Almost 100 growers and other horticulture businesses from across Australia have joined the industry-developed Fair Farms Training and Certification Program since its launch in June, demonstrating industry’s commitment to stamping out workplace non-compliance and worker exploitation.
“We are rolling out Fair Farms on behalf of industry in a bid to show who is doing the right thing and use market forces to drive out unethical and unlawful employment practices,” said Thomas Hertel, Fair Farms Program Manager.
“We’re excited about the strong take-up so far and congratulate our participating growers and other supply chain members for showing industry leadership on this important issue.
“Of the almost 100 businesses registered to date, 60 have already completed the self-assessment against the Fair Farms Standard to identify areas for improvement.
“Fair Farms aims to have a critical mass of ethical suppliers certified against the Fair Farms Standard, so that wholesalers and retailers can make the switch and start sourcing their fruit and veg only from verified ethical businesses.
“Australian grown, Fair Farms certified, all the way to the grower level, is what we’re working towards. When retailers and the consumer buy into that and reward ethical compliance, we expect to see real positive impact on the treatment of workers on farms,” said Mr Hertel.
Participating Gold Coast vegetable grower, Belinda Adams said as an industry they want to show all stakeholders and peers that they are educated, resourced and prepared to demonstrate compliance.
“We’ve had enough of being lumped in the same basket of those businesses who are not playing fair,” Ms Adams said.
Fair Farms is working closely with key stakeholders from across the supply chain including growers, wholesalers, participating retailers, trade unions, industry-bodies AUSVEG and the National Farmers’ Federation to ensure the successful roll-out.
“We particularly thank Woolworths and ALDI for getting behind this industry-led initiative and are hoping to see other Australian retailers and the larger wholesalers join us soon.” Mr Hertel added.
For more information on the program visit the Fair Farms website: www.fairfarms.com.au
Fair Farms is developed and delivered by Growcom with support from the Fair Work Ombudsman, The Federal Department of Agriculture and AUSVEG.