By Growcom CEO Stephen Barnard

The act of climbing a mountain is an apt analogy for our pursuit of an ever more sustainable horticulture industry.

The end goal, of the most sustainable farm business or agricultural sector, appears at the top of a distant mountain, far off and hard to reach, but that’s no good reason to not start heading in that direction.

Sustainability, like any other challenging pursuit, will only ever be achieved by putting one foot in front of the other.

And so last week Australian horticulture came together in Sydney at a sustainability summit to take important steps together toward a more sustainable sector.

Convened by industry R&D corporation Hort Innovation along with PMA – ANZ, the summit brought a range of stakeholders together to consider current challenges and sustainability opportunities both locally and internationally.

Commodities leading the ascent toward greater sustainability were profiled, including almonds and nuts as a category more broadly, as were the efforts across agriculture, and in particular the red meat sector.

Conversations centred around those factors driving the sustainability agenda, including the values and expectations of consumers and investors, but also the productivity and profitability to be gained by doing more with less.

For Growcom, both as a business and as a service provider to industry, sustainability remains one of our key strategic pillars.

We have for a long time now been at the leading edge of sustainability for our industry, delivering tools to improve both sustainability and profitability.

Our flagship best management practice program Hort360 gives growers the tools, training and support to assess risks, capitalise on business opportunities and highlight unnecessary farm expenses.

We are also focused on increasing the wellbeing and productivity of the horticulture workforce through the Fair Farms program, our Workplace Essentials service and the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN).

Growcom stands ready as a willing partner to any horticultural body or business keen to improve their practices, boost their sustainability, and benchmark themselves against the new Australian-Grown Horticulture Sustainability Framework.

Depending on how you think of it, greater sustainability is not necessarily an obstacle, but can instead be the way forward. We are excited to be on this journey with growers, and are committed to being with them every step of the way.