Woolworths has welcomed the launch of the Fair Farms Initiative to promote workers rights in its Australian horticultural supply chain.
Fair Farms is the industry’s proactive response to identified problems around workplace compliance and exploitation within the Australian horticulture industry.
Woolworths Head of Produce, Paul Turner said the supermarket was pleased to work closely with Growcom on the development of the Fair Farms program.
“We’re committed to being a responsible retailer and a big part of this is working with industry to uphold the rights of workers in our horticultural supply chains,” Mr Turner said.
“It’s great to see industry take the lead, and we congratulate Growcom on the launch of Fair Farms.”
For the past 18 months, we have been part of the retail consultation on the development of the Fair Farms Standard to ensure it meets our Responsible Sourcing requirements and aligns with stakeholder expectations. Woolworths is one of the founding retail partners of Fair Farms and hopes the certification process will help drive improvements across the horticulture industry.
Fair Farms Program Manager Thomas Hertel said his working relationship with Woolworths is very productive and based on the common goal of lifting employment standards across the industry.
“We value Woolworth’s support and endorsement of the program,” Mr Hertal said.
“It is important that growers in Australia can operate under one accepted set of employment standards, regardless of which supermarket chain they supply to. Woolworth has come on board with this idea and we appreciate their collaboration with industry.”
Woolworths’ fresh produce suppliers can now register with Fair Farms to commence their path to certification. Fair Farms joins Sedex and GlobalGAP.G.R.A.S.P as one of the third-party schemes Woolworths recognises to verify its Responsible Sourcing Standards in horticulture.
Fair Farms has been developed and delivered by Growcom, the peak representative body for Queensland horticulture, with support from the Fair Work Ombudsman, The Federal Department of Agriculture and AUSVEG.
(L to R) Woolworths Head of Produce, Paul Turner and Responsible Sourcing Manager, Laura McManus join Thomas Hertel, Fair Farms Program Manager at the launch in June 2019.