vegetablesWA’s focus is to work with growers to improve the sustainability, profitability, and growth of their business. The project aims to provide vegetable growers with access to resources and support to key services such as Industrial Relations and Human Resources that will help develop their business and reduce risk.
vegetablesWA recently successfully completed the industry’s first Benchmarking project (VG17000) in conjunction with Planfarm and Hort Innovation.
Over 3 years, data was collected from growers across 42 key industry performance measures and metrics. (You can review the full findings on the Benchmarking webpage or watch the Benchmarking 2018-2019 Results webinar)
The project identified an industry level issue that has serious ramifications for the future prosperity of the industry:
- The base level of understanding around the importance of record-keeping, as well as general financial and business management among vegetable growers were found to be at levels that fell below expected levels of maturity.
- The project further identified a lack of adaptability within business models, market focus, and rigorous process execution in some businesses.
The Business Extension HR & IR project was developed to provide growers with access to free support services and resources funded by vegetable growers Fee For Service contributions.
vegetablesWA will undertake:
- Facilitated workshops in WA growing regions.
- Create a supplier list and FAQ.
- Create IR documents to disseminate to growers as required.
- If a major change occurs, provide legal contact information which vegetable growers can access (at no charge).
- Access to standard online induction resources and human resources policy documents.
HR IR consultant, Stephen Farrell
Stephen Farrell is an experienced practitioner with around 20 years in Human Resources and Industrial Relations experience.
Stephen commenced his career at the CPSU/CSA, the union for Western Australian state public servants in assisting union members negotiate their terms and conditions, advocate and participate in consultancy committee within their workplace and represent members in both the state and federal industrial relations commissions.
Stephen was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Serco Australia at Acacia Prison between 2011 and 2014. In this role, he provided advice to the Director, Acacia Prison and the rest of the Senior Management Team in workplace law, management, HR policy, employee relations, workers’ compensation, recruitment, training and development and best HR practice. After leaving Serco, Stephen joined the Chamber of Commerce & Industry WA as a senior workplace relations consultant where he focussed on the training of clients on their obligations as employers, best management practice in performance management as well as conducting workplace investigations and representing clients in the Fair Work and Western Australian commissions.
Stephen has extensive experience representing clients in both the Fair Work and Western Australian industrial commissions, before both single commissioners and Full Benches. In his current role as Director of SJF Work Advice Pty Ltd, he provides the following services to clients:
- HR Consultancy
- Mediation of employee conflict
- Representation in tribunals and commissions
- Workplace Investigations
- Review and drafting of employment contracts
- Workplace compliance audits
- Facilitation of Training Courses
- Mentoring managers
- General IR advice
His clientele comes from a wide range of industries including local government, real estate, not for profit and Aboriginal community organisations.