The coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic placed immense pressure on workforce requirements for the horticulture industry. In response, the Victorian Government invested more than $84 million as part of its support to the Victorian agriculture sector to address seasonal workforce issues, such as grants for the provision of additional covid-safe accommodation and transport, support for vulnerable workers and quarantine pathways for pacific workers and new workforce attraction initiatives.

In 2023, the Victorian Government’s support focuses on building capacity within the horticulture industry to ensure businesses can manage their harvest workforce needs. The Seasonal Workforce Group Traineeships in Horticulture and Farm Business Resilience Program will help industry to improve operations and workforce retention. Support is also being provided to vulnerable workers through the Informed and Supported Workers Program in the Goulburn Valley, Sunraysia and Gippsland regions.