Project VG16063 was led by Danielle Park from AUSVEG.

Major outcomes

EnviroVeg is an industry-led environmental best-practice management program for vegetable production businesses. It provides resources for sustainable growing techniques and represents vegetable businesses as responsible stewards of land, water and biodiversity.

The program sought to build upon resources and momentum developed in earlier projects to provide a platform to integrate key delivery mechanisms to enable a streamlined and integrated approach. It has been able to harness the complementary capabilities of partner organisations and begin to reduce duplication.

Key outputs from the EnviroVeg Program 2017-2022 include:

  • Published EnviroVeg Technical Manual.
  • Updated Three Step EnviroVeg Pathway.
  • EnviroVeg Sustainability Strategy.

As project lead, AUSVEG was focused on increasing engagement with industry during the project period. This included not only working with growers to sign up for the program and complete the program’s pathway but engaging with the VegNET team and industry to improve the industry’s environmental sustainability, and to demonstrate its environmental credentials through the aggregated data collected by the program.

The program was guided by a steering committee, with vegetable industry representatives from all six states providing guidance and insight into the opportunities that EnviroVeg could provide to vegetable producers and the wider industry.

During the project, over 300 vegetable producing properties registered for the revised EnviroVeg program, of which 140 vegetable properties – encompassing approximately 19,500 hectares from across the six states – commenced the EnviroVeg self-assessment.

Of these, 47 per cent have completed the first step, training of key staff from 28 vegetable properties has occurred and there have been five audits, with ongoing demand for the final two steps remaining.


Project recommendations include:

  1. Seek vegetable levy funds to maintain the first stage of the EnviroVeg program. Growers have demonstrated a strong desire for the program to continue and for the levy to continue supporting the program, as it has a positive legacy in the industry and has momentum to continue engaging with vegetable growers on the journey to environmentally sustainable vegetable production.
  2. Continue to support VegNET Regional Development Officers (RDOs) to pursue regionally relevant RD&E projects that incorporate EnviroVeg self-assessment data to tailor extension activities and track practice change on-farm.
  3. Two regional partnership projects have already been achieved during the project. These projects – led by VegNET RDOs – incorporate regional and de-identified practice data captured as a part of the EnviroVeg self-assessment, demonstrating the ongoing benefits that the program delivers to the wider industry.
  4. Provide VegNET RDOs with training and facilitator access to the EnviroVeg platform, allowing them to support their local vegetable producers more efficiently.
  5. Investigate the option to segment the EnviroVeg self-assessment into its 10 module components. This would support VegNET RDOs when setting priorities for tracking practice change relevant to a vegetable growing region.
  6. Maintain the linkage with the Freshcare environmental standard and make necessary modifications to the EnviroVeg Program in the case of any release of an updated Freshcare environmental standard.
  7. Investigate the option for single component module certification through Freshcare. This could exist as an add-on to the Freshcare food safety process and provide more targeting options to environmental best-practice goals aligned with a single audit to achieve certification.
  8. Investigate the ability to broaden the current scope of the EnviroVeg program. Include details specific to the practice needs of protected cropping systems. Investigate options to explicitly assess organic vegetable production systems.


The EnviroVeg Program 2017-2022 draws together three previously separate and long-running vegetable industry environmental programs: Freshcare Environmental, Growcom Hort360 and EnviroVeg.

This project aimed to collaboratively develop and deliver resources to support the improvement and uptake of environmental practices on-farm and deliver recognition advantages to program members.

Its objectives were to:

  • Support and improve environmental management on-farm.
  • Track industry progress regarding sustainable practices.
  • Facilitate recognition and competitive advantages for improving environmental management.

The project had the goal of delivering upon the Australian vegetable industry’s strategic investment plan’s key priorities: consumer alignment, market and value chain development, farm productivity, resource use and management.


This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

Further information

The final report for this project is available on the AUSVEG InfoVeg database. Click here to read.

For more details, please contact Zarmeen Hassan on (03) 9882 0277 or email

This story appeared in Vegenotes 85 (Winter 2022). View the print version here.