Application for joining the Accredited Farm Scheme can be made to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The department will assess the farm management, horticultural practice, use of pesticides and results of pesticide residue tests before granting accreditation.
Accredited vegetables are marketed in the VMO. They are easily identified with special sales memos which can facilitate and promote the marketing of the produce. To increase the public awareness of the accredited produce, a Good Farmer image has been used since 1998 to publicize the accredited vegetables. Publicity is also made at the accredited retailers to ease its identification by the public. In addition, territory-wide promotion events and educational activities are held to promote and stimulate the market demand for accredited vegetables. Both the vegetable retailers and the consumers support the scheme and the daily throughput of accredited vegetables can be up to 65 metric tones.
Accredited farmers have to follow the guidelines in the Accredited Farmer's Handbook and other regulations of the scheme and allow inspections of their farms by AFCD. The operation of the accredited farms are closely monitored with samples of vegetables, soil, irrigation water and pesticides taken for analysis of pesticide/heavy metal residues. New cultivation techniques and other technical support are also provided to accredited farms.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Vegetable Marketing Organization have jointly run the Accredited Farm Scheme since 1994. The scheme aims at promoting the adoption of good horticultural practice and environmental friendly production. Integrated pest management and proper use of pesticides are emphasized with a view to ensure production of quality vegetables that are safe for consumption. The scheme thus safeguards the public health and benefits the farming community.