Coles joins Fair Farm jobs scheme

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The Fair Farms certification scheme was developed by Queensland horticulture industry body Growcom.
Camera IconThe Fair Farms certification scheme was developed by Queensland horticulture industry body Growcom. Credit: Getty Images

Coles has joined Woolworths and Aldi in backing in Australian- made certification for ethical employment in horticulture.

The Fair Farms certification scheme was developed by Queensland horticulture industry body Growcom 10 months ago in a bid to make sure growers are treating workers fairly.

It gives growers the tools and information to implement proper employment practices, and then asks them to demonstrate compliance to customers and industry through an independent audited certification scheme.

Fair Farms national program manager Thomas Hertel said having Coles on-board would help level the playing field for best practice.

“Having an industry standard for ethical employment practices agreed across the different supply chains within horticulture should make compliance easier and less costly,” he said.

“This means more farm businesses are likely to adopt the Fair Farms Standard, leading to improved conditions for workers on farm.

“The Fair Farms program supports all members of the Australian horticultural supply chain.

“It is built on the idea that compliant and ethical employers should be recognised and rewarded for their efforts by their customers and consumers, who may choose to buy Australian produce from ethically verified sources.”

National Farmers’ Federation chief executive Tony Mahar welcomed Coles’ decision to adopt the program into its ethical sourcing program for suppliers.

“On-farm, Fair Farms ensures farmers know their obligations and that workers are treated fairly,” he said.

“In-store, Fair Farms provides peace of mind to customers that the Australian fruit and vegetables they rely on have been produced in an ethical manner.”

More than 120 Australian growers have joined the program so far.

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