Voluntary Environmental Management Arrangements (VEMAs)

  • 86 pages

  • Published: 1 Oct 2001

  • Author(s): Mech, Thea, Young, Michael D.

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This report presents the findings of a RIRDC-funded research project on the design and development
of a range of voluntary approaches to environmental and quality management for application to
agriculture and allied rural industries. The report focuses primarily on a range of voluntary
environmental management arrangements (VEMAs), notably environmental management systems
(EMSs), and also considers other voluntary approaches undertaken for the purposes of quality
assurance, food safety and animal welfare. Interest in voluntary approaches to both environmental and
quality management is gathering momentum in Australia and overseas. This research sheds light on
international developments in a rapidly evolving area that holds much promise for agriculture and
rural industries.
The report distinguishes between VEMAs in terms of their design features and their intended
environmental, marketplace and community outcomes, and explains the relationships and
compatibilities between them and other voluntary arrangements undertaken for environmental, quality,
food safety and animal welfare reasons. Importantly, the report seeks to inform, both, stakeholders
interested in participating in existing VEMAs, as well as the future architects of new arrangements, of
the pros and cons of alternative design options associated with different arrangements, and of the
environmental and marketplace implications of choosing between them. The report also explores the
potential for integrating diverse voluntary arrangements.