It is envisaged that, in the future, environmental management systems (EMS) could become an important management tool that will allow graingrowers to justify their own environmental performance. In particular, EMS will help address the demands being put on agriculture to be more environmentally accountable. It will assist graingrowers to answer the question: 'Is this grain produced in an environmentally acceptable manner?' While EMS is unlikely to deliver price premiums (apart from some niche markets), it could help prevent restrictions to market access. Credible eco-labelling might be the ultimate extension of EMS into the marketplace - Dr Mark Peoples, discussion paper, Environmental management systems for the grains industry.
Growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC have supported four pilot EMS projects during the past three years. On the following pages we profile three of those projects, their locally derived priorities and methods. There is now a push to develop a comprehensive national EMS program for the grains industry.