Consumers are more and more concerned about how their food is grown, harvested, packaged and transported. They are demanding confidence that the people involved in food production are being treated fairly.
“The New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice (NZGAP) Social Practice add-on, and accompanying Contractor Standard, are being launched to provide consumers with the confidence that certified growers are ethical employers,” says NZGAP Manager Damien Farrelly.
“Put simply, the new module uses independent, approved auditors to check grower’s employment practices to certify that all workers are treated fairly. New Zealand growers are leading the way with this new add-on. We’ve built on existing global industry standards (e.g. GRASP, SMETA*), and have taken it further to ensure the fair treatment of staff here in New Zealand.”
“The new module has been specifically developed by NZGAP in collaboration with regulators to meet requirements of New Zealand employment law and ethical standards. Growers are independently audited to demonstrate they meet these standards. NZGAP has always ensured the safe and sustainable production of fruit and vegetables in New Zealand. The new Social Practice module places a greater focus on grower’s most valuable resource – their people.”
Growers are looking forward to the new clarity that the add-on and Contractor Standard will bring.
“The new Contractor Standard is going to give growers certainty that any certified contractor that comes on site will meet the standards that we expect of them, and that our consumers also expect,” says President of the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association, and Sutherland Produce Ltd. Compliance Manager, Kylie Faulkner.
“These new standards will give growers peace of mind. All growers want to be doing the right thing by their employees. This module will also prove that, as an industry, we’re setting a high standard in treating our workers well,” says Kylie.