Our farming business has been involved in the EMS process for the last 2 years and during that time we have established a working EMS plan, which has enabled us to better evaluate our business’s performance over that time.
We have assessed many of the risks involved in running a mixed beef farming business from an environmental point of view and are working at minimizing any impacts. Some of the things that we have worked on first are the better management of our chemical register, and record keeping from all of the various chemicals that we use daily , monthly or occasionally .
Because of the EMS process we have also taken a closer look at our soil health which has involved more soil testing, resulting in a more targeted liming and fertilizer programme for the year.
One of the other benefits of EMS is that it is a process that is internationally recognised, and therefore can be used to substantiate our clean and green claims if an when that is required. Such cases as the meat substitution racket in the 1990’s and the various chemical contamination scares involving beef in the last 20 years, not to mention BSE , mean that to retain our global export share in the top quality beef market we need to be proactive in proving that the products that we produce are both safe and produced in an environmentally sustainable way.
EMS provides a process to compile all of the production and environmental data that the average farmer collects into a form that is both accessible and usable, allowing us to easily explain our farm policies to all the contractors and employees that are involved in our business , which is helping to reduce our OH&S risks.
(One of the 100 farms in the pilot program conducted by a partnership of North Central, North East & Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria, and funded by the Australian Government through its EMS National Pilot Programs)