Article by: Hari Yellina
Climbing a mountain is a good metaphor for the quest for a more sustainable horticultural sector. The final objective among the most sustainable farm businesses or agriculture industry may appear to be at the summit of a distant mountain, far away and difficult to attain, but that is no reason not to begin moving in that direction. Sustainability, like any other difficult goal, can only be reached by consistently putting one foot in front of the other. As a result, Australian horticulturists gathered in Sydney this week for a sustainability conference to take key steps toward a more sustainable industry.
The summit, which was co-hosted by Hort Innovation and PMA – ANZ, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss current issues and sustainability prospects both locally and globally. Commodities that are leading the way toward better sustainability, such as almonds and nuts in general, as well as efforts across agriculture, particularly in the red meat sector, were highlighted. Conversations focused on the drivers driving the sustainability agenda, such as consumer and investor values and expectations, as well as the efficiency and profitability achieved by doing more with less. Sustainability remains one of Growcom’s fundamental strategic pillars, both as a company and as a service provider to industry.
Australia has been at the forefront of the ndustry’s sustainability for a long time, providing solutions to improve both sustainability and profitability. Hort360, one of the best management practice programs, provides farmers with the tools, training, and support they need to assess risks, capitalise on commercial opportunities, and identify waste on the farm. Through the Fair Farms programme, the Workplace Essentials service, and the Queensland Agriculture Sector Network, they are also working to improve the health and productivity of the horticultural workforce. Growcom is ready to collaborate with any horticultural organisation or company that wants to improve their practices, increase their sustainability, and compare themselves to the new Australian-Grown Horticulture Sustainability Framework. Depending on how you think of it, greater sustainability is not necessarily an obstacle, but can instead be the way forward.