On the inaugural World Soil Day, AUSVEG calls on Australians to recognise the essential role farmers play in safeguarding Australia’s soils. World Soil Day celebrates the importance of soil as a critical national resource for sustainable food production.

“Soil health is essential to the productive capacity of our farming land and Australia’s many farmers are on the front line of ensuring we protect these resources into the future,” said AUSVEG Environment Coordinator Jordan Brooke-Barnett.

“Desertification is an ongoing concern world-wide, so it is essential that Australian agricultural industries such as the vegetable industry take seriously their role in promoting and furthering sustainable agricultural development,” said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

World Soil Day recognises the vital part that soil plays in providing the physical structure, nutrients, water and biological matter that are so important to growing safe, nutritious and healthy vegetables.

Healthy soil is imperative for Australian vegetable producers and they already they put great care into managing their soils sustainably.

“Over 400 of the country’s most environmentally-aware vegetable growers participate in the EnviroVeg Program, which highlights the benefits of cultivating healthy soils among other issues, such as water use, energy efficiency and biodiversity,” said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

Australian vegetable producers also have access to world-class resources, such as the industry-funded Soil Wealth project, which aims to develop capacity among growers, agronomists and advisers to better manage Australia’s soil assets.

“Through the EnviroVeg and Soil Wealth Programs, Australian growers are adopting practices that limit the effects of issues such as erosion and soil degradation, as well as increasing biosecurity by reducing the spread of pests and disease. These measures promote sustainability and ensure that the land is productive well into the future”, said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

In December 2013, the UN General Assembly unanimously voted in favour of declaring December 5 2014 as World Soil Day and 2015 as the International Year of Soils. December 5 is also the launch day for the International Year of Soils, which is aimed at raising awareness on the importance of “Healthy soils for a healthy life”. The global soil community is committed towards raising awareness and advocating for the sustainable management of our silent ally, soils.

For further information on EnviroVeg visit www.ausveg.com.au/enviroveg/programs.htm. The EnviroVeg project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jordan Brooke-Barnett, Environment Coordinator, AUSVEG, Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0404 772 308 E-mail: jordan.brooke-barnett@ausveg.com.au