Pro­gram en­sures pro­duce is farmed with the ut­most care

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - NEWS -

EV­ERY de­ci­sion made by farm­ers in the grow­ing of their crops is im­por­tant, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to the even­tual mar­ket­ing of the crop.

Mary Val­ley Coun­try Har­vest Co­op­er­a­tive di­rect mar­kets fresh lo­cally grown Mary River Val­ley pro­duce to con­sumers in the Sun­shine Coast and lo­cal ar­eas.

To en­sure con­sumers get the prod­uct qual­ity they ex­pect, MVCH has in­sti­gated their own con­trol pro­gram known as CareFarmed.

CareFarmed is wholly owned and ad­min­is­tered by the co-op­er­a­tive for the ben­e­fit of both pro­duc­ers and cus­tomers.

CareFarmed is a di­rect on-farm ac­tion taken at the pro­ducer level.

A CareFarmed agree­ment with a farmer in­cludes the farm­ers re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­duce healthy plants while main­tain­ing an hon­est re­port of all farm prac­tices to both con­sumers and other pro­duc­ers.

CareFarm­ing is based on the pre­cau­tion­ary prin­ci­ple of mak­ing sure pro­duce is free from pos­si­bly harm­ful residues.

The use of her­bi­cide, in­sec­ti­cide and fungi­cides is to be care­fully con­sid­ered against all other pos­si­ble man­age­ment de­ci­sions and in all in­stances uses cur­rent in­dus­try best man­age­ment prac­tices.

En­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns are part of the pro­gram with grow­ers do­ing every­thing pos­si­ble to avoid soil loss through ero­sion, and pro­tect wa­ter and air qual­ity while striv­ing to im­prove lo­cal flora and fauna di­ver­sity.

Re­gardig the use of any soil ad­di­tives or fer­tilis­ers, along with weed and pest con­trol, the meth­ods used should be cho­sen to en­hance rather that de­grade soil health.

CareFarmed de­ci­sions are to be guided by the gen­eral man­age­ment and plant pro­duc­tion prin­ci­ples in na­tional stan­dards for or­ganic and bio­dy­namic pro­duce.

With any type of pro­gram, plan­ning and record keep­ing is the key to suc­cess.

In ap­ply­ing to be part of the CareFarmed pro­gram, a pro­ducer must pro­vide in­for­ma­tion in re­la­tion to their use and man­age­ment of var­i­ous farm in­puts and agree to keep par­tic­u­lar records avail­able for au­dit.

A Pro­duc­tion Ac­tiv­ity Record gives a full record of all ac­tions re­lat­ing to a crop. This in­cludes where on the farm, when planted, seed/seedling source, fer­tilis­ers and rate, ir­ri­ga­tion, pest, dis­ease, weeds, har­vest­ing and fi­nally sales.

The CareFarmed agree­ment was de­cided on af­ter the com­mon agree­ment of grow­ers in­volved and pro­vides a de­gree of cer­tainty and shared re­spon­si­bil­ity.

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