Farm Guide VIC : 2012-13
17 Victorian Farmers Federation Both Free Range and Broiler chicken growers are represented by the group. Victorian chicken growers provide contract growing services to four chicken meat processors. The Growers are provided with the day old birds, feed and technical support. VFF Chicken Meat Group members are responsible for the day-to-day management of the birds and are paid a fee for growing them to marketable size over a period of fve to eight weeks. A major role of the VFF Chicken Meat Group is to assist members in negotiating the growing fee and contract conditions with the processors. This is an ongoing challenge in the deregulated environment. The fact that 90% of Victorian chicken growers entrust the VFF Chicken Meat Group to negotiate on their behalf is a testament to the group's effectiveness in achieving the best results for growers. Members of the VFF Chicken Meat Group also have access to signifcant LPG gas discounts offered through the Rural Industries Cooperative Ltd (RICL). VFF Chicken Meat Group Chicken is the most popular meat consumed by Australians. It is all domestically produced, low in cost, hormone free, disease-free, consistent in quality, low in fat and available in many easy to prepare forms. These factors have contributed to a continual increase in consumption. The Victorian industry produces more than 20 million, high-quality birds annually -- about 30 per cent of Australian production. In response to increased pressure from Governments and the community regarding perceived environmental and animal welfare issues, the VFF Chicken Meat Group developed the Chicken Care Environmental Management System initiative. This program involves training, audits and accreditation and sets the standard of best operating practices with regards the environment and animal welfare. The VFF Chicken Meat Group represents the interests of about 90 per cent of Victoria's contracted chicken growers.