Walking the Walk on Environmental Assurance: A case study of vegetable growers in Western Australia
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The Western Australian vegetable industry has a series of well documented Environmental Assurance resources and systems at its disposal. These provide information to growers on how their farming practices can impact on the environment and suggest practices that may be more beneficial to production, profitability and the environment. In 2008, a 12 month project 'Walking the Walk on Environmental Assurance' (WtW) was established, demonstrating the benefits of government working with industry to get real on-the-ground change. WtW was able to bring the resources and systems together in a compact grower friendly package. While industry recognised the importance of sustainable practices, it lacked the market drivers for growers to move to independent second or third party certification. Nevertheless, the project increased the capacity of the industry to provide assurances, with 15% of WA vegetable producers positioned to gain certification, enabling growers to meet any potential domestic or international market demand.
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