The Fair Farms Training and Certification Program supports Australian fresh produce production and packing enterprises to implement fair and responsible employment practices.

This program has been developed by Growcom, the peak body for Queensland production horticulture, and provides growers with a mechanism to demonstrate their compliance with Australian workplace relations laws and industry standards.

The initiative has in-principle support from the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman and leading retailers in the domestic market, and comprises:

  • An industry-owned and -developed standard benchmarked against Australian workplace law.
  • A coordinated system of quality training to support growers to understand their obligations.
  • A pathway to certification, including a mechanism to enable cost-effective third-party audits.
  • A credible certification that provides certainty and transparency in the supply chain and provides a point of difference for businesses committed to fair employment.
  • Data capture to enable industry and customer reporting around compliance.

Growcom has stated that one of the major objectives of the program is to ensure that operators who exploit or mistreat their workers are shut out of the supply chain, making Fair Farms a valuable industry-led effort to ensure good employment practices across the sector.

With $1.5 million in ongoing funding recently announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the pilot process for the program has commenced as of October 2018, and Growcom anticipates that full roll-out will commence early in 2019.

For more information on the program, take a look at this fact sheet prepared by Growcom.

You don’t need to be a Growcom member or a Queensland grower to be a part of the Fair Farms program, so if you’re interested in being a part of this training and certification initiative, visit the Growcom website and submit an expression of interest!

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 13 November 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!