Growcom, the peak representative body for Queensland horticulture is pleased to announce that AUSVEG has come on board as a foundation supporter of the new industry-developed workplace training and certification program, Fair Farms.

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of 9000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

Fair Farms Program Manager, Thomas Hertel said AUSVEG had been very supportive of Fair Farms since Growcom embarked on implementing this industry-led initiative.

“This arrangement to provide financial support is a clear signal that the horticulture industry is standing firmly behind Fair Farms,” Mr Hertel said.

“We are excited about the tangible commitment from one of our key partners in the industry and look forward to the collaboration.

“Fair Farms is about creating an industry standard for ethical employment practices which all horticulture businesses can subscribe to.

“The Fair Farms Standard sets out what it means to be a fair and responsible employer in the Australian horticulture supply chain. Clarity of responsibilities is what the industry needs and what will have the most positive impact for workers.”

AUSVEG CEO, James Whiteside said the organisation was very pleased to support the Fair Farms initiative and work with Growcom to expand the program nationally.

“Our industry must take responsibility for ensuring that Australian workplace relations laws and industry standards are correctly implemented on-farm, and that growers are aware of their duties as fair and responsible employers,” he said.

“As an industry-led initiative, Fair Farms allows growers to take ownership of their fair employment practices and access appropriate training and certification to demonstrate their compliance to customers and the wider industry.”

It is anticipated that Fair Farms will be operational by mid-2019 following the completion of the proof of concept (pilot) phase currently underway. Fair Farms continues to consult with growers and members of the horticultural supply chain.

Growers and other members of the supply chain can register their interest online to be kept informed about the Fair Farms pilot and will be contacted once the program starts: www.growcom.com.au/fairfarmsinitiative

Fair Farms is being delivered by Growcom with initial funding from the Fair Work Ombudsman, industry groups and the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.