A program to better inform consumers and growers about the importance of fair farm practices and improve the horticulture industry’s reputation for fair workplace relations has been launched.
Growcom launched the Fair Farms Initiative with Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Anne Ruston in front of growers and industry stakeholders at Hort Connections 2017 in Adelaide.
Chief Advocate Rachel MacKenzie said the initiative would give production horticulture growers tools to ensure workers were treated fairly and the ability to communicate this to consumers through third party certification.
“Fair Farms Initiative is being rolled out nationally with the aim to help restore both consumer and public confidence in the horticulture sector’s labour practices,” she said.
“Growcom is showing sector-wide leadership with this proactive approach to tackling the horticulture sector’s well-publicised challenges.”
Fair Farms will be delivered through Growcom’s Hort360 Workplace Relations best management practice (BMP) modules to enable growers to do a confidential risk assessment of their current practice and identify areas for improvement.
Targeted seminars through Australia’s key horticultural regions will also be rolled out alongside human resource qualification assistance for those interested employers.
“Fair Farms will deliver an industry leading voluntary third-party Audited Certification through Freshcare so growers can demonstrate their compliance,” Ms Mackenzie said.
“Consumers and the wider public are calling out something that guarantees an ethical approach to workplace relations on our farms. Fair Farms will deliver exactly that.
“Growcom is determined to work with farmers, the Government and consumers to deliver the same high standard in workplace practices that we have come to expect from our products.”