The Government of Victoria in Australia has launched a programme to support small-scale and craft producers in the state to expand their business.

Through the initiative, the government aims to encourage craft producers in the state to increase the production capacity to create employment opportunities.

The Victoria Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes, launched the A$10m ($6.8m) Small-Scale and Craft Program during her visit to King River Brewing in Whitfield.

The launch of the programme follows the Artisanal Sector Program, whereby government provided grants to Victoria’s highly valued and diverse artisanal produce sector.

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Under the programme, King River Brewing received A$5,000 ($3,420) to enclose the brewery and install a climate control system to enable year-round manufacturing of its beers.

The brewery is engaged in the production of small-batch and preservative-free boutique beer.

It produces a wide range of beers including Kolsch, Pale Ale, Belgian Tripel and Doppelbock, as well as seasonal beers such as the Fig Porter.

Symes said: “Victoria’s small-scale and craft producers have enormous potential to take the state’s phenomenal produce to the world. We’re backing their expansions, job creation and new products.

“If you’re one of Victoria’s unique, small-scale food, craft beer or spirit producers, I encourage you to apply for a grant and if you’re a Victorian who loves good food and drink, get out and support our stellar local producers.”

The programme comprises two streams. The first will focus on small-scale and craft business development by offering grants of up to A$25,000 ($17,106) to eligible small-scale and craft producers to scale up their businesses and expand their operations, as well as diversify their products.

Under stream two, grants of A$25,000 ($17,106) -A$200,000 ($136,828) will be offered to support significant projects of small scale and craft agribusinesses that deliver benefits to the community and also generate jobs.