Program ensures produce is farmed with the utmost care
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.