Artisan agriculture project

Join the online hub for Central Highlands Growers & Producers Collective

Growers and producers in the Central Highlands region are invited to register their business details as part of a new online Hub initiative.

Register the following details:
  • Farming or artisan agriculture business and produce offered
  • Farm gate
  • Website and social media information
  • Provide a jpeg image of their seasonal produce
  • Contact name and details.

Registration process

  1. Go to to register your interest
  2. Click on “List my business” and create an account. You will need to validate your email to access the Growers & Producers Hub
  3. Log in to your account and click “List My Business” to fill in your details and submit.

Artisan Agriculture project background

The 3 year Artisan Agriculture project was established to assist the local artisan agriculture sector to navigate operational challenges and thrive into the future. The project has now been completed.

Artisan agriculture encompasses the production of high value produce or premium food on a small scale or by specialised techniques, and with a clearly identified provenance. It creates a connection between the consumer and producer that allows customers to experience the authenticity and story of the product, in a way that provides direct value to both the producer and the consumer.

Artisan agriculture is a major producer of Victorian food and fibre commodities. It accounts for one quarter of the value of Australia’s total production. Only recently the sector has been acknowledged in a similar way that grains or dairy are with their own unique strengths, challenges, and markets.

The problems the sector experiences at a regional level have recently been identified by the Central Highlands Regional Partnership through community consultation. Like many sectors, some challenges have been further compounded by COVID-19. 

Council successfully acquired funding to lead the Artisan Agriculture Project over three years to:

  • Raise the profile of artisan agriculture producers in Hepburn Shire and greater Central Highlands more broadly
  • Improve financial stability for producers by expanding access to government grants and reducing barriers to finance
  • Increase access to business support services through centralised information and training and mentoring opportunities to build business skills and knowledge
  • Improve access for a more scale-appropriate food regulatory framework
  • Allow better access to shared infrastructure and market distribution channels
  • Increase awareness of competing land use pressures on the sector within local and state government.

Business mentor program

Council offered artisan producers and growers from the Hepburn Shire and Central Highlands region the opportunity to apply for the free Artisan Agriculture Business Mentor Program.

The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) provided industry support and session topics identified as important to the artisan agriculture sector.

All places have been been exhausted and the program is now closed.

Physical Food Hub Road Map

The Physical Food Hub Road Map(PDF, 874KB)  report will be used to guide interested groups towards the development of a physical hub business plan. It highlights a step-by-step approach to creating a business plan for a physical food hub and can be applied across the Central Highlands region and more widely. 

Small-Scale Artisan Agriculture grants

As part of the Hepburn Shire Council’s Artisan Agriculture Project, funded through Agriculture Victoria, one-off grants of up to $2,000 + GST each were available to build the capacity of artisan agriculture producers in Hepburn Shire and Central Highlands.

Applications are now closed, thank you to those who applied and congratulations to those who were successful.


Unlocking the Gate Report

The Unlocking the Gate report(PDF, 2MB)  outlines the activities and successes of the Artisan Agriculture Pilot Project and will be used to advocate for the artisan agriculture sector across the central highlands region. 


For more information please contact the Economic Development team.