Freshmark’s policy agenda is focused on solutions that make working in our sector easier, more appealing and more sustainable.



Freshmark supports fair, equitable, inclusive access to staff for businesses across the fresh produce supply chain, and a safe, adequately remunerated work environment for workers. 

To achieve this, our focus is on ensuring the sector is seen as a viable and appealing industry for workers to join. This requires the development of formal career pathways and educational opportunities for workers; adequate training and support for businesses around compliance; appropriate regulation of labour hire practices; and a strong commitment to worker wellbeing.

Key asks

  1. Implementation of industry-relevant tourist visa requirements that recognise the seasonality of our industry’s operations.
  2. Simplification of the regulatory environment, especially in relation to migrant workers. In particular, the PALM scheme must be revisited.
  3. Commitment to a level playing field for employers across the supply chain in terms of the level of compliance burden.
  4. Incentive programs to support businesses to take on new employees.
  5. Funding and other support to develop formal training programs and career pathways including the development of an industry apprenticeship program.



Access to fresh, safe, high-quality produce at an affordable price is the right of all Australians. Locally-grown, fresh produce should be prioritised in the community and the fresh produce supply chain must be protected to secure the future of the fresh produce sector.

Freshmark is committed to maintaining flexibility in the market to ensure produce can be grown and sold at a price point that is affordable for consumers while delivering business surety for those in the sector. It is our position that food security cannot be achieved without securing the success of the businesses in the supply chain.

Key asks

  1. Continue to assess and address challenges in transport and logistics which pose a threat to food security, especially through ongoing investment in road and rail freight infrastructure.
  2. Support a broad public campaign around the value of fresh produce to the consumer.
  3. Seek opportunities to reduce the burden of regulatory compliance, to support businesses across the supply chain to stay in the sector.
  4. Level the playing field around compliance so that legislation is right-sized for the businesses in the supply chain and ensures a fair go for all industry participants.



Safeguarding our natural resources is critical to the future of the fresh produce sector, at all points along the supply chain.

Freshmark supports measures that enable industry to deliver the right type and volume of produce to meet market demand, in order to reduce waste. Additionally, Freshmark is committed to enabling industry to implement new approaches to energy use and prepare for and protect against the impact of climate change.

In addition, Freshmark is committed to participating in a whole-of-industry, national approach to the development of a fresh produce ESG framework that will support industry participants to understand their obligations and manage their environmental profiles.

Key asks

  1. Funding to support the transition from single use to reusable packaging.
  2. Funding to support the exploration and implementation of AI-enabled country of origin and other traceability projects.
  3. Simplification of ESG reporting requirements.
  4. Additional time or a staggered implementation of ESG reporting requirements to allow industry to prepare.
  5. Funding to assist in the creation of an industry-wide ESG framework in collaboration with the national body and other state bodies.
  6. Incentives and subsidies to support the transition to alternative fuels.
  7. Support for grower education programs to switch the production model from a push to pull approach, which would better match produce availability with consumer demand, reducing waste.



A sound regulatory framework is one that is fair, properly matched to the needs of the sector it serves and the businesses in that sector, and adequately resourced for enforcement when necessary.

Regulatory authorities must consult properly with industry and take action as appropriate to ensure a fair and equitable sector. Freshmark is committed to reducing the complexity and inherent unfairness of a multi-tiered approach to compliance in the fresh produce sector, while ensuring businesses are properly supported to understand and meet their obligations.

Key asks

  1. Commit to a single-but-scalable compliance scheme that addresses the in-built inequalities of the current system without applying ‘big business’ compliance burdens on smaller businesses.
  2. Proper resourcing of industry watchdogs to enable a shift from increasing legislative burden to adequate enforcement of existing requirements.
  3. Development of appropriate deterrents to ensure industry has faith in the systems of compliance (not simple fines that provide limited deterrent effect).
  4. Commitment to true industry engagement by regulatory authorities so that compliance schemes are right-sized and fit for purpose.



A thriving fresh produce sector relies on consumers who understand the roles of each player in the fresh produce supply chain, and who recognise the value of buying and consuming nutritious, fresh, safe, domestically grown produce.

Freshmark will work to help create an informed and empowered consumer base, which has the potential to drive up demand for fresh produce, and in turn, help secure the future of this critical sector.

Key asks

  1. Review and update government dietary guidelines to ensure adequate and current messaging around the importance of fresh produce.
  2. Review and update primary and secondary curricula to ensure adequate and current messaging around the importance of fresh produce.
  3. Support industry campaigns to promote the nutritional value of fresh produce vs other food sources including ultra-processed foods.

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