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EMS National Pilot Program

(Download fact-sheet here - Word doc.)

The Environmental Management System (EMS) National Pilot Program involves projects in all states and the Northern Territory to assess the value of EMS in improving farm profitability and natural resource management in Australian agriculture. 
An EMS is a business management tool that can improve industry competitiveness and productivity, and help primary producers meet emerging market demands for quality and environment assurance.
In April 2003, the Australian Government announced funding of $8.5 million for 15 pilot projects.
An EMS uses a ‘plan, do, check and act’ cycle to deliver continuous improvement in business performance. Farmers can use an EMS to identify and manage the impact of their enterprise on the environment. Most of all, an EMS is about delivering outcomes such as sustainable farming practices, improved natural resource management and market access benefits. 
Funded out of $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust, the Program aims to test the ability of EMS as an on-farm management system to deliver these outcomes. The pilots are running across a range of industries and regions, they involve a variety of landholders and community groups, and are strongly supported by a range of partnership agreements. Through the pilots, EMS will be tested at an individual enterprise level and at the broader catchment scale. 
The pilot projects build on current industry, landholder and government interest in a systems approach to environmental management and will build the capacity of our industries to establish and maintain sustainable production systems. 
An important part of the Program is to create new knowledge and understanding of the use of EMS as a management tool for primary producers. The information and knowledge generated by each pilot will be made available within agricultural industries. 
Annual pilot forums throughout the Program will play an important part in achieving this. The forums will be an opportunity to track the progress of pilots and to involve wider industry and community groups in the outcomes and learnings of the National Pilot Program. The first of these forums is expected to be held in March next year. 
For more information on EMS or on specific EMS pilots, please contact Lesley Rogers on 02 6272 4531, or or visit the Department’s website



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