Organic Insights - Spring 2022

14 / Organic Insights / Spring 2022

audit with one of the program’s independent auditing bodies. Once the grower has completed their audit, they are assigned a certification cycle and become Fair Farms Certified. “We believe that the Fair Farms program is a relevant and complementary addition for certified organic growers in Australia,” National Program Manager, Sachin Ayachit said. “At the heart of a lot of farm practices now is sustainability and organic growers lead the way when it comes to sustainability.” “Sustainability has traditionally been seen as encompassing ethical practices for the environment, but has since developed to take into consideration sustainable and ethical practices for people.” “That’s why becoming Fair Farms Certified is so important – it’s about demonstrating to the community and yourself that you place your people first.” The program is supported by Fresh Markets Australia, National Farmers Federation, Horticulture Council and AUSVEG. The program is also accepted by Woolworths, Coles, ALDI and Metcash. To celebrate the program’s success, a conference focused on Workplace Relations in the Horticulture Industry will take place at Opal Cove Resort located at Coffs Harbour on the 14th of October 2022, featuring industry experts, growers and a special keynote speaker. The conference is not to be missed! Further Information visit

fair farms - the australian choice for horticulture organic growers

The program, which was developed in consultation with growers, unions, government bodies, and retailers, was officially launched in 2019 by horticulture peak industry body Growcom, with seed money from the Fair Work Ombudsman. The program is currently funded by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and now has more than 350 grower members - 100 of whom are Fair Farms Certified Members. Fair Farms Certified Member and tomato growers Sunripe joined Fair Farms and said they saw it as a value-add to their business – forming part of their commitment to continue to improve and find better and new ways to do things on farm. “We are extremely focused on technology and efficiency, which has led to various state of the art equipment being implemented, in both our packing facility and our farms – some the first of its kind,” Administrative Director Samara De Paoli said. “We are doing what’s necessary to future-proof our business and part of that is moving towards a more skilled workforce – and Fair Farms is part of that.” To become Fair Farms Certified, a grower simply needs to read the Fair Farms Standard, which is freely available on the website. They then register online and pay the $150 registration fee, complete an Online Self-Assessment (OSA) and any recommended training identified through the OSA. Once training has been

NASAA ORGANIC AND NCO HAVE CONTINUED TO DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS WITH WELL-REGARDED, AND COMPLEMENTARY CERTIFICATION SCHEMES, THAT PROVIDE ADDITIONAL VERIFICATION OF THE ‘ETHICAL’ PRACTICES OF OUR OPERATORS, AND SUPPORT TRADING OPPORTUNITIES. Here we outline voluntary best- practice schemes (and our involvement) that broaden the ethical ‘paradigm’. Fair Farms is an industry developed national training and certification initiative that is cultivating fair and responsible employment practices in Australian horticulture. The program provides support and training to farm businesses and a pathway to independent third-party audit, and certification. The need for such a program like Fair Farms was identified after the Fair Work Ombudsman published the 2018 Harvest Trail Enquiry Report. The report highlighted widespread workplace non- compliance within the horticulture and viticulture industry.

Left to right_Growcom Chair Belinda Frentz_Minister Murray Watt_National ProgramManager Sachin Ayachit_Growcom Policy Manager Richard Shannons

completed – which can be accomplished through the

program’s online learning platform, a grower just needs to register to

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