Hort Innovation has released the ‘Australian-grown Horticulture Sustainability Framework’, a guide to help the horticulture sector share its sustainable, ethical, and safe farming practice stories with stakeholders.
Created with input from more than 600 industry participants, the Framework details 17 focus areas that align with existing business measures and initiatives, as well as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand says the Framework has been developed for Australian horticulture industry participants at a time when consumers and investors are increasingly asking for evidence of ethical and sustainable practices from their food producers.
“The aim of this Sustainability Framework is to acknowledge the significant contribution Aussie fresh produce growers make to the nation’s families and environment through the provision of fresh and nutritious food,” he says.
“It also promotes sustainable and responsible care for our natural environment and provides a vital roadmap for a stronger Australian farming future.”
Mr Brand adds that the initiative aligns with a range of research efforts being delivered by Hort Innovation, in line with the target to grow agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.
The ‘Australian-grown Horticulture Sustainability Framework’ was developed over more than 12 months and involved input from producers, employees, industry peak bodies, service and input suppliers, and researchers. Financers and investors, marketers and exporters, retailers, governments and consumers also had input.
Mr Brand says all groups shared very similar sustainability priorities with topics such as limiting produce waste, food safety and energy use being some of the most important issues.
“The next step is to measure the sectors current performance against each indicator identified in the Framework,” he says.
Read the Framework here.