On-farm certification programmes: what makes them successful for producer uptake?
On-farm Certification programmes and the successful uptake of them by producers relies on some key elements especially if the programmes are to help mitigate the 'licence to operate' debate that is currently hampering intensive agricultural practice. Certification programmes operate in many different contexts - the size, depth and distribution of them through the supply chain varies between individual producers and their industry. Certification Schemes operating behind the farm gate have great scope in bridging the understanding of product integrity, product quality, production systems and the supply chain from the local community, regulator, and customer through to the end consumer. Certification Schemes are generally over pinned by a wider quality programme. Quality programmes are not solely focused on the end outcome rather look to encompass the whole process from start to finish, stream lining the links in the chain resulting in a high quality outcome. Therefore the use of a quality programme for on-farm production systems is hugely important if the producer wishes to offer repeatability of product quality and integrity to the consumer. Producers and Industry that currently operate on-farm quality programmes have illustrated that through their niche market opportunities financial rewards to the producer can be harnessed. The implementation of these programmes requires strong and clear communication around the context of the programme and the objectives to the producer. Producers enjoy the recognition, opportunities and relationships that ride on the back of having a successful quality programme implemented within their business operation. How long can all industry and producers delay the implementation of on-farm quality programmes? Can producers and industry afford to 'sit on the fence'? The opportunity arising from proactive management through implementing a quality scheme outweighs a hamstrung approach to farm management.... [Show full abstract]