By Growcom CEO, David Thomson

Growcom has long held a zero tolerance stance on worker exploitation and unethical business practices.

Through Fair Farms, the new industry-developed workplace training and certification program, we are providing a mechanism for growers and pack houses to demonstrate compliance with Fair Work laws through an independent third-party audit, with an emphasis on training. The long-term goal of the program is to build a culture of compliance in which good operators are recognised and rewarded for doing the right thing by their workers.

The Fair Farms Proof of Concept (pilot) phase is well underway and generating useful insights and learning which will untimely inform the final program design.

As part of the pilot, Fair Farms recently hosted a Workplace Compliance Workshop in Coffs Harbour together with the OzGroup Cooperative.

The workshop covered key areas of compliance including the importance of an induction process, managing performance, termination of employment, engaging labour hire contractors, key requirements of workplace health and safety and the importance of record keeping.

We were encouraged by the interest of participating growers in the program and their commitment to making ethical workplace practices a priority for their business.

Over the coming months, Fair Farms will continue to work with all the major retailers in Australia to ensure their buy-in and support of the new industry-led assurance program.

It is anticipated that Fair Farms will be operational by mid-2019. Growers can register their details online to be kept informed about the progress of the pilot and contacted once the program starts: www.growcom.com.au/fairfarmsinitiative