Nursery Production Farm Management System (FMS)

Guiding continuous improvement, change and technology adoption on-nursery

The Australian industry has spent the best part of two decades undertaking research and building nursery production infrastructure.  This work has culminated in their Nursery Production Farm Management System (FMS).  Targeted at production nurseries and growing media manufacturers it’s a tool for businesses to review their processes and identify and improve areas of concern. 

The NZ Nursery Production FMS comprises two on-nursery modules:

The Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia   provides guidelines to enhance business productivity and efficiency through industry best management practices and benchmarks.  It addresses crop hygiene, and crop, water and general site management. 

This Environmental Management System establishes a process whereby a business can assess their environmental and natural resource needs and impacts, and then manage these in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Get Started Today

In collaboration with NGI Australia, NZPPI offers New Zealand businesses the NZPPI Nursery Production FMS programme.  It provides annual site assessments, seminars &/or workshops to guide participating businesses through a systematic and proactive approach to manage change, technology adoption, resource efficiencies and enhanced profitability.

The Nursery Production FMS is a holistic system designed to ensure a sustainable future for nurseries and the nursery industry. It is much more than a “tick and flick” exercise, it’s an actively managed quality improvement system supported by NZPPI and an Australian Industry Development Officer.

What is Nursery Production Farm Management System and how can it benefit you?

The FMS is designed to enhance the status and recognition of businesses through continuous business improvement as well as striving for the highest levels of professionalism.   Businesses in the FMS programme work towards best management practices across nursery production, and environment impact and natural resource use.  Participants demonstrate to industry, government and the community their sound environmental and natural resource stewardship.

More specifically, the FMS is a useful tool to help businesses systematically implement change across the production system.  The EcoHort module introduces an Environmental Management System (EMS) and changes introduced through an FMS or EMS are based on an Action Plan which identifies the priority of risk(s).

The FMS incorporates a ‘continuous improvement’ model. It encourages a ‘plan, do, check and review’ approach at regular intervals and across the production cycle.

The monitoring results generated by this process are an essential part of the adaptive management cycle. They are not only used to review and update plans, but importantly, also provide a degree of proof that your business is addressing the production, environmental and natural resource issues at hand. Thus a sound EMS will be recognised by all levels of government, including national, regional and local.

The programme aims to:

  • Help participants deliver constant product quality and performance
  • Improve profitability through the adoption of industry best management practice and continuous improvement
  • Improve customer confidence at all levels of the distribution chain
  • Provide tools for managing environment and resource impacts
  • Encourage the use of environmentally sound work practices
  • Improve industry biosecurity and management of pest and disease

The FMS can help businesses to:

  • Reduce costs through improved production and business processes
  • Increase marketplace recognition and customer confidence
  • Lift levels of professionalism
  • Improve staff knowledge and skills
  • Reduce wastage and production losses
  • Gain access to technical assistance
  • Reduce business risk
  • Improve on occupational health and safety issues.

In 2012 NGI Australia engaged an independent review of their programme.   It revealed that 75% of FMS businesses would recommend the FMS to others, that on average the FMS brought businesses a 31% return on investment following a five year payback period, and that the programme provided a positive result against the environmental, social and economic ‘triple bottom line’.

For more information on how Nursery Production FMS will help create a sustainable future for your business please contact NZPPI .

FMS visits 2018


This year's FMS site visits providing technical advice and undertaking auditing will be carried out by Lex McMullin from Queensland during November and December.

Lex has been involved in nursery production for more than 30 years including 14 years as the Production Manager at one of Australia's largest fruit tree production nursery's and 16 years as a private horticulture consultant in South East Queensland.

Lex has tertiary qualifications in Horticultural Technology, Irrigation Management and Pesticide Application and currently works with the Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ) delivering services to growers under the Rural Water Use Efficiency program as well as private consulting.

Since 2001 Lex has been contracted by NGIQ to deliver services to growers under the Nursery Production Farm Management System including providing technical advice and auditing services against the NIASA and EcoHort Guidelines and checklists.

The FMS is designed to enhance businesses through continuous business improvement as well as striving for the highest levels of professionalism. Businesses in the FMS programme work towards best management practices across nursery production, and environment impact and natural resource use.

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NIASA Accredited & EcoHort Certified

  • Ambrosia Nurseries
  • Annton Nursery
  • Auckland Botanic Garden Nursery
  • Daltons
  • Growing Spectrum
  • Icon Advanced Trees
  • Intelligro
  • Lyndale Custom Mix
  • Rainbow Park Nurseries
  • Twining Valley Nurseries
  • Zealandia Nurseries Radcliffe Road

NIASA Accredited

  • Arcadia
  • Lyndale Nurseries Auckland
  • Natures Creation
  • Nga Rakau Nurseries

Programme Members

  • Ambrosia Nurseries
  • Annton Nursery
  • Arataki Nursery (ACC)
  • Arcadia Plants
  • Auckland Botanic Gardens (ACC)
  • Daltons
  • Growing Spectrum
  • Icon Advanced Trees
  • Intelligro
  • Lyndale Nurseries Auckland
  • Lyndale Custom Mix
  • Native Garden Nursery
  • Nature's Creation
  • Nga Rakau Nurseries
  • Plant Hawkes Bay
  • Rainbow Park Nurseries
  • Riversun
  • Scrub Growers
  • Thirkettle Nurseries
  • TNZ Growing Products (Invercargill)
  • TNZ Growing Products (Nelson)
  • Twining Valley Nurseries
  • Zealandia Nurseries (Radcliffe Road, Christchurch)
  • Zealandia Nurseries (Mairehau Road, Christchurch)
  • Zealandia Nurseries (Tourist Road, Auckland)

The New Zealand Programme

Participation is open to all nurseries and media manufacturers who are financial members of NZPPI.

There’s an annual fee of $1,485 plus gst.  This provides for annual site assessments, seminars &/or workshops, manuals and updates and access to the NGI Australia support web portal.

In Australia the FMS provides for accreditation of businesses that meet a benchmark standard for each of the modules.  As the New Zealand programme develops we too will adopt the accreditation standard and work to secure recognition the programme and its participants through the supply chain. 

Accreditation draws an additional fee per module which is yet to be determined.


NGI Australia’s website, www.ngia.com.au, provides many resources in its publications / nursery papers section.

Specifically look for

  • NIASA May 2008
  • EcoHort Dec 2006
  • BioSecure HACCP Mar 2008


The New Zealand Nursery Production FMS draws heavily upon the Australian programme and their support is gratefully acknowledged and recognised.