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New certification scheme for labour providers to horticulture on horizon

15 December 2016

A new certification scheme for providers of labour to industry is on the horizon, after a landmark roundtable meeting held yesterday at the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) offices in Canberra.

The meeting was convened as part of ongoing efforts by the NFF to build capacity across industry and combat organised exploitation of overseas workers.

“We all share a common goal of ensuring that employees on Australian farms are treated fairly and receive their lawful entitlements,” Acting NFF Chief Executive, Sarah McKinnon said.

“Only by working together, are we likely to achieve this result.”

“No one wants to see overseas workers being treated unlawfully. Such cases reflect poorly on Australia and the entire horticulture industry.”

The aim of the Horticulture Industry Roundtable was to begin a multi-stakeholder dialogue in a bid to build trust and achieve lasting change.

“It was pleasing to see such a diverse range of stakeholders from across government, industry, union and community groups come together for the first time to openly discuss consensus-based solutions,” Ms McKinnon said.

“We all have different perspectives on the issue, and it’s important that these be aired so that we can identify common ground and begin to move forward.”

Held at the office of the National Farmers’ Federation in Canberra, stakeholders represented included: Australian Food & Grocery Council, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Workers Union, Department of Employment, Department of Immigration and Border Protection; Fair Work Ombudsman; National Union of Workers; NSW Farmers; Produce Marketing Association – ANZ; Queensland Horticulture Council; Recruitment & Consulting Services Association; Salvation Army; Victorian Farmers Federation and Voice of Horticulture.

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