AUSVEG, the industry representative for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the decision by Coles to incorporate the industry-led Fair Farms program into its ethical sourcing program for its suppliers.
Fair Farms is delivered by Queensland-based horticulture industry body Growcom and is aimed at fostering fair and responsible employment practices in Australian horticulture by ensuring growers have the tools and information to implement proper employment practices. The program is supported by AUSVEG.
AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside says that the recognition of the industry-led Fair Farms program is due acknowledgement that the industry is working constructively with the supply chain to ensure workers are treated fairly and that growers are aware of their obligations to their employees.
“Our industry is taking responsibility for ensuring that Australian workplace relations laws and industry standards are correctly implemented on-farm, and that growers are aware of their duties as fair and responsible employers,” he said.
“Growers in the horticulture industry understand the importance of ethical supply chains that ensure workers’ health and safety is maintained.”
“Fair Farms is as an industry-led and industry-owned initiative that allows growers to take ownership of their fair employment practices and access appropriate training and certification to demonstrate their compliance to customers and the wider industry.”
“Fair Farms supports growers with tools and information to implement employment practices that comply with workplace relations laws and industry standards. They can then demonstrate this compliance to their customers and the industry through a third-party audited certification scheme.”
“Coles now joins Woolworths and Aldi as the major retailers that have committed to recognising the Fair Farms program after extensive consultation with industry, which proves that the retail industry is working constructively with growers to help get produce from the farm and onto supermarket shelves.”
“It is important that growers of all horticulture commodities – fruits, vegetables and nuts – get behind this program and ensure that the industry can continue to demonstrate its commitment to fair and responsible employment practices to their customers, workers and the community.”