Environmental Management Systems is important to me because everything that the human race has achieved over the thousands of years past and may achieve in the future depends on maintaining the stability of things that affect the extremely fragile place where we can survive, our environment.
I believe that there are enough people in the world today that have the education to understand this and of these people there are enough people that have a conscience to want to be proactive about it.
Good environmental management practice is everybody’s concern and everybody needs to be able to support it in the way they run their businesses and go about their everyday affairs. The consumer has the ultimate power to determine which businesses succeed and which fail. What an EMS does is to give good environmental practise a standard, accountability and a world wide recognisable label. A vital part of a successful EMS is to educate the consumer about what it is and to have a world recognisable labelling system.
The EMS pilot programme has done a fantastic job of getting together a group of people who are prepared to lead the way in setting up a fully functional EMS. The enormous amount of work done and the knowledge and experience gained from this programme would be greatly enhanced by continuing the momentum it has gathered. We really need to continue on to the next stage and to keep people talking and interested.
As a beef producer I am very aware of our vulnerability to an extremely competitive world market and the need to stay one step ahead of the game as we have done with the National Livestock Identification Scheme. Australia already has the cleanest agricultural produce in the world. I see our future in the world markets being reliant on our production of the clean green produce coupled together with a world recognised accountability which is an EMS based on ISO14001.
(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)