Product Stewardship

Agsafe’s purpose as a not-for-profit organisation is to conduct programs that support and enhance product stewardship of agricultural and veterinary chemicals throughout the supply chain. The following information summarises our product stewardship activities .

Agsafe product stewardship

Research and development
Tracking trends in changes to packaging for the drumMUSTER program.

Through our Agsafe training program we provide awareness training to employees about the storage, transport and handling requirements for chemicals once they leave their premises.

Manufacturers are also an essential part of the end of life programs, drumMUSTER and ChemClear. Once manufacturers agree to participate they place the drumMUSTER logo on containers, allowing the reseller to apply a levy at sale that funds the later collection of empty containers and unwanted chemical.

Storage, transport and handling
Our work in this part of the supply chain ensures the personal safety of employees and clients of rural resellers and distributors, and minimises the potential for environmental pollution. Agsafe audits and accredits storage premises and retail stores against a comprehensive industry code. We train premises staff in safe handling, transport and sale of chemicals and provide ongoing support between store visits. Our “ute it, don’t boot it” store campaign encourages end-users to transport chemical safely between store and workplace.

Integrated pest management and responsible use
While Agsafe does not actively work with end-users, we recognise them as very important links in the supply chain. Instead we work through other organisations to support best practice in use. For example, we sponsor the Infopest website that provides open access to information on pests, chemicals, product labels and SDS’s. We also actively support end-user chemical handling training, and ensure that the value of buying from Agsafe accredited stores is recognised in QA programs.

Container management
The drumMUSTER program has so far been responsible for collecting and recycling over 26 million containers from end-users that would have otherwise been burnt, dumped in landfill or abandoned on farms. The support of local government in providing collection compounds is crucial to the program’s success in many regions.

Obsolete stocks
A small part of the drumMUSTER levies are used to collect unwanted chemicals from farms under the ChemClear program. End-users can register unwanted chemical at any time, and collections are matched to stored volumes. This program greatly reduces the risks of environmental pollution or health problems on farms.

All Agsafe product stewardship programs:

  • are industry led and managed
  • address the lifecycle impacts of products, including end-of-life
  • are national with consistent standards
  • set goals and performance standards following consultation with stakeholders
  • report publically against clear measurable achievable objectives that reflect shared responsibility and contribution by all stakeholders
  • educate and raise awareness with all stakeholders
  • provide the flexibility for participants to meet their responsibilities through their own plans or by participating in a plan with others
  • are fair and equitable
  • are consistent with or exceed all relevant legislation
  • work together to actively promote and support the outcomes of the other.

Additionally, Agsafe’s end of life (EOL) programs:

  • support the collection, transportation, and responsible reuse, recycling or disposition of covered products
  • ensure costs for product waste management is met by manufacturers and users, not the community
  • provide convenient return systems for users, who are responsible for using these return systems
  • cover new, historic and orphan products
  • are environmentally sound.