Agriculture is a significant industry on the Mornington Peninsula. Its importance lies in the high value of the food produced and its proximity to the growing metropolis of Melbourne.
The peninsula is now one of the most diverse agricultural regions in Victoria with products including wine vegetables, fruit, eggs. beef, lamb, flowers, seafood, truffles, garlic, berries, herbs, nursery plants and agritourism all contributing to a thriving industry.
Click on the tabs below to learn more about our Agriculture industy.
This is a great opportunity for local farmers and rural landholders to actively connect and network with people who have an interest in learning more about technical agricultural concepts around themes such as:
- Soil – land class capability and matching to appropriate land use
- Pasture management and stocking rates
- Livestock handling & animal health
- Weeds, pests, disease identification
- Food production ideas
Through this communication network a range of technical knowledge and skill building workshops are regularly undertaken across the shire to enable people to enhance their agricultural production systems through critical thinking and on-ground action.
If you would like to join the email distribution network and keep up to date with training and development opportunities please email us.
The Mornington Peninsula region is part of the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment which is coordinated by Melbourne Water.
The Smart Farming for Western Port project aims to advance the understanding of profitable, sustainable agriculture techniques. It is a partnership between :
- Western Port Catchment Landcare Network
- Bass Coast Landcare Network
- Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
- South Gippsland Landcare Network
- Agriculture Victoria
- Melbourne Water
This five-year project (2018-23) being delivered by the Western Port Catchment Landcare Network (WPCLN), is increasing awareness and adoption of land management practices that improve and protect the condition of soil, biodiversity and vegetation by farmers in the Western Port catchment.
The project is working with landholders from multiple enterprise types to increase the understanding and uptake of innovative farming practices to improve farmers productivity and local natural resources.
Five innovative on-farm demonstration sites covering a range of enterprise types and trialling innovative practices have been established and are monitored with a specific focus on building soil carbon. Benchmarks will be established and the practices will provide farmers with actual scenarios they can use to relate to their own situation.
While building soil carbon will be the focus, other sustainability indicators such as soil nutrient balance, productivity and resilience will also be monitored. Farmer discussion groups, field days, and smart farm innovation training will provide the agricultural community with skills to assist with on-farm practice change. Project results are communicated through open farms, discussion groups, case studies and field days.
The project builds on the success of a similar project funded by the 2013-18 phase of the National Landcare Program.
Download the 2017 case study on Assessing fodder quality for improved Farm Management
Download the 2017 case study on Pasture Improvement using BioSolids
Have you heard the phrase regenerative agriculture and wondered exactly what it is? Well its time for all of your questions to be answered!
In the past 2 years, the Mornington Peninsula Shire has undertaken a number of of 'Regenerative Agriculture' training workshops. It was delivered by respected leaders in regenerative agriculture giving unique insights and tailored advice for implementing regenerative practices on particpants' farm. Topics included:
- Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture- myths and misconceptions.
- Soils - Maximise crop diversity and living roots.
- Soils - Minimise disturbance and maximise soil coverage, soil monitoring
- Regenerative Agriculture Livestock & grazing systems
- Integration of trees into your faming system for multiple benefits
- Financial indicators and transitioning to Regenerative Agriculture
- Transitioning to regenerative agriculture.
If you would like to learn more about this topic, and dates of future workshops please email us.
We’ve teamed up with Bass Coast Landcare Network, South Gippsland Landcare Network, and Western Port Catchment Landcare Network to create a video series that takes you through the key principles of regenerative agriculture.
Hosted by soil scientist Declan McDonald, the videos explain what regenerative agriculture is and how the principles can be applied on all farm types and landscapes within the Western Port Catchment.
The videos available are:
- Key Principle 1 - Minimise soil disturbance
- Key Principle 2 - Maximise crop diversity
- Key Principle 3 - Keep soil covered
- Key Principle 4 - Living Roots year round
- Key Principle 5 - Integrate livestock
- Key Principle 6 - Integrate trees
- Summary and transitioning to regenerative agriculture
This project is supported by Melbourne Water and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Local food production on the Mornington Peninsula is rich in diversity and quality. The food sector is a significant contributor to the local economy. It is estimated that the value of the industry is in excess of $1.3b per annum in output. This represents approximately 11% of the total shire economy whilst providing 5300 jobs or 12.5% of total employment.
A Local Food Strategy was developed in 2013 to identify pathways to raise awareness and ensure that food products and services across the Mornington Peninsula are:
- Recognised for quality, freshness and accessibility;
- Highly valued by locals and visitors for origin and seasonality;
- Identified through a ‘trust mark’ that is valued and respected by the industry and consumers to reflect the integrity of locality, product or service.
To enhance the Mornington Peninsula’s identity as a quality, fresh and innovative food region.
Establishment of a Food Industry Advisory Body
A key part of achieving the above objectives was through the establishment of a Food Industry Advisory Body (F.I.A.B). This body was identified, through industry consultation, as an important structure to progress actions identified in the Local Food Strategy.
The Food Industry Advisory Body focused on three key priority areas:
- Facilitation of food industry capacity and connectivity activities to ensure local businesses are working together to grow the region’s food economy.
- Implementation of a Provenance program i.e. Certified Trade Mark (CTM) for businesses to align with and for consumers to identify food of the Mornington Peninsula; and
- Development of an industry and consumer driven awareness campaign to build the profile of Mornington Peninsula food.
Role of the Food Industry Advisory Body
FIAB was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Local Food Strategy to ‘Enhance the Mornington Peninsula as a Quality, Fresh & Innovative food region’.
In 2021, the Shire commenced the development of a Food Economy and Agroecology Strategy. This is anticipated to be adopted mid 2022.
The Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network (MPLN) was established in 2014 to protect and enhance the unique natural environment of the Mornington Peninsula by promoting responsible care of the land. The network is comprised of 11 groups who have a total of more than 550 collective members. A number of groups also work closely with Parks Victoria and the Mornington Peninsula Shire to play a role in public land management in various locations across the peninsula.
For more information and to find your local Landcare group, click here.
What is Landcare?
Landcare is a ’grass-roots’ organisation formed by people who seek to protect and repair their local environment and contribute to sustainable landscapes. Run by local volunteers, Landcare involves more than 4000 groups across Australia working together to do something practical about protecting and restoring Australia’s unique environment.
Examples of Landcare activities include:
- Regional coordinated pest control including foxes and cats
- Promoting sustainable agriculture
- Creating biolinks (habitat corridors)
- Landholder education
- Revegetation of waterways
- Restoring and creating habitat for native animals
How can I get involved with Landcare?
For more information, please contact the Mornington Peninsula Shire's Landcare Facilitator or phone: 0408 213 079 or 5950 1279.
Locally-grown produce has a brand identity with the launch of the Mornington Peninsula Produce (MPP) food provenance brand.
The certified trade mark gives consumers confidence in the provenance of fresh produce when purchasing from farm gates, farmers’ markets and retail outlets.
Initially developed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Food Industry Advisory Body (FIAB) as part of the Local Food Strategy, the brand is now managed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire.
The aim of the trade mark is to strengthen the identity of the Mornington Peninsula as a quality, fresh and innovative food economy, and it provides consumers with a guarantee of authentic provenance from the Mornington Peninsula with the legal backing of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).
The Mornington Peninsula Produce website provides a searchable directory of all MPP registered producers and their produce, and is also a useful resource to identify new opportunities for producers.
Twenty four fact sheets on land management and agricultural production on the Mornington Peninsula that give local landowners useful insights and information.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is described as a peri-urban region adjoining Melbourne, which is land outside the Urban Growth Boundary but within about 100km of the Central Business District.
When applying for a planning application it is key to know your property land zone, the current and future utilities, any overlays and your legal obligations. Agriculture Victoria has put together farm business resources including a farm development tool to help rural landholders navigate through the requirements of putting together a Farm Plan to support an associated planning application for agribusiness development in rural zones.
Understand your Farm Land Classification
Find out more about the Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge Management plan.
For planning permit application forms for the Mornington Peninsula Shire click here.
Farm gate sales are known as ‘primary produce sales’ under the planning scheme and are defined as: land used to display and sell primary produce, grown on the land or adjacent land. It may include processed goods made substantially from the primary produce.
You need planning permission to operate a farmgate, and additional permits to make value added produce, and serve food.
Operating a farmgate is an ‘as of right’ land use which means no planning permit is required, providing you keep within the rules for a farm gate use (i.e. only sell produce from the property, the farm gate is not within 100 metres of a dwelling in separate ownership, keep the area used for the farm gate under 50m2, no new structures are being built).
If you are unsure, submit an enquiry to [email protected] with your plans so that you have in writing from our planning department whether or not you require a permit for the operations. See the checklist here.
It is helpful to put together a farm plan to help explain your business model. This could include:
- Summary of what you are proposing and how it will help your business
- Whole farm plan/layout – current paddocks, dams, plantations, trees, fences, buildings etc
- Proposed farm gate position, building materials, size, colour
- Parking including anticipated customer numbers
- Any signage you want
- Opening days/hours (estimate)
- Calendar of growing season and what you will be selling month to month
- Rough product list and prices (just as an indicator)
- Any plans to grow more/diversify
If you wanted to sell processed/manufactured food products (made from apples grown onsite) at the farm gate you could get it processed off site, as long as the primary ingredients are from the land. If you are planning on doing any further processing / food preparation on the site, then you would require Health Certificate from our Environmental Health team. There would be some requirements around having a food safe prep area etc.
Most signage requires permit applications.
Moveable signage (A-frames) must:
- be not greater than 0.9 metres in height, and 0.6 metres in width
- be only displayed during the times at which the property is trading to the public;
- be weighted or fixed to prevent the sign from being blown over;
- not incorporate flags or bunting;
- be placed as close as practicable to the property boundary;
- not be illuminated by any means.
Advertising signs (any permanent signage you erect on your own land) also require permits.
Victorian Farmers Federation (MP)
The voice of Victorian farmers and rural communities since 1979, helping to create a profitable, sustainable and socially responsible agricultural industry connecting with all Victorians. A network that advocates for local farmers.
Provides a variety of services and information to help you as either producers or landholders to improve your on-farm productivity and sustainability.
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