M3; Member Code of Conduct
The purpose of this document is to prescribe the code of conduct that applies as a condition of VFF membership and to all members. It outlines how members engage with the VFF and each other to gain the best value from their membership.
The VFF is a member organisation dedicated to creating an environment for farmers that enables financially responsible, safe, and sustainable production, within a community that values and respects the farm sector.
As a member-based organisation it is important that a culture of inclusiveness, fairness, and respect for all is fostered throughout. All members when engaging with VFF staff, participating in a VFF meeting or event, including forums, conferences and media must behave in a manner compliant with this policy.
- Diversity in people and opinion is welcomed and promoted;
- All people are treated with respect irrespective of their views;
- All people are treated equally regardless of who they are or where they are from;
- All people are welcome to participate in the services offered by the VFF; and
- Patience is shown for those that may be less comfortable or able to express their views.
3.1.1 This Code of Conduct defines the principles, values and behaviours, acceptable conduct and unacceptable conduct required of VFF Members to ensure they respect, behave, and treat each other, Elected Officials, VFF employees and stakeholders appropriately;
3.1.2 The VFF requires compliance by all members to this Code of Conduct as a condition of membership to ensure a positive and productive environment for all; and
3.1.3 Each member must embrace and uphold the principles, values, behaviours and conduct in their interactions with each other and the VFF.
3.2.1 The member must act honestly, in good faith, and in the best interests of the VFF;
3.2.2 The member has a primary responsibility to the VFF as a whole, but may when appropriate have regard to the interest of a specific commodity group, committee or branch providing it is not inconsistent with published VFF general agriculture policy;
3.2.3 The member must not engage in conduct or publication of any material that may be derogatory to, or may bring the VFF into disrepute; and
3.2.4 Each VFF member has an obligation, at all times to comply with the spirit, as well as the letter of the law, and this Code of Conduct.
3.3.1 Respect – members treat each other, VFF employees and stakeholders with courtesy and consideration regardless of differences in opinions, backgrounds, or characteristics;
3.3.2 Tolerance – listen and give the opportunity for others to provide their opinion although we may disagree;
3.3.3 Equality and equity – all members are treated the same regardless of their individual circumstances or needs, while ensuring that all members and groups and branches have the equal opportunity to succeed.
3.3.4 Inclusivity and diversity – all members are welcomed for their contribution with differences in characteristics, backgrounds, cultures and views valued in the creation of richer, stronger and innovative approaches;
3.3.5 Connectedness – members strive to communicate and collaborate across the organisation using our networks to keep in touch with our members so they can represent their views and ideas about general agricultural policy, networking and capability development opportunities.
3.4.1 Unity – cohesion among members through working together, sharing common goals, values, and interests, and general agreement on VFF objectives and general agricultural policy;
3.4.2 Democracy – collective participation in the election for VFF leadership and officials and representative decision making to define general agricultural policy of the VFF;
3.4.3 Professionalism – recognition and acceptance of roles and responsibilities and maintenance of standards of governance, accountability, competence, integrity and ethics;
3.4.4 Transparency – whenever possible disclose decisions, policies and information about the organisation; and
3.4.5 Conflict of interest – members declare and manage potential or actual conflicts of interest to duty related to the VFF. Members with an irreconcilable conflict of interest or duty are not eligible to be elected officials.
3.5.1 Any recordings, or parts thereof, must be treated as confidential and must not be distributed without the express knowledge and consent of anyone picture in, recorded, mentioned, or otherwise represented in the recording or part thereof.
3.5.2 Confidential information received by a member during VFF activities remains the property of the VFF and it is improper to disclose it, or allow it to be disclosed, unless that disclosure has been authorised by the VFF, or the person from whom the information was provided, or is authorised by law.
3.5.3 Member personal information must not be disclosed unless authorised by the member, or is otherwise authorised or required by law.
3.6 UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT
3.6.1 Sexual harassment;
3.6.3 Abusive language towards any VFF member, employee, or stakeholder;
3.6.4 Conduct that in the opinion of the Board potentially brings the VFF into disrepute;
3.6.5 Actual or threatened violence;
3.6.6 Conduct endangering the life, safety, health, or well-being of others;
3.6.8 Taking unfair advantage of another person;
3.6.9 Recording or transcribing of VFF meetings without the express knowledge and consent of all present (excluding media approved by the VFF President or CEO);
3.6.10 Solicitation: Members must not seek favours or gifts in connection with VFF activities. Included in this category are gifts in kind, such as free accommodation or travel or entertainment vouchers whether for them or members of their family. The principle to be followed is that members should not seek or accept favours or gifts from anyone who could benefit by influencing them; and
3.6.11 Fraud or corruption – Fraud is a dishonest activity that causes actual or potential financial loss to any person or organisation. Corrupt conduct occurs when an officer uses or attempts to use their position for personal advantage or to cause detriment to others.
3.6.12 Retaliation by a Respondent or other person to a grievance.
3.7 COMPLIANCE AND REPORTNG
3.7.1 Any person, including any VFF member or employee who has been subject to, or witnessed unacceptable conduct or other non-compliance with this policy should lodge a grievance in accordance with Policy C4: Grievances.
3.7.2 The Policy C4: Grievances, provides for receipt, investigation, and resolution of complaints resulting from inappropriate behaviour or other non-compliance with this policy.
3.7.3 Substantiated non-compliance with this Code of Conduct may result in sanctions, including verbal or written warnings, suspension, or termination of membership, depending on the severity and recurrence of the offense in accordance with Policy M4: Member Sanctions.
5. RELATED POLICIES/PROCEDURES
Policy M1: Membership
Policy M2: Membership Terms and Conditions
Policy M4: Member Sanctions
Policy P2: Grievances