The National Farmers’ Federation Horticulture Council has welcomed the release of the Horticulture Sustainability Framework, with the Council labelling the framework as a ‘practical step forward for the industry’.
The framework was launched today by the industry’s research and development corporation, Hort Innovation, and highlights areas of interest such as limiting food waste, boosting water and energy efficiency, improving biosecurity and traceability, and attracting and retaining people to the $15 billion sector.
The framework is designed around the economic, social and environmental outcomes that are at the core of ensuring horticulture is a sustainable industry for the longer term.
“The Horticulture Sustainability Framework framework brings horticulture in line with other agriculture commodities with a strong vision for a sustainable industry for the future,” NFF Horticulture Council Executive Officer Tyson Cattle said.
The NFF Horticulture Council represents 22 horticulture industry bodies from across Australia and has worked with Hort Innovation as part of its consultation process.
“The Framework is a great example of what can be achieved when industry and the R&D community work together.”
The horticulture sector is committed to becoming a $20 billion industry by 2030 which aligns with the NFF-led goal for Australian agriculture to achieve $100b in farm gate returns by 2030.
There are more than 12,000 horticultural farm businesses and nurseries across the country which employs more than 72,000 people.
“Creating a framework such as this across a variety of commodities – from fruit to vegetables and nuts – is a real challenge. However, the framework broadly encompasses the key areas which are vital for the growth of the sector,” Mr Cattle said.
“The Council looks forward to seeing the next phase of the framework and getting a clear baseline of where the industry sits, so we can then discuss next steps towards building a more sustainable future for the horticulture industry.”