Freshcare, Australia’s largest national on farm and supply chain certification provider, wants recognition for farmers already meeting strict third party assessed Sustainability and Environmental standards which include a focus on biodiversity.
Freshcare CEO, Jane Siebum says while the organisation supports the scheme in principle, many Australian growers, farmers and producers are already leading the way for biodiversity innovation.
“Our growers, like many Australian farmers, are stewards and caretakers of our land and they take their job seriously,” she said.
“To become certified with our Sustainability and Environmental Standards, growers must meet strict requirements and regulation.
“It’s costly both in resources, time and money for many of these farms who are often family run businesses.
“By asking them to meet additional regulatory requirements, is putting an immense amount of pressure on Australian farmers, who have already faced a challenging few years through COVID, labour shortages and extreme weather events.
“Certified producers in the horticulture and wine grape industries are already doing some truly amazing work preserving and cultivating biodiversity on their farms.”
Under the proposed scheme landowners would buy and sell biodiversity certificates. A grower hoping to clear land, could buy certificates created by other landowners, who have planted native vegetation elsewhere.
Producers currently certified to Freshcare’s Environmental and Sustainability Standards are required to manage and maintain existing biodiversity and as part of the program, establish strategies to enhance regionally significant biodiversity on their property.
Ms Siebum would like to see existing programs such as Freshcare’s certification standards, incentivised by federal and state governments for farmers.
“We just don’t want to see governments wasting resources on reinventing the wheel,” said Ms Siebum.
“We have a recognised, accepted and national program, which accounts for biodiversity, already being utilised by growers, with great uptake across the Great Barrier Reef catchments and from participants in Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.
“These programs are rigorous, third-party assessed and demonstrate our growers operate to some of the highest sustainability standards globally.”
Further Information on Freshcare’s Sustainability and Environmental Standards
Freshcare Sustainability & Environmental Partnerships
- Freshcare “Reef Assured” commercial banana cultivation program in partnership with Australian Banana Growers’ Council, Queensland Department of Environment & Science and Office of Great Barrier Reef.
- Freshcare has worked with the Australian wine industry to develop the sustainability standards that provide the underpinning certification pathway for Sustainable Winegrowing Australia.
For all media enquiries and interview opportunities please contact:
Sallie Don | 0408 007 305 | [email protected]