EnviroVeg program for promoting environmental best practice in the Australian vegetable industry (VG12008)
What was it all about?
The EnviroVeg program is the industry’s environmental best management practice (BMP) program, which has existed in evolving forms since 2000. It involves a range of resources and services so that Australian vegetable growers can benchmark and improve their BMPs and showcase their environmental credentials through certification.
This project saw continuation of the program from 2012 to 2017.
Specific objectives of the EnviroVeg program are to…
- Provide a process for environmental certification of specific vegetable production BMPs that are underpinned by robust R&D
- Ensure a mechanism for vegetable growers to provide input into how environmental certification develops
- Measure and collate long-term quantitative and qualitative data on changes in environmental and BMP techniques of Australian growers
- Facilitate market recognition of and competitive advantage from EnviroVeg branding.
During the years of the project, the following outcomes were achieved…
- A tiered membership structure was devised for EnviroVeg in consultation with industry, with each level requiring different assessment and compliance criteria
- The program was promoted to growers, with a number of workshops conducted over the life of the project, and each edition of Vegetables Australia magazine containing a selection of EnviroVeg articles, including case studies
- The EnviroVeg coordinator conducted ongoing visits throughout vegetable grower regions, to sign new members up to EnviroVeg, help growers complete self-assessments as part of the program, and communicate R&D information to growers
- A smartphone app was developed to enable grower members to access program resources
- A biosecurity component was added to the program
- A formal arrangement was made between EnviroVeg and a recognised on-farm quality assurance program, with an agreement reached for EnviroVeg Platinum certification requirements to be encompassed by the Freshcare Environmental program. This will mean that certification through EnviroVeg Platinum is robust and underpinned by an accredited scheme. EnviroVeg resources will also be streamlined by outsourcing certification delivery to Freshcare. Co-badged certificates between Freshcare Environmental and EnviroVeg Platinum will deliver environmental branding for vegetable growers, as well as the opportunity for new members to join this tier of the program from the ranks of pre-existing Freshcare Environmental members.
Find more information at the program’s website, www.enviroveg.com.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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