chain'.

            Underpinning this long-running and far-reaching campaign is the claim that Target products ... are made with slave-picked cotton from Uzbekistan and/or purchased from Daewoo International, a company that accounts for approximately 20% of all cotton processed in Uzbekistan.

            Other large international retailers have also previously been the target of similar public protests.

            Apparently public pressure has had results. Australia's DFAT website states that: 'Some international companies have boycotted the use of cotton from Uzbekistan owing to allegations of unpaid child labour being used in the fields.

            * We would like to make it clear here that the 'Target Corporation' named in this campaign refers to Target Corporation US. Aside from the logo and name, Target Australia (owned by Wesfarmers) is unrelated to the US corporation.

            In an update on the situation ...

            BBC World Service reports that in 2012, in response to large retailers pledging to source their cotton elsewhere, Uzbekistan's Prime Minister issued a ban on children (under 15) working in the cotton fields. However, many adults, including professionals, cleaners and office workers, are still forced to return to the land during October and November.

            There are reports of patients in towns being turned away because their doctor was cotton-picking.

            To add insult to injury, a local reports that if you didn't meet your target of 60kg of cotton each, you had to buy the rest from locals!

            So, next time you complain about your job, spare a thought for the cotton-pickers of Uzbekistan.

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            Let us know ...

            We hope that you enjoyed the first of our 'Farming Focus'
            e-bulletins. We plan to be in touch a few times during the year.

            If you have any issues that you would like covered in future issues, please write to me:

            Until next time,

            Colin Wright
            Manager Rural Advisory Division

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