Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.
WATCH THE VIDEO: The Victorian Connection visits Australia’s largest social enterprise nursery, where a Victorian Government procurement program is blooming.
They pride themselves on being Victoria’s leading fern growers, but Yarra View Nursery in Mount Evelyn is also notable for its people.
The nursery employs 110 staff – including 85 people with disability – and generate more than 120,000 hours of paid work each year.
Affiliated with Knoxbrooke, a disability service provider, the nursery is involved in the Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework, which uses the government’s buying power to ensure that organisations tendering for government work include positive social, economic and environmental outcomes—such as meaningful jobs for disability jobseekers.
As part of the framework, the nursery supplies plants to some of Victoria’s major transport projects including the Mernda Rail Project, Southern and North East Program Alliance and Western Program Alliance.
In addition to major rail and road projects in Victoria, the Social Procurement Framework is also providing opportunities for social enterprises, Australian Disability Enterprises and Victorian Aboriginal businesses.
In the six months to June 2019, the Victorian Government spent $25.2 million with 176 verified social enterprises and $4.6 million with 51 organisations that support people with a disability.
More than 60 social enterprises have also received funding through the Boost Your Business Voucher Program.
Find out more about the Social Procurement Framework on the Victorian Government’s website.