Organic Industries Submission – Brassicaceous seeds

 

 

Australian Organic has submitted an Organic Industries submission of researched and scientific based recommendations of alternatives in contrast to the proposed mandatory broad spectrum fungicide treatment for all brassicaceous seeds, which was submitted in April 2018. You can read this submission below and we will continue to update you on the progress and outcome.

Organic Industries Submission – Brassicaceous seeds

Seeking member case studies for media: Probiotic/prebiotic crop growers and processors

 

We’re always looking out for new areas of organics to promote and are currently on the look-out for members who are involved in growing crops actively for their pro- or pre-biotic nutrient value.

They can be either for sale as whole foods, or selling here or overseas to manufacturers as component parts of the increasingly popular organic probiotic and prebiotic supplements. Some of the main ones (but there are many others!) are: papaya, acai berri, goji berry, jerusalem artichoke and chicory.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in being put forward for media opportunities and are involved in this trending area. Contact Brittany Stewart via email or on (07) 3350 5716.

Call out to sponsor Australian Organic’s 5th Annual Awards – November 2018

Want to collaborate with the Australian Organic 5th Annual Awards?

This is a call out to our members and ACO certified businesses to express your interest to collaborate with Australian Organic for the 5th Annual Awards in November 2018. Whether that be by sponsorship, product, menu items, etc. we’d love to have you on board!

Each year we celebrate the immense contribution of Australian Certified Organic clients to the organic industry by showcasing the year’s most outstanding organic products, businesses and individuals. These Awards are the pinnacle of our yearly celebrations and are an opportunity to acknowledge our members and ACO certified clients at a special award ceremony held every November.

To express your interest and support please contact Anika Vines, Events & Sponsorships Coordinator.

We can’t wait to kick off our 5th Annual Awards!

2018 Market Report Launch

Australian Organic Market Report 2018

The 2018 Australian Organic Market Report is being launched on 30th April at the Naturally Good Expo in Sydney!

The launch of the Report will feature a presentation made by our Communications & Marketing Manager, Rhiannon Christie, followed by a panel discussion which will be lead by 6AM Agency founder and author Gillian Fish, and will feature Rhiannon Christie, Chair of Australian Organic, Andrew Monk, and researcher from Mobium Group, Nick Bez.

We invite industry to join us at the launch for your exclusive first look at the Report and brand new insights and trends. The session begins at 10.30am and will be held in the Green Room at Sydney’s International Convention Centre. This launch presentation at Naturally Good will be the only launch event for NSW. More information about the National Roadshow can be found below.

Get your hands on the Early Bird Tickets!

Early bird tickets are available and can be purchased via Naturally Good here. Early bird rates are available until 19th April.

National Roadshow – May

Australian Organic invites you to our Market Report National Roadshow which will see us visit every state and territory in Australia to celebrate the launch of the brand new Market Report! A launch event will be held in each capital city, so make sure you come to your local event to be the first to reveal the insights and trends specific to your state/territory. National Roadshow dates are listed below, keep your eyes peeled for your official invitation coming soon…

Sydney, NSW – Monday 30 April
Canberra, ACT – Wednesday 2 May
Melbourne, VIC – Thursday 3 May
Adelaide, SA – Tuesday 8 May
Hobart, TAS – Thursday 10 May
Brisbane, QLD – Tuesday 15 May
Darwin, NT – Wednesday 16 May
Perth, WA – Wednesday 23 May

We can’t wait to be joined by our members, clients and industry across the country during May to celebrate the launch of the only annual report benchmarking the organic industry!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Events & Sponsorship Coordinator, Anika Vines, on anika.vines@austorganic.com.

Australian Organic Market Report 2018

Launch of Australian Organic Market Report 2018

The 2018 Market Report will be officially launched at Naturally Good Expo in Sydney (International Convention Centre) on 29-30 April 2018. Joining us for the launch will be Nick Bez from Mobium, Australian Organic Chairman Andrew Monk, and our very own Communications & Marketing Manager Rhiannon Christie.

Following the initial launch of the Report at Naturally Good Expo, Australian Organic will be hosting a National Roadshow which will see launch events in every state and territory in the country! We’re excited to take the report on the road to promote the growth of organics across the nation with the support of local Government, our sponsors and industry.

Stay tuned for more details and your invitation to our National Roadshow.

Sponsor the Australian Organic Market Report 2018

Interested in sponsoring the 2018 Report? Click here to view the Sponsorship Packages. Contact Anika Vines (Events & Sponsorship Coordinator) via email for more information.

Behind the Bud Video Series

Are you Behind the Bud?

In January 2018 Australian Organic’s marketing team started filming for our new Behind the Bud series. This series is all about teaching consumers the benefits of choosing certified organic produce and products, how to know if a product is certified organic, looking for the Bud logo on organic products, and of course all while promoting your products and brands!

For the first round of Behind the Bud we visited seven certified clients in total which saw us film a wide variety of products and locations across Victoria and Queensland. Check out some of the pictures below! Have you seen the first video yet? Check it out here!

Behind the Bud – Round 2

We’re excited to start planning filming for the second round of Behind the Bud in March and April. Are you interested in being involved or would like more information? Contact Brittany today via email brittany.stewart@austorganic.com.

#BehindtheBud

 

Top left: Andrew Monk with Wayne Shields (Peninsula Fresh Organics)
Top right: Sergio Carlei (The Green Vineyards)
Bottom left: Ian Campbell with organic dairy cows (Barambah Organics)
Bottom right: Rhiannon Christie (AOL Communications & Marketing Manager) with Blair Norfolk (Activated Nutrients)

MARKET REPORT NEWSFLASH!

NEWSFLASH:
Members now receive discounts on Sponsorships

 

Earlier this year we conducted a Membership Review via Survey Monkey, asking what our members thought of our membership program (it’s not too late, you can still have your say here). Some members said they wanted access to more discounts as a part of what the membership program offers.

We heard you, and we are here to deliver!

Sponsorship Discounts

For all of our sponsorship programs going forward, members will receive significant discounts on the standard rate. The first sponsorship program we will apply this to is the 2018 Australian Organic Market Report. This means for all members (existing or those currently signing up) you will receive 10% off all sponsorship rates.

If you would like more information or to express your interest in sponsorship, please contact us on 07 3350 5716 or email us.

Why sponsor the Australian Organic Market Report?

Conducting the research required and producing Australia’s only organic industry report is a very expensive exercise. Whilst the government provides some funding to cover the expense of our research teams and resources needed, there is a lot that isn’t covered in the production and the promotion. Your advertising dollars go towards funding and promoting this important industry publication, and without your support it simply wouldn’t be possible. This year we are conducting a state by state Roadshow to promote the report nationally and allow participation from across the country in promoting and supporting the organic industry.

Interested in sponsoring the 2018 Market Report? Click here to view the Sponsorship Packages.

For those of you who have already secured your spot, rest assured your discount will be applied if you are an existing member!

Not yet a member?

…but would like to access these discounts? Please click here to complete our Membership Form. Membership is only $165 per year and gives you access to a range of events, regular communications, industry information and great discounts.

Trademark/Business name & Property for sale: Naturally Organic

Trademark for Sale

“Naturally Organic” is a nationally registered trademark and business name. Currently used for a range of sauces and pickles.

Sale price: $20,000

Property for Sale

Address: 436 Roseberry Creek Road, Kyogle NSW 2474 Australia

Sale price: $415,000

Private 12.91 hectares in small valley (20 yrs certified small crops), over 2 hectares of basalt creek flats, rising to first shelf with S.E. aspect. Creek forms one boundary,spring-fed pump hole, plus 1 meg irrigation license, 150 mixed citrus orchard. Two bedroom dwelling with home orchard, 4 bay shed (with 1 bed dwelling) and more undercover space, hay shed. All powered by large 7 KVA solar system, gel cell batteries. 2 x 3000 watt inverters, capable of light welding. Alternate house site with excellent views. 20 minutes on main road to fully serviced town, primary school at mouth of valley, 2 hours to Brisbane, Gold Coast. Photos at realestate.com.au (Kyogle ref 19574335). Deal with real estate or take $10,000 off price and deal direct.

Contact

Maureen Pederson
maurpedersen@gmail.com
0484 199 087

WIN! Christmas Giveaway 2017

We’re giving away a bunch of certified organic products just in time for Christmas and in celebration of our awards winners from the Australian Organic 4th Annual Awards for Excellence! The giveaway will be held on Australian Organic’s Facebook page.

Terms and Conditions

In order to be in the running to win entrants must do the following:

  1. Like and follow @AustOrganicLtd on Facebook
  2. Write a review and tell us why you love Australian Organic (on Australian Organic’s Facebook page)

Game of chance. Winner will be picked at random. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Competition begins Monday 18 December 2017 at 5pm and will end Thursday 21 December 2017 at midnight. Winner will be picked at random and announced via Australian Organic’s Facebook page on Friday 22 December 2017. Competition will be promoted via Australian Organic’s and Facebook page.

Prize includes:

  • Angove Family Winemakers 2017 Rose RRP $17.00
  • Republica Organic Blend Instant Coffee RRP $11.00
  • TOM Organic Ultra Thin Liners RRP $6.00
  • TOM Organic Regular Tampons RRP $6.00
  • Smoothie Bombs The Lover Super Berries Tube RRP $12.95
  • Smoothie Bombs The Defender Golden Chai Tube RRP $12.95
  • Smoothie Bombs The Transformer Super Greens Tube RRP $12.95
  • Smoothie Bombs The Motivator Raw Cacao Tube RRP $12.95
  • Smoothie Bombs The Warrior Peanut Butter Tube RRP $12.95
  • Hakubaku Organic Soba Noodles RRP $3.70
  • Hakubaku Organic Ramen Noodles RRP $3.70
  • Hakubaku Organic Udon Noodles RRP $3.70
  • Hakubaku Organic Somer Noodles RRP $3.70
  • Australian Certified Organic Pink Cap (not pictured)

Total prize value is $119.55.

Baubles not included in prize.

Please contact us if you have any queries.

 

Australian Organic has a new boss!

The crew at Australian Organic are pleased to announce the appointment of Emily Arnold to the role of General Manager (GM).

Ms. Arnold was previously Head of International Development and Marketing at Harvest Education Technical College (H.E.T.C) where she gained extensive experience in international legislation and global people management.

Her experience across sales and marketing, change management, communication and strategic planning were key factors to her appointment. Ms Arnold is highly skilled in transformational change, developing strong partnerships and operational management and has led many high performing teams with her ability to collaborate and inspire.

Our Chairman Andrew Monk, said of the appointment, “On behalf of the Australian Organic board, we are pleased to announce that Emily has joined us in the position of General Manager. Her drive, passion and personal commitment to the organic industry were strong factors in our decision to appoint her to the role.”

Monk continued, “Emily has plans to drive significant and ongoing change over the coming 24 months and will be executing a new strategy for Australian Organic Ltd with the vision to grow and diversify revenue.  She will be instrumental in strengthening member engagement, increasing industry and consumer awareness around the benefits of organics which will further cement Australian Organic as an industry leader.

That’s a wrap!

Judging for the 2017 Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence has now concluded with the Wine Award judging taking place in Brisbane on 25th October. Find out who the wine judges were here.

All award winners will be announced at the Australian Organic Annual Awards ceremony at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide at 6.30pm on Friday, 17 November, 2017.

We look forward to seeing our nominees, finalists, clients and members to celebrate the successes of 2017 as well as celebrate our 30th Anniversary in style.

To purchase your ticket to attend, please visit this link.

Are you an emerging or experienced exporter, or supplier to an exporter? Is access to finance a challenge?

Efic and Trade & Investment Queensland warmly invite you to the Efic Breakfast Briefing.

Hear Natalie Reid-Frost, State Director , QLD speak about how Efic can help new or experienced exporters, as well as businesses that are part of an export supply chain, by helping them to win business, grow internationally and achieve export success.

Over the past 3 years Efic has worked with more than 262 small and medium businesses across Australia providing more than $350 million in financial support, enabling them to export to countries all over the world.

Event Details
Thursday 9 November
8:00am – 9:30am
The Ipswich Club
14 Gray Street
Ipswich

Please RSVP by Wednesday 1 November 2017 to Julie Mark – Julie.Mark@tiq.qld.gov.au
Regards
Natalie Reid-Frost
State Director SME-QLD & NT
T: +61 7 3171 3345 M: +61 468 926 500
E: nreidfrost@efic.gov.au W: www.efic.gov.au

ACO News – November

AUSTRALIAN ORGANIC MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

CEO’s CORNER

Well, just into my fourth month and starting to get my head around the real ACO.  We have a MAFF (ie JAS) audit coming up in November so that will be a good chance to get a better insight into just how all our compliance systems are managing.

Overview of Month

This month has seen a number of things happen:  Elizabeth Bradley has moved on to new horizons; Christine Cole, our Certification Administration Officer, has returned to the family business and Claudia Tull, our Receptionist, is moving to NSW with her family.

In my last report, I said I would outline a series of changes that have been submitted to the Board for implementation.   While the business aspect of ACO is fundamentally very sound, our service delivery and client communications did require some tweaking.  The changes were also designed to align with what we see the ACO of five to ten years time, will look like.  The changes made include:

  • A restructure of management positions
  • A realignment of Position Descriptions ensuring better understanding of what staff roles are
  • The creation of a new position, ACO General Manager Operations to whom the Certification Manager will report to
  • The creation of a specialist Business Development role
  • The return of the Client Services Manager to ACO (was formerly AO)

Along with this, we will see a number of new staff members begin employment with us.

Sachin Ayachit, formerly GM Certification at NASAA Certified Organic will start with us as General Manager Operations and Matthew Bird will start as Certification Manager.  In addition to these two, a new Business Development Manager will be starting in December.  The BD role is to build relationships with all levels of the organic supply chain but more specifically, with grass roots operators in order to build interest in certified organics and then to turn that interest into new applications.  Two new Admin Staff will also be starting in the next two weeks to replace Christine and Claudia.

The travel budget is getting a bit of a hiding.  Since the last newsletter, I have been to both Sydney and Melbourne meeting with existing clients and re-establishing my contacts within the Australia China Business Council who are an intricate cog in developing market access to China.  With AOL Director, Kim Morgan, we travelled to Western Australia to meet up with a number of clients plus attend the two Industry Consultations on the new Peak Industry Body.   Thanks to those Margaret River clients who made the trip into town to catch up for dinner, I really appreciated your efforts.  Also, a big thanks to Duncan Harris who made his Cellar Door available to the consultants engaged to conduct the Consultation meetings.  Thanks Duncan, nice wines too!

Thanks also, to all those wonderful members, clients and supporters who turned up at the two client evenings.  One here at the offices in Brisbane and one in Sydney at Pana Chocolate in Alexandria. Thanks especially to Pana for the use of your facility and to all those wonderful certified clients who provided wines, beers, soft drinks, pizzas, finger foods and all the other amazing stuff that we ingested.  Thank you, we very much appreciate your support.

By now, you will have seen or heard of the motion being put to the Members of Australian Organic Limited at the AGM on the November 17 regarding the separation of the two companies.  From a certification viewpoint, this will not affect the way in which we deliver our services or affect ACO clients in any way at all.  In fact, if you hadn’t been told, you would be none the wiser as it does not affect certification in any way.   In fact, at a corporate and strategic level, it will give ACO much more autonomy and allow us to be more flexible and agile in our business ventures. It will also allow AOL to take a much more strategic role within the Australian organic industry.

So after my first quarter at the helm, I am feeling somewhat buoyed by the vibe and enthusiasm within the organic industry and the role that AO and ACO can and will be playing within that industry.  We have had two client nights in the time that I have been here, one in Brisbane and one in Sydney, and the feedback about client businesses, client attitude and business morale, has been very positive.  I look forward to helping you all maintain that positivity.

All the best.   Ben Copeman, Chief Executive Officer.

Champions Mountain Organics For Sale

Certified Organic since 1990, Champions Mountain Organics is the closest Certified Organic vegetable farm to Sydney.   Situated at Mangrove Mountain,  the farm has a growing area of approx 2 ha with surrounding native bush and good screening from neighbours and the road. The total farm area is 18ha.

The soil is sandy to sandy loam and has been extensively rejuvenated over the past 30 years using compost and green manures. Although we grow intensively I have developed a rotation system which constantly cares for the soil and gives a continual supply of good fresh produce for our customers.

For a buyer wishing to take advantage of my years of work,  the farm has a strong customer base of local co-ops, Farmers’ markets and retail stores in Sydney.

All equipment necessary to continue working the farm can go with the sale which would include cool rooms, tractor, delivery truck, tools etc;  all can be negotiated.

For details of the business go to www.championorganics.com.au

or contact me,   michael@championorganics.com.au  0243741036

Seeking Certified Organic processing kitchen

We are a boutique tea importation business currently searching for a certified organic processing kitchen or warehouse to sort and pack bulk product into retail ready pouches. Or a service provider who could do this for us. 

Location Melbourne  – inner north 

Contact: Bonnie Robin 0404499439

 

AOAM Certified Organic Wine Showcase 2017 Thank You

On Thursday, 28 September, our first ever Australian Organic Awareness Month Certified Organic Wine Showcase was held as the finale event for Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017. We would like to thank our clients who participated, especially those who travelled across the country to attend in person. With the support of well known wine author Max Allen as the MC and our very own Peter Fraser hosting a masterclass, it was set to be an amazing event.

The wine tasting was held at Two Ton Max in Melbourne and showcased a variety of certified organic wines and wine clients. Invited guests included trade, media and members of Australian Organic.

We would like to thank our amazing clients for their participation at this event, as well as our Australian Organic Awareness Month sponsors, whose products were very well received.

Please view our photo gallery here to see the highlights of the night. We look forward to holding an event such as this again in the near future.

The gallery was not found!

 

Organic is on the menu in most US homes

by Keith Loria

Please click here for more information.

 

 

Vinexpo Hong Kong 2018

Juliette Siri, Project Manager at Vinexpo, the international wine & spirits event invites interested parties to attend Vinexpo Hong Kong 2018 next May from 29 to 31.

Launched during their 2017 Vinexpo Bordeaux event, was a brand new area entirely dedicated to organic and biodynamic wine and spirits named WOW!.

Their objective is to provide higher visibility to producers and clearly identify the organic offer toward buyers looking for that type of products. WOW! was created for the producers with the goal of providing increased visibility to organic wines and spirits, bringing them to the forefront of the Hong Kong 2018 edition.

For this new edition Vinexpo came up with two affordable exhibiting options including in the price: storage, glass service, ice service, company signage, allowing you to take benefit of our 17200 visitors for only 2000€ for the three days.

Please view Press Release here.

For further information, please contact Juliette Siri, Department Commercial/Sales Department.
T: +33 (0)5 56 56 01 63

E: jsiri@vinexpo.com

VINEXPO  ―  THE WORLD OF WINE & SPIRITS
Bordeaux  |  Hong Kong  |  New York  |  Tokyo  |  Vinexpo Explorer

ACO News – October

CEO’s CORNER

May I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has made me feel so very welcome as I stepped into the biggest job in the Australian organic industry.  From AO Chair, Andy Monk to ACO Chair, Joe Siegel and all Directors and staff have made me feel very much at home.  It really is great to be back in the organic industry and I very much appreciate having been welcomed with such open arms.  Thank you all!

Overview of Month

I am very much looking forward to my time here at ACO.  The first month has been spent delving into the issues and complexities that comprise the functions of ACO that directly affect our clients.

I have spent some time in both Sydney and Melbourne meeting with existing clients and potentially new clients, as well as reading and digesting the Strategic Plan; studying financial reports; reading the complaint register; working with Kellie Lewis on a number of outstanding issues; liaising with Joe, Andy, Don Fraser, all the while trying to understand your business and how we can best serve you.

All this while moving my worldly belongings from Canberra, packing the truck while it was snowing and knowing it was 22 degrees in Brisbane!  All this whilst having the absolute pleasure of my only daughter, Annabel, being married in the Hunter Valley and then to top it off, the birth of a beautiful grandson, Alexander.  So to say the first month was a busy, happening month, is somewhat of an understatement.

The second month hasn’t been any slower, and this month we saw the organic industry consultative workshops being held in different parts of the country, with comment invited from all industry groups into the process.  As well as collaborating in the consultative workshops I have been investing valuable time into understanding ACO’s processes and developing ways to provide better service options for our clients.

In my next report, I will provide greater insight into some changes that we will be implementing to make your certification journey easier, more efficient and with greater flexibility.  Watch this space to see how we are investing our time and resources and how you will benefit.  Don’t miss November’s newsletter for the full details.

We are investing today for ACO and our client’s future.

Again, thanks to both the AO and ACO Boards; thanks to all staff and thanks to all clients and Members who have gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome here at Australian Certified Organic.  I am enjoying my new role as your CEO and excited about providing great certification services for you, our clients and members.

All the best. Ben Copeman, ACO Chief Executive Officer.

Updates

We are continually being warned by the Queensland Government, Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre, to be on the lookout for Fire Ants and as such, need to prepare ourselves for the subsequent sprayings that will inevitably follow.  Whenever we receive advice from the Department that such sprayings are planned, we will of course, forward these straight on to you.

For further information, please visit this link.

Please call us if you have any issues with the spraying.

Upgrade to Product Information Form

Australian Food & Grocery Council launched an upgrade to their Product Information Form (PIF). PIF V6.0 features updated content and has been translated to business-to-business software solutions to replace the current stand-alone Excel spreadsheet. This form is frequently requested for assessment of non-organic ingredients for use in organic products. See full description here.

Read More

Finalists to be announced – 13 October!

A huge thank you to all our amazing clients who either entered, or were nominated by others, for the Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence this year. The judges have had an incredibly difficult task as there is so much talent across the width and breadth of Australia’s organic industry. We have women and men really pushing the boundaries and achieving amazing results which has added to the task faced by the judges.

We are excited to see that the awards attracted entrants in even greater numbers this year and with an incredible quality of entries.

As we are still undergoing the process for judging the Wine Awards, we are excited to advise the announcement of the majority of the finalists on Friday, 13 October!

Please visit this link on 13 October to see who is in the running for our very own personalised trophies this year!

Good luck to all!

 

The Australian Government, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is an exclusive sponsor of the category ‘Most Innovative Certified Organic Product of the Year’.

Certified Organics and Foodbank: Collaboration in Action

If you caught the first episode of ABC’s War on Waste program earlier this year, two things may have jumped out at you: firstly, the scale of food loss and food waste in Australia; and secondly, the incredible efforts that Foodbank and the food industry, including Australian Organic members and clients, are making right across the country to redirect this food to vulnerable Australians.

Do we really have a hunger problem in Australia?

Yes! The scale of the problem is staggering. More than two million Australians seek food relief every year with a third of these being children. The 2016 Foodbank Hunger Report revealed that one in six Australians has experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months, and they’re not just who you’d think. The face of hunger is diverse – mums and dads, children, the elderly, students, the under-employed, the unemployed and retirees (to name a few). And whilst hunger might be thought of as a city problem, rural and regional Australia is not immune. In fact, those living in rural and regional Australia are 11% more likely to experience food insecurity than their metro counterparts, and consequently, more than a third of the food donations delivered via the Foodbank network now go to rural and regional Australia.

What is Foodbank?

Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front line charities that are feeding people in need. Foodbank provides 65 million meals a year (175,000 meals a day) to more than 2,600 charities around the country, accounting for more than 70% of the food distributed by food rescue organisations nation-wide.

Foodbank is also the largest supporter of school breakfast programs in Australia, providing food for 1,750 schools nationally (both directly and via programs run by other organisations) to more than 100,000 students on a regular basis.

Where does Foodbank get its food?

Foodbank works from paddock to plate, rescuing and sourcing food and groceries from farmers, manufacturers and retailers. We then distribute these food and grocery items to front line charities around the country, who disseminate these items to people in need of food relief. You can think of Foodbank as a giant kitchen pantry, redirecting food and groceries away from landfill to the kitchens of people who need it most.

Farmers right across the country support Foodbank by donating grain, fruit and vegetables, meat, rice, eggs and milk. This fresh produce is used for distribution and/or as manufacturing ingredients for Foodbank’s Collaborative Supply Program, recognised as one of the most innovative foodbanking collaborations in the world. Through this program, we ensure consistent supplies of essential food items in our warehouses every day.  Farmers and suppliers donate or subsidise the ingredients, packaging and delivery of the products, and food manufacturers produce these key staple products using spare production capacity.

Will a national food waste strategy fix the problem?

Foodbank is one of a small number of organisations tasked by the Federal Environment Minister, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, to assist in the development of Australia’s first ever Food Waste Strategy. The Australian Government has committed to halving food waste by 2030 (consistent with Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals), and the strategy is expected to be released at the national food waste summit being held in Melbourne on 20 November 2017.  This will represent Australia’s commitment to addressing global food waste in a world where 1/3 of all food produced globally is lost or wasted each year, and only ¼ of what is wasted would be enough to end world hunger.

Australia has both a food loss (in the production, post-harvest, processing and distribution stages) and food waste (in retail and consumption) problem. In fact, the Australian Government has estimated that food loss and food waste combined costs the Australian economy $20 billion per annum, so there are massive benefits to addressing this issue.  However, Foodbank argues that the issue is not so much that there is not enough food, but that the food isn’t getting to the right places in the right time to avoid waste and help address food insecurity.

How can Australian Organic members and clients help Foodbank?

We are so incredibly grateful for the support many of you are already providing!  It is wonderful to see the Australian Certified Organic ‘bud’ featuring on so many of the products in our warehouses across the country. Farmers and growers are some of our most generous food donors, not only redirecting surplus or out-of-spec fresh produce, but also proactively making sizeable donations of grain, retail-grade fresh produce, milk, eggs, rice and meat to assist some of Australia’s most vulnerable. Likewise, food and grocery manufacturers and retailers do a wonderful job of supporting us, allowing us to ‘rescue’ food and groceries that – for a variety of reasons – don’t make it to the end consumer, and re-distribute it to those needing food relief. By donating food to Foodbank, you have the opportunity to reduce food waste, contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and help us tackle food insecurity right across the country.

Despite our best efforts, approximately 43 000 people are being turned away from our charity partners each and every month because demand is outstripping supply. The good news is that our enduring partnership with farmers and growers, peak bodies and food businesses across Australia has the potential to change this imbalance.

We would love to hear from those of you who might be able to assist us in securing more food and groceries. The more people we have involved, the greater impact we can have in helping families put a meal on the table and send their children to school with full tummies.

If you can help, please don’t hesitate to contact Foodbank Australia on (02) 9887 4144 or email admin@foodbank.org.au. For other ways to assist Foodbank, such as volunteering and running food drives, please visit the Foodbank website www.foodbank.org.au.

 

Don’t miss out! AOAM Wine Showcase this Thursday, 28 September in Melbourne!

In celebration of Australian Organic Awareness Month, we’re so excited to be presenting our Certified Organic Wine Showcase this Thursday in Melbourne, showcasing some of Australia’s most outstanding organic wines! Australian Organic Members and Trade are invited to join us to taste wines from around the country and meet many of the growers and makers of these exquisite beverages. Well-known to the wine world with a valued interest in organic and sustainable wines, wine writer Max Allen will be the MC of the Showcase. Peter Fraser from Yangarra Estate Vineyard, James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year 2016, will be presenting his Masterclass at 4.30pm. RSVP here ASAP to join us!

Check out the wines to be tasted below:

919 Wines Ella’s Chardonnay
919 Vermentino
919 Tempranillo
919 Shiraz
919 Durif
919 Pale Dry Apera
Angove Family Winemakers Angove Warboys Vineyard Shiraz
Wild Olive Shiraz and Chardonnay
Angove Organic Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc
Burnside Organic Farm 2015 Zinfandel
2016 Zinfandel
2016 Vermentino
Cape Jaffa Wines 2015 En Soleil Shiraz
2016 Eb Soleil Pinot Gris
La Lune field blend
Cullen Wines 2014 Cullen Vinayard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
2016 Mangan Vineyard Merlot Malbec Petit Verdot
2016 Cabernet Merlot
2014 ‘Amber’ (Skin fermented Sauvignon Blanc Semillon)
Frankland Estate Wines 2016 Isolation Ridge Riesling
2014 Isolation Ridge Shiraz
2014 ‘Olmo’s Reward’ Cabernet Franc/Merlot
Gemtree Wines 2017 Luna de Fresa Tempranillo Rose
2017 Luna Temprana Tempranillo
2016 Cinnabar GSM
2015 Ernest Allan Shiraz
Grosset Wines Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2017
Grosset Springvale Riesling 2017
Grosset Alea Riesling 2017
Grosset Apiana 2017
Hart of the Barossa 2012 Shiraz
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
2017 Riesling
2017 Moscato
J & J Wines Rivers Lane Shiraz
Eminence
Chardonnay
Kalleske Wines 2016 Clarry’s GSM
2016 Merchant Cab Sav
2017 Rosina Rose
2017 Florentine Chenin Blanc
2017 Zeitgeist Shiraz
Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard 2017 Semillon
2017 River Blend
2017 Francesca Rosé
2015 Basket Press Chardonnay
2015 Basket Press Shiraz
Mount Avoca 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
2016 Chardonnay
2016 Estate Shiraz
2016 Old Vine Shiraz
Mount Horrocks Wines 2017 Mount Horrocks Riesling
2017 Mount Horrocks  Rose
2016 Mount Horrocks Semillon
2015 Mount Horrocks Shiraz
2015 Mount Horrocks Nero D’Avola
Nature’s Step Wines Nature’s Step Organic Sauvignon Blanc
Nature’s Step Organic Pres. Free Shiraz
Organic One Wines Bonics Estate – Organic One Chardonnay
Bonics Estate – Organic One Shiraz
Bonics Estate – Blanc De Blanc
Pure Vision Wines Pure Vision Organic Shiraz
Pure Vision Organic Cabernet Sauvignon
Pure Vision Organic Pres. Free Sauvignon Blanc
Robinvale Wines 2008 Chardonnay Kerner
2004 Oak Chardonnay
2008 Shiraz
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon MLR No Added Preservative
2014 Cab Sauv, Cab Franc & Merlot No Added Preservative
2016 Shiraz No Added Preservative
2016 Chardonnay No Added Preservative
2003 Liqueur Cabernet Sauvignon
Moscato Non Alcoholic
Ruby Non Alcoholic
Salena Estate Twisted Sticks Organic Cabernet Sauvignon
Twisted Sticks Organic Chardonnay
Twisted Sticks Organic Shiraz
Twisted Sticks Organic Cabernet Shiraz
Small Fry Wines 2017 Eden Valley Riesling
2016 Barossa Riesling
2016 Barossa Joven (blend of Temprenillo, Garnacha, Monastrell, Bastardo and Tinta Amerilla)
2015 Barossa Shiraz
Stefano Lubiana Wines 2016 Riesling
2016 ‘Primavera Vineyard’ Chardonnay
2016 Pinot Noir
Tamburlaine 2016 Single Vineyard Chardonnay
2016 Single Vineyard Malbec
2016 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
NV Preservative Free Au Naturel Sparkling
2017 Preservative Free Shiraz
2017 Preservative Free Sauvignon Blanc
Yangarra Estate Vineyard 2017 Yangarra Estate Vineyard PF (Preservative Free) Shiraz
2015 Yangarra Estate Vineyard Shiraz
2015 Yangarra Estate Vineyard Mourvedre
2015 Yangarra Estate Vineyard Old Vine Grenache

 

We achieved exciting things during Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017!

A massive thank you to our Sponsors, Ambassadors, and all of the amazing certified organic brands and influencers who supported Australian Organic Awareness Month in a huge way and made it a fantastic campaign for 2017! It was such an exciting month for us to see so many businesses and individuals support certified organics and help raise awareness. Here’s a look at our mid-campaign update for some of the things we, our sponsors, and our ambassadors got up to…
Between Australia and the US, our Ambassadors have been helping promote Australian Organic Awareness Month and showing us their favourite certified organic products.
Check out everything they get up to via their social networks!
Magdalena Roze on Facebook and Instagram
Teresa Cutter (The Healthy Chef) on Facebook and Instagram
Emmily Banks (Depths of Beauty) on Facebook and Instagram
Miss Ruby Red Shoes on Facebook and Instagram
Vani Hari (The Food Babe) on Facebook and Instagram

Certified Organic Oaten Hay for sale!

Quality organic oaten hay.

ACO and NOP certified.

Large square bales, $400/tonne plus gst.

Location Inglewood Qld.

 

Contact Rick McDougall

0429665762

For sale certified organic farm: Rylstone New South Wales Central Tablelands

Organically certified farm. 216 acres with 3000  hazelnut tree orchards (5 varieties) under irrigation. 8km from town/hospital/schools.

Cudgegong river and Windermere dam reserve frontage, 6 dams and solar bore with 100,000 litres water storage. 3 Hours from Sydney.

1x300sqm double brick modern home with quality 2xbedroom cottage.

Electricity, phone, NBN, ADSL to both houses. Steel sheds with power and cattle yards.

Steel Chook run. Well fenced. All farm equipment to be included can be negotiated. FANTASTIC views. Price $939,000 neg.

Please contact: Yuri van der Walt Phone: 0434430619

AOAM Wine Showcase invitation for members

Australian Organic is proud to invite our members to attend the closing event of Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017. As part of AOAM celebrations, we are holding our first ever Certified Organic Wine Showcase at Two Ton Max in Melbourne on 28th September, starting from 3.30pm!

This is strictly a trade and members only event (please contact the office if you are a client, but not sure of membership).

Please register for your free member ticket via this link!

Exceptional Opportunity – last two lots available!

Certified organic, 11 acres lots for sale, within an unique organic herb growing / farming community.

Greenhood Organic Farms   ACO No.11853.

Situated in Timboon, South Western Victoria known for its mild climate, fertile soils and high rainfall.

For more information please visit: www.greenhoodorganicfarms.com.au

Or call Michael on 0429 808 636.  Email info@greenhoodorganicfarms.com.au

  

Lot Six

4.38ha (11 acres). Secluded north facing home site. Spring-fed dam 2ML and wet lands

Large area of natural creek vegetation. Lower boundary fronts Tomas creek

Gently sloping lot.  Fertile lower terrace soils. Price – $229,000

 

 

Having problems with your certification?

Have you been experiencing any difficulties with your certification? Not too sure how to add a new property or additional certification stream? Why not give Kellie, our General Manager of Client Services, a call. Please email Kellie or phone (07) 3350 5716 to discuss any concerns.

Having problems with your certification?

Have you been experiencing any difficulties with your certification? Not too sure how to add a new property or additional certification stream? Why not give Kellie, our General Manager of Client Services, a call.  Please email Kellie or phone (07) 3350 5716 to discuss any concerns.

Celebrating Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017!

September 1st marks the first day and launch of Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017!

We are so excited to be hosting AOAM in its fourth year running, supporting and celebrating certified organic products across all industries around Australia.

The campaign is all about raising awareness, and educating consumers about certified organic products.

The Australian Certified Organic Bud logo is the most recognised organic logo in Australia, with 44% of shoppers actively looking for a certification logo when they shop!

Please meet our Sponsors for Australian Organic Awareness Month this year who continue to support and bring value to Australia’s certified organic industry:

Bubs Australia – Official Organic Baby Products Partner

Bean Ground & Drunk – Official Organic Coffee Partner

Absolute Organic – Official Organic Condiments Partner

Angove Family Winemakers – Official Organic Wine Partner

Thomas Chipman – Official Organic Snack Foods Partner

Barambah Organics – Official Organic Dairy Partner

Cleaver’s Organic Meat Company – Official Organic Meat Partner

Meet our Ambassadors for Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017

Magdalena Roze, is an award-winning Australian meteorologist, weather presenter and journalist. www.magdalenaroze.com.au  (Image used supplied courtesy of Plum. Photographer: Rob Palmer)

Vani Hari, a.ka. The Food Babe, is an American author, activist, and affiliate marketer who criticizes the food industry. www.foodbabe.com

“In Australia, you have the largest holding of organically certified land. This is incredible and you should all be so proud! There are so many reasons to shop organically – and not just in the food aisle. You owe it to yourself to take a hard look at what you choose to eat every day and how it can affect your health.”

Teresa Cutter, a.k.a. The Healthy Chef, is a classically trained chef, nutritionist, author, accredited fitness trainer and media personality. www.thehealthychef.com

“As a nation, we need to make a deeper commitment to healthy living – whether that is our own bodies or the external environment – because products containing chemicals have the ability to deplete ourselves of health and vitality. This month is also about highlighting the accessibility and affordability of certified organic products as well as the importance of certification and looking for a trusted mark – like the Bud logo – when purchasing organic products.”

Emmily Banks, owner of Depths of Beauty, a Natural and Organic Makeup Artist with 10+ years experience in the industry. www.depthsofbeauty.com.au

“It’s no secret that women are represented and celebrated in many shapes and forms across cultures and media outlets worldwide. With so many elements at play that contribute towards feeling beautiful, I believe it’s important that we focus on the most nourishing, grounding and holistic elements.”

Ruby Red Shoes ‘A Very Aware Hare’, is a fictional white hare created by Australian author Kate Knapp. Ruby Red Shoes is a great addition to our Australian Organic Awareness Month ambassadors as she connects with kids about a healthy lifestyle, and is a great opportunity for our Australian Organic Schools program.

Please join us in supporting and celebrating Australia’s certified organic industry by looking for the Bud logo this September and converting one product you use to certified organic.

We’ll be running weekly competitions every week in September with an AOAM Gift Pack as the prize, which features all of our sponsors’ products! Check out Australian Organic’s Facebook and Instagram to find out more and enter!

Click here to read the Media Release for Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017.

If you have any questions please contact Brittany Stewart via email or phone 07 3350 5716

ACO Exports Update

In July this year, our Exports Officer, Jenny Allen retired from ACO after over 6 years service. Jenny was initially hired as Receptionist, before making her way into exports and all things OPCs. We wish Jenny all the best for her future.

During our transitional period with new staff in this area, please direct any export enquiries to our exports email address: exports@aco.net.au

Please contact Christine Cole on (07) 3350 5706 for further enquiries.

September News – ACO

Testing 

Spotlight on testing!

As part of ACO’s Market Testing Program, ACO purchases common certified organic produce and products from popular consumer outlets and sends these products for testing. Under this program, in June 2017, ACO tested 96 different certified organic products for pesticides, herbicides, fungicides as well as carried out commodity specific testing. The results from these tests were astoundingly positive with no detection of any prohibited substances in any of the products tested.

ACO has also tested imported and Australian honey for pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics and the results obtained showed there were no pesticide, herbicide or antibiotics present in honey.

ACO is required by the Department of Agriculture to carry out testing on 10% of operators we certify, but ACO is vigilant and constantly exceeds these requirements and focuses on high risk products, especially imported products, to ensure products wearing the ACO logo are truly certified organic.

Di -ammonium Phosphate in Wine 

Just a reminder that the use of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP)  in wines certified to the National Standard is not permitted. This means those wines containing DAP are not eligible for export unless they are ACO-EU certified and bound for Europe.

Methionine in Livestock Feed 

Methionine in feed for livestock such as chickens and pigs is permitted under the National Standard and the ACO Standard but still requires a derogation from the ACO office. This change has been in effect for just over two years, but it is important to note that methionine is the only synthetic amino acid permitted in livestock feed as it is essential for the growth and well being of the animal.

Exporting to the EU

Equivalencies 

Did you know there are two equivalency’s in use to get product to the EU?

  • The National Standard has equivalency for plant and plant products grown in Australia.
  • The ACO Standard has equivalency for wine, livestock products and products that contain imported ingredients.

Both exports need to be lodged on a Certificate of Inspection via the exports portal on the ACO website!

Essential Oils & Cosmetics 

Did you know that the EU organic regulations only applies to products which are food? This means cosmetics being exported to the EU don’t require a Certificate of Inspection (OPC). COSMOS is the recognised cosmetic standard in the EU for Organic Cosmetics so if you are looking to export cosmetics to the EU, please get in touch with ACO about COSMOS certification.

On the other hand if you have essential oils that you are wanting to export to the EU, these need to be proven as food grade or otherwise intended to be used in food in order for the Certificate of Inspection to be issued. If you have any questions, please contact the ACO office.

TRACES 

From 19th October 2017, ACO will only be issuing electronic Certificates of Inspection for EU exports. The European Commission has rolled out the TRACES system whereby ACO is required to lodge approved export certificates online to allow real time tracking of imports into the EU.

Reminder “ACO” Logo for Imported Products 

In line with the Australian Governments food labelling law changes, ACO implemented the “ACO” logo which is to be used on all products which are imported or contain imported ingredients. This change is mandatory on 1 July 2018. ACO is not charging for label approvals where the logo is being updated. If you need to obtain a copy of your logos please contact the ACO team! This is a very important change to assist consumers to identify which products are Australian and which contain imported ingredients.

The use of the “ACO” imported logo applies to all organic products ACO certifies. ACO was requested by the ACCC to ensure that consumers were not being confused by the use of the “Australian” certified organic logo. In response to this request ACO now requires any product (food or cosmetic) to bear the correct logo in line with the origin of the ingredients.

Australian made logo
Imported product logo

The latest in organic vs. conventional debate: Organic onions boast more antioxidants

A six-year study found more antioxidant activity and higher flavonol content in organic onions over conventional.

The question of whether organic food is any more nutritious than conventional has been a long-running and heated debate. One of the latest developments in this ongoing debate, however, suggests it is. Researchers in Ireland have found in an experiment that onions grown organically, using certified organic pest control methods, contained higher antioxidant levels than their non-organic counterparts.

To read the full article by New Hope Network click here.

Australian Organic Awareness Month Certified Organic Wine Showcase

Australian Organic is proud to present our first ever Certified Organic Wine Showcase as part of Australian Organic Awareness Month celebrations.

26 Winemakers are taking part in what will be a media and buyers extravaganza! We are currently arranging master classes and confirming our MC for the event.

If you would like to get involved, please email janine.heinemann@austorganic.com for further information.

Please save the date – Melbourne, 28 September 2017!

 

New Allowed Input product launched

Les Szonyi, FertAg managing director

Les Szonyi, FertAg managing director, is proud of Fertoz Agriculture Pty Ltd’s newly acquired allowed input status and looks forward to giving organic farmers an efficient source of organic phosphorus (P) as well as improving soil health and crop quality.

“FertAg 0-8-0 offers organic farmers a source of 95 per cent available P (8%) which is faster acting in acid soils than the usual sources of organic P – reactive rock phosphate and guano,” Mr Szonyi said.

FertAg 0-8-0 provides soil amendment and fertilizer together in ONE application to acid soils. It assists in increasing pH to a sustainable level whilst providing useful amounts of macro elements Ca, Mg, Si and P as well as a range of micro nutrients. It is not water soluble and therefore does not leach or wash away.

FertAg 0-8-0 works with the natural soil chemistry to digest soil acid as well as providing minerals in a plant available form. It is high in plant available calcium (23%), magnesium (10%) silicon (11%) and phosphorus (8%) and also acts as an alternative to lime.

Regular application of the organic fertilizer and monitoring through soil tests will show both improvement in soil health and greater availability of nutrients in a sustainable productive way, where also other macros such as N and K can be soil held and be more plant available.

“The science is about FertAg 0-8-0 digesting soil acid to get the soil ph (CaCl) to 6-6.5 where most macro and micro nutrients are plant available and improving CEC to buffer and stabilize soil pH,” Mr Szonyi said.

FertAg 0-8-0’s unique plant available calcium silicates have proven in conventional agriculture to strengthen and ‘sweeten’ plants whether pasture or horticultural produce. This will result in similar increases in the quality and the product shelf life of organic produce.

For more information contact Les Szonyi  (0418 158 185), or go to www.fertag.com

 

Calling all soil restoration farmers!

The opportunity to see Dr Christine Jones is here!

Learn ways to optimise soil, plant, animal and human health through natural nutrient cycling and enhancing soil resilience.

A global soil heath revolution is taking place. Profitable farms are regenerating damaged soils and returning function by understanding how plants and soil interact.

Please find below the Media Release, SRF partners information and the flyer/rego.

 

VENUE DETAILS

1/ Lismore Event, Wednesday 2nd August

Southern Cross University can be accessed via Military Rd. You park on the left and head up to building U block which is the School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Room U231.

Check out this link for a map: http://scu.edu.au/about/index.php/23

2/ Chinderah Event, Friday 4th August

There is no roadside number for the Tweed Sustainable Living Centre but I understand you will find it easily on Altona Rd, Chinderah. Check out this link for a map:

http://www.pottsvillebeachnc.org.au/julie/sustainablelivingcentremapanddirections.pdf

Heads up, we will be able to extend the Lismore event till 3.30pm followed by networking! The Chinderah event will need to finish strictly by 3pm.

For further information, please contact:

Rachelle Armstrong

Business Manager

Soil Restoration Farming

0407 879 053

Calling all soil restoration farmers!

The opportunity to see Dr Christine Jones is here!

Learn ways to optimise soil, plant, animal and human health through natural nutrient cycling and enhancing soil resilience.

A global soil heath revolution is taking place. Profitable farms are regenerating damaged soils and returning function by understanding how plants and soil interact.

Please find below the Media Release, SRF partners information and the flyer/rego.

VENUE DETAILS

1/ Lismore Event, Wednesday 2nd August

Southern Cross University can be accessed via Military Rd. You park on the left and head up to building U block which is the School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Room U231.

Check out this link for a map: http://scu.edu.au/about/index.php/23

2/ Chinderah Event, Friday 4th August

There is no roadside number for the Tweed Sustainable Living Centre but I understand you will find it easily on Altona Rd, Chinderah. Check out this link for a map:

http://www.pottsvillebeachnc.org.au/julie/sustainablelivingcentremapanddirections.pdf

Heads up, we will be able to extend the Lismore event till 3.30pm followed by networking! The Chinderah event will need to finish strictly by 3pm.

For further information, please contact:

Rachelle Armstrong

Business Manager

Soil Restoration Farming

0407 879 053

Interested in registering for the next Young Gun of Wine?

There’s only two weeks until the deadline to register for the next Young Gun of Wine.

http://younggunofwine.com/want-registrations-open-2018-young-gun-wine/

It would be great to see some ACO certified clients enter. Please find a copy of the press release here. Please feel free to share this through your channels, and give any candidates a friendly nudge!

For immediate release:

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Young Gun of Wine, designed to find, showcase and celebrate Australia’s young and emerging winemakers

Registrations are now open for the 12th annual Young Gun of Wine, designed to find, celebrate and showcase Australia’s young and emerging winemakers.

Focused on giving a platform to winemakers on the rise, Young Gun of Wine is open to Australian winemakers up to 45yo making all sorts of wine – traditional wine, experimental wine, biodynamic, natural, orange/amber, single vineyard, blended, sparkling, fortified, whatever it is, in the words of Mike Bennie before the 2017 judging, we’re looking for, “Diversity. Creativity. Deliciousness. Transparency of winemaking. Wines that thrill for personality and reflection of winemaker and place.”

Young Gun of Wine encourages winemakers who have entered before to enter again… particularly after what happened this year. The 2017 Young Gun of Wine, Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill, made it through to the final awards presentation three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, before walking away with the title on his fourth shot.

All winemakers registered for 2018 can be part of the Young Gun of Wine national event tour later this year, extending from September to December (2017).

2017 Young Gun of Wine winner Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill says, “They’re good, fun events. It’s great to catch up with other winemakers and share ideas and it’s good camaraderie between everyone.

“When we first made it to the top 12 in Young Gun of Wine [in 2014] I was only starting with my project and it got us on the scene. Each year that I’ve participated has built our exposure through the trade. When we started we didn’t even have a distributor. Young Gun of Wine enabled us to pick up national distribution and kick off the brand.”

Michael will join the Young Gun of Wine judging panel in 2018 – he knows what the winemakers are going through.

Registrations for the 2018 Young Gun of Wine are open until August 11.

Winemakers are encouraged to register today via Trybooking [trybooking.com/QVCO] and for all specific details about the upcoming showcase, see the Registrations page at younggunofwine.com.

For enquiries, please contact

Rory Kent, rory@younggunofwine.com

 

WHAT THE WINEMAKERS SAY

Josephine Perry, Dormilona, 2016 Young Gun of Wine

Did winning Young Gun of Wine change anything for you?

“People started actually listening to my wines and it opened a wonderful door of support from the local Margaret River producers.”

Alastair Reed, Konpira Maru

“We were having a lot of problems getting traction in Sydney because we had no idea where to start. We met a distributor, Jed Merchants, at the Sydney leg of the 2016 [Young Gun of Wine] events and they’re now representing us there. This relationship has been extremely beneficial for us. They’ve distributed a significant amount of our wines and it’s given us a lot of confidence to expand our label.”

Yoko Luscher-Mostert, Brave New Wine, 2017 DANGER ZONE winner for most adventurous wine 

“It’s thrilling to be recognised for this wine [2016 “Wonderland” Botanical Riesling] which was an experiment for us. No other wine show in Australia would enable us to successfully exhibit our style of wines, which are a bit risky in winemaking approach and unconventional in style.”

Interested in registering for the next Young Gun of Wine?

There’s only two weeks until the deadline to register for the next Young Gun of Wine.

http://younggunofwine.com/want-registrations-open-2018-young-gun-wine/

It would be great to see some ACO certified clients enter. Please find a copy of the press release here. Please feel free to share this through your channels, and give any candidates a friendly nudge!

For immediate release:

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Young Gun of Wine, designed to find, showcase and celebrate Australia’s young and emerging winemakers

Registrations are now open for the 12th annual Young Gun of Wine, designed to find, celebrate and showcase Australia’s young and emerging winemakers.

Focused on giving a platform to winemakers on the rise, Young Gun of Wine is open to Australian winemakers up to 45yo making all sorts of wine – traditional wine, experimental wine, biodynamic, natural, orange/amber, single vineyard, blended, sparkling, fortified, whatever it is, in the words of Mike Bennie before the 2017 judging, we’re looking for, “Diversity. Creativity. Deliciousness. Transparency of winemaking. Wines that thrill for personality and reflection of winemaker and place.”

Young Gun of Wine encourages winemakers who have entered before to enter again… particularly after what happened this year. The 2017 Young Gun of Wine, Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill, made it through to the final awards presentation three times, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, before walking away with the title on his fourth shot.

All winemakers registered for 2018 can be part of the Young Gun of Wine national event tour later this year, extending from September to December (2017).

2017 Young Gun of Wine winner Michael Downer of Murdoch Hill says, “They’re good, fun events. It’s great to catch up with other winemakers and share ideas and it’s good camaraderie between everyone.

“When we first made it to the top 12 in Young Gun of Wine [in 2014] I was only starting with my project and it got us on the scene. Each year that I’ve participated has built our exposure through the trade. When we started we didn’t even have a distributor. Young Gun of Wine enabled us to pick up national distribution and kick off the brand.”

Michael will join the Young Gun of Wine judging panel in 2018 – he knows what the winemakers are going through.

Registrations for the 2018 Young Gun of Wine are open until August 11.

Winemakers are encouraged to register today via Trybooking [trybooking.com/QVCO] and for all specific details about the upcoming showcase, see the Registrations page at younggunofwine.com.

For enquiries, please contact

Rory Kent, rory@younggunofwine.com

 

WHAT THE WINEMAKERS SAY

Josephine Perry, Dormilona, 2016 Young Gun of Wine

  1. Did winning Young Gun of Wine change anything for you?
  2. “People started actually listening to my wines and it opened a wonderful door of support from the local Margaret River producers.”

Alastair Reed, Konpira Maru

“We were having a lot of problems getting traction in Sydney because we had no idea where to start. We met a distributor, Jed Merchants, at the Sydney leg of the 2016 [Young Gun of Wine] events and they’re now representing us there. This relationship has been extremely beneficial for us. They’ve distributed a significant amount of our wines and it’s given us a lot of confidence to expand our label.”

Yoko Luscher-Mostert, Brave New Wine, 2017 DANGER ZONE winner for most adventurous wine 

“It’s thrilling to be recognised for this wine [2016 “Wonderland” Botanical Riesling] which was an experiment for us. No other wine show in Australia would enable us to successfully exhibit our style of wines, which are a bit risky in winemaking approach and unconventional in style.”

Sustainable Foods Summit – Singapore

New Horizons for Eco-Labels and Sustainability

For the first time in Asia, an executive summit will focus on eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry. Hosted in Singapore on 28-30th November, the premier Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will feature organic market potential, food fraud & authenticity, food ingredients and marketing best-practices.

What developments are occurring in the Asian organic food market? What are the lessons from industry pioneers? With supply falling short in other regions, what are the opportunities in the global arena? What are the environmental, social, and health risks of food fraud? Such questions will be addressed in a high-level forum.

AGENDA:

DAY ONE: Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Conference sessions on Sustainability Developments and Organic Market Potential

DAY TWO: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Conference sessions on Marketing Best-Practices and Ingredients for Sustainability

WORKSHOP: Thursday, 30th November 2017

Food Fraud and Authenticity

Organised by Ecovia Intelligence, the Sustainable Foods Summit is a climate-neutral event. The carbon footprint of the summit will be determined by calculating the carbon and greenhouses gases.

More info on:     http://sustainablefoodssummit.com/asia/

Email:                  info@sustainablefoodssummit.com

Tel:                      (44) 20 8567 0788

Sustainable Foods Summit – Singapore

New Horizons for Eco-Labels and Sustainability

For the first time in Asia, an executive summit will focus on eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry. Hosted in Singapore on 28-30th November, the premier Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will feature organic market potential, food fraud & authenticity, food ingredients and marketing best-practices.

What developments are occurring in the Asian organic food market? What are the lessons from industry pioneers? With supply falling short in other regions, what are the opportunities in the global arena? What are the environmental, social, and health risks of food fraud? Such questions will be addressed in a high-level forum.

AGENDA:

DAY ONE: Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Conference sessions on Sustainability Developments and Organic Market Potential

DAY TWO: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Conference sessions on Marketing Best-Practices and Ingredients for Sustainability

WORKSHOP: Thursday, 30th November 2017

Food Fraud and Authenticity

Organised by Ecovia Intelligence, the Sustainable Foods Summit is a climate-neutral event. The carbon footprint of the summit will be determined by calculating the carbon and greenhouses gases.

More info on:     http://sustainablefoodssummit.com/asia/

Email:                  info@sustainablefoodssummit.com

Tel:                      (44) 20 8567 0788

Get your nominations ready for 2017!

The Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence are now open for nominations. Registrations will close Friday, 5.00pm AEST 8 September, 2017.

You won’t want to miss out this year, with Australian Organic celebrating 30 years as a leader in the Organic Industry!

There are exciting new trophies never before seen in the industry, new judges and new awards all culminating with the Awards presentation on 17 November at the Adelaide National Wine Centre.

Please visit the Event tab of the Australian Organic website for full details.

If you require assistance, or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Janine Heinemann via email or phone (07) 3350 5706.

Good luck and hope to you see in Adelaide!

 

Get your nominations ready for 2017!

The Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence will once again open for nominations on Monday, 7 August 2017. Nominations will close Friday, 5.00pm AEST 8 September, 2017.

You won’t want to miss out this year, with Australian Organic celebrating 30 years as a leader in the Organic Industry!

There are new trophies, new judges and new awards all culminating with the Awards presentation on 17 November at the Adelaide National Wine Centre.

Please visit the Event tab of the Australian Organic website for full details.

If you require assistance, or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Janine Heinemann via email or phone (07) 3350 5706.

Good luck and hope to you see in Adelaide!

 

Successful Melbourne networking event

On Tuesday evening 25th July 2017, Australian Organic hosted a Networking Event at Monash University’s Food Innovation Centre in Clayton, Melbourne. We’d like to take this opportunity to officially thank every one of our members, clients, and Industry personnel for joining us for a fantastic event, and our speakers for adding such knowledge and value to the event.

The evening commenced with staff from the Food Innovation Centre taking groups of guests on a tour which involved wearing 3D glasses and experiencing a virtual supermarket (as well as the planet Mars) across 80 plasma screens joined together to form a semi circle. The Food Innovation Centre showed guests comparisons of labels on a supermarket shelf, product positioning and where consumer eyes are drawn to when walking down an aisle via a virtual heat map.

Angeline Archariya, CEO of the Food Innovation Centre, presented to guests on the background and capabilities of the Food Innovation Centre, including the ability to print 3D product prototypes, map products in supermarkets, and also accessing export into China via relationships formed with the Centre.

If you were unable to attend on the night, please visit this link to find out if the Food Innovation Centre can assist you and your business.

We’re very proud to be working alongside AusIndustry, represented by James Scotland (Business Advisor) on the evening, who presented their Entrepreneurs’ Programme. This Programme is built to assist Australian SMEs by providing access to funds and other programs available through the Australian Government. To find out more information on AusIndustry’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme visit their website here.

Dr Andrew Monk, Chair of Australian Organic, spoke to Members and Clients about our upcoming events and opportunities, including Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017 (September) and the Australian Organic Awards for Excellence (November). If you wish to seek further information about these events, please contact the Australian Organic office on (07) 3350 5716 or contact@staging.austorganic.com.

Lastly, we would like to thank and show our appreciation to our clients who supplied food and beverages on the evening. We had amazing feedback regarding the catering on the evening and this is thanks to our certified organic clients and their quality products. Special thanks to Hagens Organic Butcher, Angove Family Winemakers, Kalleske Wines, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co., Struman’s Organic Beer Co., and Pana Chocolate.

Successful Melbourne networking event

On Tuesday evening 25th July 2017, Australian Organic hosted a Networking Event at Monash University’s Food Innovation Centre in Clayton, Melbourne. We’d like to take this opportunity to officially thank every one of our members, clients, and Industry personnel for joining us for a fantastic event, and our speakers for adding such knowledge and value to the event.

The evening commenced with staff from the Food Innovation Centre taking groups of guests on a tour which involved wearing 3D glasses and experiencing a virtual supermarket (as well as the planet Mars) across 80 plasma screens joined together to form a semi circle. The Food Innovation Centre showed guests comparisons of labels on a supermarket shelf, product positioning and where consumer eyes are drawn to when walking down an aisle via a virtual heat map.

Angeline Archariya, CEO of the Food Innovation Centre, presented to guests on the background and capabilities of the Food Innovation Centre, including the ability to print 3D product prototypes, map products in supermarkets, and also accessing export into China via relationships formed with the Centre.

If you were unable to attend on the night, please visit this link to find out if the Food Innovation Centre can assist you and your business.

We’re very proud to be working alongside AusIndustry, represented by James Scotland (Business Advisor) on the evening, who presented their Entrepreneurs’ Programme. This Programme is built to assist Australian SMEs by providing access to funds and other programs available through the Australian Government. To find out more information on AusIndustry’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme visit their website here.

Dr Andrew Monk, Chair of Australian Organic, spoke to Members and Clients about our upcoming events and opportunities, including Australian Organic Awareness Month 2017 (September) and the Australian Organic Awards for Excellence (November). If you wish to seek further information about these events, please contact the Australian Organic office on (07) 3350 5716 or contact@austorganic.com.

Lastly, we would like to thank and show our appreciation to our clients who supplied food and beverages on the evening. We had amazing feedback regarding the catering on the evening and this is thanks to our certified organic clients and their quality products. Special thanks to Hagens Organic Butcher, Angove Family Winemakers, Kalleske Wines, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co., Struman’s Organic Beer Co., and Pana Chocolate.

Can Monash University's Food Innovation Centre assist your business?

In the world of fast moving consumer goods, only 1 out of 10 products survive the first year of launch which means 9 out of 10 fail! However, the good news is the team at the Food Innovation Centre at Monash University can help you to fast-track and reduce the risk of your innovations for both the domestic and export markets (China in particular).

They have collectively launched 1000s of products in global markets – so who better to help you innovate. Not only do they bring best practice in innovation tools and methodologies, they also use best in class approaches to design and visualisation such as bringing your ideas and concepts to life with 3D design and prototyping.

Monash University’s Food Innovation Centre is focused on the survival and renewal of the Australian food sector by collaborating with you to build a brighter future in Food Manufacturing.

The Food Innovation Centre is an industry shared world class facility operated by industry & innovation practitioners. Their team will work with you to:

  • DISCOVER your opportunities;

  • CREATE the design criteria – aided by consumers & shoppers – to answer your innovation needs;

  • CONFIRM with a range of rapid testing and prototyping, the key deliverables of your offer; and

  • DEVELOP and LAUNCH your innovation with partners.

Visualise your next new product development and in-store activation through their virtual environments such as virtual store and vibe virtual reality. They can also help you understand your shopper and their desire to buy that product…you can do all the slick R&D and Marketing but if the shopper does not reach for your product then we are not on a winner. Why not check them out as they exist to help grow your business through innovation!

Please watch the Channel 9 video here for further information and check out their web site foodinnovationcentre.com.au for other Food Innovation Centre Services and upcoming events!

Please contact Angeline Achariya on 0477 371949 angeline.achariya@monash.edu for further details on how to export to China using the unique Food Innovation Centre & COFCO pathway and quote CB210717 to access your 15% discount within the next 30 days!

Can Monash University’s Food Innovation Centre assist your business?

In the world of fast moving consumer goods, only 1 out of 10 products survive the first year of launch which means 9 out of 10 fail! However, the good news is the team at the Food Innovation Centre at Monash University can help you to fast-track and reduce the risk of your innovations for both the domestic and export markets (China in particular).

They have collectively launched 1000s of products in global markets – so who better to help you innovate. Not only do they bring best practice in innovation tools and methodologies, they also use best in class approaches to design and visualisation such as bringing your ideas and concepts to life with 3D design and prototyping.

Monash University’s Food Innovation Centre is focused on the survival and renewal of the Australian food sector by collaborating with you to build a brighter future in Food Manufacturing.

The Food Innovation Centre is an industry shared world class facility operated by industry & innovation practitioners. Their team will work with you to:

  • DISCOVER your opportunities;

  • CREATE the design criteria – aided by consumers & shoppers – to answer your innovation needs;

  • CONFIRM with a range of rapid testing and prototyping, the key deliverables of your offer; and

  • DEVELOP and LAUNCH your innovation with partners.

Visualise your next new product development and in-store activation through their virtual environments such as virtual store and vibe virtual reality. They can also help you understand your shopper and their desire to buy that product…you can do all the slick R&D and Marketing but if the shopper does not reach for your product then we are not on a winner. Why not check them out as they exist to help grow your business through innovation!

Please watch the Channel 9 video here for further information and check out their web site foodinnovationcentre.com.au for other Food Innovation Centre Services and upcoming events!

Please contact Angeline Achariya on 0477 371949 angeline.achariya@monash.edu for further details on how to export to China using the unique Food Innovation Centre & COFCO pathway and quote CB210717 to access your 15% discount within the next 30 days!

Legislative changes ahead! Industry members take note.

Your chance for strategic input as an industry member: tell us how best we can represent you.

If you own an organic business, you will be interested in a consultation now taking place – aiming to deliver a harmonised voice to government on policies and programs that affect the organic industry.

There are looming legislative changes that could have a significant impact on your business.

The organic industry stands at a crossroads. The paths lead to either significant benefit to organic businesses in future, or to even lesser protection for both businesses and consumers than exists now.

Below we outline the current state of play, as well as the actions Australian Organic are committed to – in partnership with you, our members.

Changes to organic legislation: protecting the term ‘organic’

The Export Orders and related regulations that have held the organic industry together since 1992 via the National Standard, with organic as a prescribed good for export, are due to expire in 2020. If we ignore this space, the government in a de-regulatory mindset, would completely do away with all legislation and defer simply to the ACCC and the Australian Consumer Law, along with the market requirements of importing countries resulting in a less legislated and more open market than ever before.

On the upside, there is also the chance, if we speak with one strong voice, to get great outcomes for the industry, including a better legislative structure, R&D investment, and in greater resourcing for the ACCC to assist in policing the organic marketplace.

Australian Organic: our position on these issues

We have, and remain strongly in favour of:

*   one national industry standard (owned and managed by industry);

*   a legislative program for the term ‘organic’ for both domestic and exported goods;

*   better resourcing of the Department to work with industry to achieve greater market access;

*   better resourcing of the ACCC to take action against non-certified organic claims (market integrity).

The work we have done building recognition of the ‘Bud’ and the consistent communications around seeking certified products, has driven the growth of the industry and provided a trusted source for consumers. We must fight to protect what we have collectively built.

Get involved and lend your voice: events planned in the months ahead

A short term Australian Organic Industry Working Group has been established. The group consists of a sample of organic business people across sectors and aims to have industry-wide input, through effective consultation and open communications.

Australian Organic Limited have assisted in funding this consultation process to address these issues to hopefully once and for all resolve them. If our industry can harmonise with one voice to government, there is a great opportunity for us as an industry to benefit.

It is critical during the consultation phase, being managed by a group called Policy Partners, that you feed your own views in on these issues. You can have your say at http://onevoice.organicindustries.com.au or feed them directly to us and we will pass them on for you.

Our networking events will continue as always – click here for our calendar and here for upcoming events. Please book early to avoid disappointment. We are planning some exciting new awareness-building activity for Australian Organic Awareness Month in September and hope you and your teams will get involved.

The level of growth in our industry is a clear sign that we must preserve what we have created – there is much to celebrate and much to look forward to in the months and years ahead. We cannot sit back and silently assume others, including the government, have our best interests, so now is the time to have an opinion and be heard.

What to do now? We have a two pager on some of the issues as we see them and are interested in your views. Click here for this document. There will also soon be a Q&A document that you can fill in to feed your views on these issues to the consultants.

We hope in the weeks ahead there will also be announced some dates and places where you can do this in person – so please stay tuned for this.

We are forever grateful for your ongoing support and hope that you will join us in taking action.

PS – if you are not a member of Australian Organic Ltd but have a business interest in the organic industry, please contact us to find out how to join! This is in addition to and complimentary to your organic certification.

What price do you put on not being informed on issues that affect your organic business interests and investments?

For further information on membership, please contact our Member Support via email or phone (07) 3350 5706.

 

Legislative changes ahead! Industry members take note.

Your chance for strategic input as an industry member: tell us how best we can represent you.

If you own an organic business, you will be interested in a consultation now taking place – aiming to deliver a harmonised voice to government on policies and programs that affect the organic industry.

There are looming legislative changes that could have a significant impact on your business.

The organic industry stands at a crossroads. The paths lead to either significant benefit to organic businesses in future, or to even lesser protection for both businesses and consumers than exists now.

Below we outline the current state of play, as well as the actions Australian Organic are committed to – in partnership with you, our members.

Changes to organic legislation: protecting the term ‘organic’

The Export Orders and related regulations that have held the organic industry together since 1992 via the National Standard, with organic as a prescribed good for export, are due to expire in 2020. If we ignore this space, the government in a de-regulatory mindset, would completely do away with all legislation and defer simply to the ACCC and the Australian Consumer Law, along with the market requirements of importing countries resulting in a less legislated and more open market than ever before.

On the upside, there is also the chance, if we speak with one strong voice, to get great outcomes for the industry, including a better legislative structure, R&D investment, and in greater resourcing for the ACCC to assist in policing the organic marketplace.

Australian Organic: our position on these issues

We have, and remain strongly in favour of:

*   one national industry standard (owned and managed by industry);

*   a legislative program for the term ‘organic’ for both domestic and exported goods;

*   better resourcing of the Department to work with industry to achieve greater market access;

*   better resourcing of the ACCC to take action against non-certified organic claims (market integrity).

The work we have done building recognition of the ‘Bud’ and the consistent communications around seeking certified products, has driven the growth of the industry and provided a trusted source for consumers. We must fight to protect what we have collectively built.

Get involved and lend your voice: events planned in the months ahead

A short term Australian Organic Industry Working Group has been established. The group consists of a sample of organic business people across sectors and aims to have industry-wide input, through effective consultation and open communications.

Australian Organic Limited have assisted in funding this consultation process to address these issues to hopefully once and for all resolve them. If our industry can harmonise with one voice to government, there is a great opportunity for us as an industry to benefit.

It is critical during the consultation phase, being managed by a group called Policy Partners, that you feed your own views in on these issues. You can have your say at http://onevoice.organicindustries.com.au or feed them directly to us and we will pass them on for you.

Our networking events will continue as always – click here for our calendar and here for upcoming events. Please book early to avoid disappointment. We are planning some exciting new awareness-building activity for Australian Organic Awareness Month in September and hope you and your teams will get involved.

The level of growth in our industry is a clear sign that we must preserve what we have created – there is much to celebrate and much to look forward to in the months and years ahead. We cannot sit back and silently assume others, including the government, have our best interests, so now is the time to have an opinion and be heard.

What to do now? We have a two pager on some of the issues as we see them and are interested in your views. Click here for this document. There will also soon be a Q&A document that you can fill in to feed your views on these issues to the consultants.

We hope in the weeks ahead there will also be announced some dates and places where you can do this in person – so please stay tuned for this.

We are forever grateful for your ongoing support and hope that you will join us in taking action.

PS – if you are not a member of Australian Organic Ltd but have a business interest in the organic industry, please contact us to find out how to join! This is in addition to and complimentary to your organic certification.

What price do you put on not being informed on issues that affect your organic business interests and investments?

For further information on membership, please contact our Member Support via email or phone (07) 3350 5706.

 

August News – ACO

Updates

  • ACO – COFCC Partnership 
    Are you looking to export to China? China’s Organic Regulations are tricky to navigate and require certification to the Chinese Organic Regulations. ACO is pleased to announce that we have partnered with a certification body in China called COFCC. ACO now has access to the only Chinese Inspector in the Asia Pacific who can conduct Chinese Organic Inspections. This means ACO can offer certification to all Standards with one audit a year. Interested? Please let us know.

Hot Topics

  • Meet ACO’s new CEO!
  • Certification or advice?  We understand that sometimes understanding all the organic standards can be tricky, but did you know that as your certification body, ACO’s certification team and auditors cannot provide you with advice on how to comply? ACO is heavily regulated by many Government and Accreditation Agencies that prohibit this. ACO can explain the Standards to you and help you understand the requirements but cannot advise you how to comply. ACO’s parent company, Australian Organic, does however provide a list of consultants that may be able to help, see the list here:  http://staging.austorganic.com/consultants/
  • Inputs – Not sure what inputs you can use? Did you know there is a Farm Input register on the ACO website? Check it out here: http://aco.net.au/farm-inputs/?param_group=fi&is_get=yes
  • Record Keeping – Are you struggling with what records you need to keep for certification? Did you know ACO has developed templates which you can download for free and adapt to your business! You can use our form search here: http://aco.net.au/form-search/
  • Korea to introduce organic bee product regulation – The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has announced that from the 1st of January 2019, all bee products sold in Korea will need to be certified and labelled in accordance with the new organic bee product regulation. Currently there is no organic regulation in Korea for bee products, so there should be no changes until the new regulation is released. ACO will announce any changes once they are known.

Are you compliant?

  • Most Common CARs
    Two of the most common non-compliances ACO issue relate to clients not having a complaint register and not including ACO as a contact in your product recall procedure. These are requirements of the ACO Standard and Certification Agreement. Not sure what you need? Just ask! Email your query to servicedesk@aco.net.au
  • Traceability
    During your audit, the auditor will be checking your records and systems to ensure that you can trace your products from start to finish. Here at ACO we term that traceability and it’s one of the most important aspects of certification.
    For our farmers this means you have records that link together to show your land preparation, buying seeds/seedlings, planting, input application, harvest records, packing records and sales records.
    For our processors/manufacturers this means you have records that link together showing product purchase, incoming goods receival, storage, processing, packing and sale.
    For our handlers/traders/brand owners, this means you have records that link together which show product purchase, incoming, storage, outgoing and sale.
    Still not sure? Just ask: servicedesk@aco.net.au

August News – ACO

Updates

  • ACO – COFCC Partnership 
    Are you looking to export to China? China’s Organic Regulations are tricky to navigate and require certification to the Chinese Organic Regulations. ACO is pleased to announce that we have partnered with a certification body in China called COFCC. ACO now has access to the only Chinese Inspector in the Asia Pacific who can conduct Chinese Organic Inspections. This means ACO can offer certification to all Standards with one audit a year. Interested? Please let us know.

Hot Topics

  • Meet ACO’s new CEO!
  • Certification or advice?  We understand that sometimes understanding all the organic standards can be tricky, but did you know that as your certification body, ACO’s certification team and auditors cannot provide you with advice on how to comply? ACO is heavily regulated by many Government and Accreditation Agencies that prohibit this. ACO can explain the Standards to you and help you understand the requirements but cannot advise you how to comply. ACO’s parent company, Australian Organic, does however provide a list of consultants that may be able to help, see the list here:  http://austorganic.com/consultants/
  • Inputs – Not sure what inputs you can use? Did you know there is a Farm Input register on the ACO website? Check it out here: http://aco.net.au/farm-inputs/?param_group=fi&is_get=yes
  • Record Keeping – Are you struggling with what records you need to keep for certification? Did you know ACO has developed templates which you can download for free and adapt to your business! You can use our form search here: http://aco.net.au/form-search/
  • Korea to introduce organic bee product regulation – The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has announced that from the 1st of January 2019, all bee products sold in Korea will need to be certified and labelled in accordance with the new organic bee product regulation. Currently there is no organic regulation in Korea for bee products, so there should be no changes until the new regulation is released. ACO will announce any changes once they are known.

Are you compliant?

  • Most Common CARs
    Two of the most common non-compliances ACO issue relate to clients not having a complaint register and not including ACO as a contact in your product recall procedure. These are requirements of the ACO Standard and Certification Agreement. Not sure what you need? Just ask! Email your query to servicedesk@aco.net.au
  • Traceability
    During your audit, the auditor will be checking your records and systems to ensure that you can trace your products from start to finish. Here at ACO we term that traceability and it’s one of the most important aspects of certification.
    For our farmers this means you have records that link together to show your land preparation, buying seeds/seedlings, planting, input application, harvest records, packing records and sales records.
    For our processors/manufacturers this means you have records that link together showing product purchase, incoming goods receival, storage, processing, packing and sale.
    For our handlers/traders/brand owners, this means you have records that link together which show product purchase, incoming, storage, outgoing and sale.
    Still not sure? Just ask: servicedesk@aco.net.au

Scholarship funding for women's leadership development

Women in the agriculture sector are advised that a pool of scholarship funding is currently available to participate in a range of leadership development programs.

WLA has a vested interest in improving the health and diversity of the agriculture sector, and our Charter recognises the important and positive role that women can contribute as a result of increased participation, particularly at senior/executive levels within organisations.

At this stage, Expressions of Interest are being sourced until September 15th , 2017 via this link: http://www.wla.edu.au/farmingagriculture.html.

Should this suit the Australian Organic newsletter cycle and be of interest to your readership, placing this opportunity in the next edition would be appreciated.

Alternatively, letting your members/networks know about it via a stand-alone email, on your website or via social media would also be suitable. Below is some wording that would be appropriate in support of the initiative.

If you have any questions or require further detail, please contact Paul Colling on (03) 9270 9051 or via pcolling@wla.edu.au.

 

Scholarship funding for women’s leadership development

Women in the agriculture sector are advised that a pool of scholarship funding is currently available to participate in a range of leadership development programs.

WLA has a vested interest in improving the health and diversity of the agriculture sector, and our Charter recognises the important and positive role that women can contribute as a result of increased participation, particularly at senior/executive levels within organisations.

At this stage, Expressions of Interest are being sourced until September 15th , 2017 via this link: http://www.wla.edu.au/farmingagriculture.html.

Should this suit the Australian Organic newsletter cycle and be of interest to your readership, placing this opportunity in the next edition would be appreciated.

Alternatively, letting your members/networks know about it via a stand-alone email, on your website or via social media would also be suitable. Below is some wording that would be appropriate in support of the initiative.

If you have any questions or require further detail, please contact Paul Colling on (03) 9270 9051 or via pcolling@wla.edu.au.

 

An exciting new partnership to get involved with!

Shping makes shopping simpler – and rewards you just for using it.

Scan any product barcode using the Shping app to learn what’s in it, where it’s from, and if it’s authentic. Discover other people’s product experiences and reviews, and earn Shping rewards as you go.

Australian Organic invites our Members and Clients to check out the re-branded Authenticateit – introducing Shping.

We’ve partnered with Shping to give consumers the opportunity to find out the organic authenticity of a product, as well as certification details, and education around certified organic products.
Many products can be misleading as they make ‘organic’ claims without having the certification to back these statements up. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our partnership with Shping – an app that consumers can use to access information about a product’s organic authenticity.

Shping users will be notified of your product’s organic status every time they scan. They’ll also discover why being organic is a crucial part of your company’s mission and how it positively impacts your product. Shping understands the investment businesses put in to becoming certified organic, so in return they want to prove to consumers why your certified organic products are important.
To read more about how Shping works, check out the SHPING website.

Upon scanning a product, this is what a consumer will see.

Please note, if you have not yet supplied your product barcodes to the Shping team, your product may not include your certification details upon scanning. If you wish to add your products to this system to ensure your ACO certification details appear, please contact:

Gennady Volcheck
CEO of Shping
gennady@shping.com
03 9924 4405.

If you have any questions for Australian Organic, please contact:

Brittany Stewart
Marketing Officer
brittany.stewart@staging.austorganic.com
07 3350 5716

An exciting new partnership to get involved with!

Shping makes shopping simpler – and rewards you just for using it.

Scan any product barcode using the Shping app to learn what’s in it, where it’s from, and if it’s authentic. Discover other people’s product experiences and reviews, and earn Shping rewards as you go.

Australian Organic invites our Members and Clients to check out the re-branded Authenticateit – introducing Shping.

We’ve partnered with Shping to give consumers the opportunity to find out the organic authenticity of a product, as well as certification details, and education around certified organic products.
Many products can be misleading as they make ‘organic’ claims without having the certification to back these statements up. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our partnership with Shping – an app that consumers can use to access information about a product’s organic authenticity.

Shping users will be notified of your product’s organic status every time they scan. They’ll also discover why being organic is a crucial part of your company’s mission and how it positively impacts your product. Shping understands the investment businesses put in to becoming certified organic, so in return they want to prove to consumers why your certified organic products are important.
To read more about how Shping works, check out the SHPING website.

Upon scanning a product, this is what a consumer will see.

Please note, if you have not yet supplied your product barcodes to the Shping team, your product may not include your certification details upon scanning. If you wish to add your products to this system to ensure your ACO certification details appear, please contact:

Gennady Volcheck
CEO of Shping
gennady@shping.com
03 9924 4405.

If you have any questions for Australian Organic, please contact:

Brittany Stewart
Marketing Officer
brittany.stewart@austorganic.com
07 3350 5716

Dreams of Kempsey organic produce distribution centre continues to grow

Story by Lachlan Leeming, The Land

Lachlan Leeming@LeemingLachie

2 Jul 2017

Sweet views: Marcus Skipper and Sally Ayre-Smith at their organic garlic farm in Dondingalong. Photo: Lachlan Leeming.

An ambitious plan is underway to transform a South Kempsey site into a distribution centre that will see organic food packaged in the Macleay before being sent around the country.

It’s a formidable goal, birthed more than a decade ago when film producer Sally Ayre-Smith and builder husband Marcus Skipper “ran away to the Macleay” to escape Sydney life.

With no background in agriculture, Sally completed a certificate three course on organic farming before the duo began growing organic garlic on their Dondingalong property.

They are now one of the biggest certified organic garlic farms on the Mid North Coast, producing seven tons of garlic a year.

“We decided to grow garlic because it was something we could both handle,” Sally explained.

“It was a way for us to make a living and be on the land.”

Tough views: The workers at this Dondingalong property process organic garlic on the stunning banks of the Macleay River. Photo: Lachlan Leeming.

Sally would go on to be a director of the Coffs Harbour-based Organic Marketing Company, which was “developed to help farmers who were skilled at farming, but not at marketing”.

From that organisation the idea was birthed for the distribution centre.

The South Kempsey site next to the Puma service station has already been purchased, with the centre expected to open by February 2018.

“We will be buying all the certified organic produce between the Queensland border and Sydney directly from the farmer, packaging it and sending it on to supermarket chains,” Sally explained, with a focus on smaller chains.

Sally said a distribution centre in the Macleay was a “no-brainer”.

Views: Travelling Chinese students, part of the WWOOF program (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), work in front of the picturesque Macleay River. They’ll work in the Macleay for several days before continuing their travels. Photo: Lachlan Leeming.

 “Kempsey needs something like this,” she said.

“The land is beautiful, there’s a supply of water, it’s smack bang between Brisbane and Sydney and it’s on the highway.”

Sally was glowing in her praise of Kempsey Shire Council’s Macleay Valley Food Bowl project, and the support offered by economic sustainability manager Susannah Smith.

“Our council is one of the most supportive, progressive and innovative councils when it comes to developing an area to grow food.”

The South Kempsey distribution centre is the first step in a grand vision for the Macleay.

She wants to see a school established educating young farmers on organic production.

“We want to get those farmers back on the land and show that young people can be on and land be part of growing food like this.”

She said the project points to an exciting future for the Macleay.

“It’s just brilliant.”

Dreams of Kempsey organic produce distribution centre continues to grow

Story by Lachlan Leeming, The Land

Lachlan Leeming@LeemingLachie

2 Jul 2017

Sweet views: Marcus Skipper and Sally Ayre-Smith at their organic garlic farm in Dondingalong. Photo: Lachlan Leeming.

An ambitious plan is underway to transform a South Kempsey site into a distribution centre that will see organic food packaged in the Macleay before being sent around the country.

It’s a formidable goal, birthed more than a decade ago when film producer Sally Ayre-Smith and builder husband Marcus Skipper “ran away to the Macleay” to escape Sydney life.

With no background in agriculture, Sally completed a certificate three course on organic farming before the duo began growing organic garlic on their Dondingalong property.

They are now one of the biggest certified organic garlic farms on the Mid North Coast, producing seven tons of garlic a year.

“We decided to grow garlic because it was something we could both handle,” Sally explained.

“It was a way for us to make a living and be on the land.”

Tough views: The workers at this Dondingalong property process organic garlic on the stunning banks of the Macleay River. Photo: Lachlan Leeming.

Sally would go on to be a director of the Coffs Harbour-based Organic Marketing Company, which was “developed to help farmers who were skilled at farming, but not at marketing”.

From that organisation the idea was birthed for the distribution centre.

The South Kempsey site next to the Puma service station has already been purchased, with the centre expected to open by February 2018.

“We will be buying all the certified organic produce between the Queensland border and Sydney directly from the farmer, packaging it and sending it on to supermarket chains,” Sally explained, with a focus on smaller chains.

Sally said a distribution centre in the Macleay was a “no-brainer”.

Views: Travelling Chinese students, part of the WWOOF program (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), work in front of the picturesque Macleay River. They’ll work in the Macleay for several days before continuing their travels. Photo: Lachlan Leeming.

 “Kempsey needs something like this,” she said.

“The land is beautiful, there’s a supply of water, it’s smack bang between Brisbane and Sydney and it’s on the highway.”

Sally was glowing in her praise of Kempsey Shire Council’s Macleay Valley Food Bowl project, and the support offered by economic sustainability manager Susannah Smith.

“Our council is one of the most supportive, progressive and innovative councils when it comes to developing an area to grow food.”

The South Kempsey distribution centre is the first step in a grand vision for the Macleay.

She wants to see a school established educating young farmers on organic production.

“We want to get those farmers back on the land and show that young people can be on and land be part of growing food like this.”

She said the project points to an exciting future for the Macleay.

“It’s just brilliant.”

Delivering your food to the world – access to finance

Efic is a specialist financier that delivers simple and creative solutions to Australian companies – both exporters and their suppliers – to enable them to win business, grow internationally and achieve export success.

We understand the challenges faced by the food industry – financing issues, fluctuating commodity prices, varied payment terms and seasonal changes, not to mention the significant lag between production and payment.

And with your bank often unable to provide all the financial support that you need, it can be difficult for you to compete and grow internationally.

That’s where Efic can help: www.efic.gov.au/education-and-tools/case-studies/wholesale-trade/australian-organic-meats/ 

For further information, please contact: 

Natalie Reid-Frost

State Director, SME – QLD & NT

T: +61 7 3171 3345 M: +61 468 926 500

E: nreidfrost@efic.gov.au

Delivering your food to the world – access to finance

Efic is a specialist financier that delivers simple and creative solutions to Australian companies – both exporters and their suppliers – to enable them to win business, grow internationally and achieve export success.

We understand the challenges faced by the food industry – financing issues, fluctuating commodity prices, varied payment terms and seasonal changes, not to mention the significant lag between production and payment.

And with your bank often unable to provide all the financial support that you need, it can be difficult for you to compete and grow internationally.

That’s where Efic can help: www.efic.gov.au/education-and-tools/case-studies/wholesale-trade/australian-organic-meats/ 

For further information, please contact: 

Natalie Reid-Frost

State Director, SME – QLD & NT

T: +61 7 3171 3345 M: +61 468 926 500

E: nreidfrost@efic.gov.au

Free Half Day Workshop – Build your brand and protect your IP

Developing and building a brand is both difficult and costly. It’s particularly painful to expend time and effort to win customers and create a following for your product for it to be simply copied or reproduced by a competitor who then reaps the rewards of your hard work.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is inviting you to this exciting half day workshop aimed at helping Australian businesses in the food and beverage industry to understand how to:

  • Build your brand both domestically and internationally; and
  • Protect your brand and IP.

Events still available include Brisbane, Melbourne and Bathurst.

Workshop details:

Brisbane Event

Date:               Wednesday 9th August

Time:               9am to 2pm

Where:            AusIndustry Office’s, Level 4, 7 Short Street, Southport

Cost:               FREE

Catering:        Morning Tea and Lunch will be provided.

To register:    Registration link in the attached form (Brisbane, Melbourne and Bathurst events).

As an example of how blatant and real this issue is, below is an example of an alternative to Kellogg’s Coco Pops.

Free Half Day Workshop – Build your brand and protect your IP

Developing and building a brand is both difficult and costly. It’s particularly painful to expend time and effort to win customers and create a following for your product for it to be simply copied or reproduced by a competitor who then reaps the rewards of your hard work.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is inviting you to this exciting half day workshop aimed at helping Australian businesses in the food and beverage industry to understand how to:

  • Build your brand both domestically and internationally; and
  • Protect your brand and IP.

Events still available include Brisbane, Melbourne and Bathurst.

Workshop details:

Brisbane Event

Date:               Wednesday 9th August

Time:               9am to 2pm

Where:            AusIndustry Office’s, Level 4, 7 Short Street, Southport

Cost:               FREE

Catering:        Morning Tea and Lunch will be provided.

To register:    Registration link in the attached form (Brisbane, Melbourne and Bathurst events).

As an example of how blatant and real this issue is, below is an example of an alternative to Kellogg’s Coco Pops.

Webinar series: Cyber security for your business

The Entrepreneurs’ Programme with support from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is providing a free webinar series for small to medium enterprises about effective cyber security management. All businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Whilst many go to great lengths to protect their physical assets many do not take similar precautions with their digital information. A responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

After viewing this series, you will:

  • have an appreciation of the reasons why small businesses are becoming an increasingly prominent target for cyber attackers
  • understand that there some simple steps you can take to improve your level of cyber resilience
  • have a well-rounded understanding of the current cyber threat landscape and the details of what steps SMEs can take to mitigate the risks posed by these threats
  • be equipped with the skills and knowledge to develop a simple and effective cyber security incident response capability
  • understand the nature of cloud services and the unique cyber security considerations that come with using cloud services or engaging in other outsourcing arrangements
  • have an awareness of additional resources they can consult for ongoing support with their cyber security issues and challenges.

There are 5 parts to this webinar series:

  • Webinar 1: Cyber security for small to medium enterprises – 31 July 2017
  • Webinar 2: The cyber threat landscape for small to medium enterprises – 15 August 2017
  • Webinar 3: Cyber security operational basics – 15 September 2017
  • Webinar 4: Developing an effective incident response capability – 27 October 2017
  • Webinar 5: Cyber security in the cloud and outsourcing – 24 November 2017

For more information or to register: https://www.business.gov.au/events/webinar-series-cyber-security-for-your-business

The webinar events will be recorded and be available online after the event. You will have the option to revisit or view at your leisure, if required.

If you have any questions or concerns about your level of security against cyber-attacks please feel free contact Mark Goldsmith.

Mark Goldsmith
Business Advisor

AusIndustry – Entrepreneurs’ Programme

Mob: 0455 520 655

Email: magoldsmith@deloitte.com.au

Web: www.business.gov.au

Who’s your contact?

We are preparing to share a number of exciting communications with you on everything from upcoming campaigns and how you can be involved, to certification news and the latest research on the organic industry from around the world.

It’s been a while since we refreshed our database and we want to make sure we’re reaching everyone in our client community, so we ask that you take a moment to respond to us with the details of everyone in your business who we should be talking to including senior decision makers, sales & marketing and certification teams.

Please complete the form at this link.

We look forward to enriching your inboxes with inspiring and relevant content. If you require further, information, please do not hesitate the contact the office.

Appointment of Ben Copeman as CEO of ACO

As the leading organic certification body, we are delighted to announce the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to head up and lead the Australian Certified Organic Group, Mr Ben Copeman.

As you can see from the attached Media Release, Ben brings to our team a wealth of industry knowledge and an amazing grass roots background.

We welcome Ben to our team and look forward to introducing him to our clients.

Australian Organic Media Release:

– PDF document

Please contact the Head office on (07) 3350 5706 or via contact@staging.austorganic.com should you have any queries.

2017 Australian Organic Market Report Wrap-Up

Thank you to the clients, members and invited guests who attended the 2017 Australian Organic Market Report launch in Melbourne on April 20.

Overall, we achieved a total of 231 clips across TV, radio, online and print; the media coverage reached well over 6 million people.

The coverage achieved highlighted the issues with false organic claims in the market place and the need for consumers to look for the ACO bud logo.

Below is a list of some of the highlights of the media coverage. You’ll see there is a great range of radio coverage across the country, as well as other metro and online newspaper pieces. (Please click on the links below to watch footage).

  • Adelaide Advertiser (audience 128,230) Article on SA’s organic food production
  • Courier Mail (audience 144,788): Article on growth of organic market
  • The Land (audience 34,471): Report on organic demand
  • Stock Journal (audience 9,921): Article on interest in organic products
  • ABC News National Coverage (ABC TV interview with Dr Andrew Monk) MSN Syndicated vision
  • Sunday Herald Sun – Susie O’Brien will cover a story on organics (particularly baby market) with Wayne and Tash Shields and family
  • Australian Financial Review – Finance & business freelancer, Stewart Oldfield, to review report and get back to us shortly
  • ABC News Breakfast National Coverage (ABC TV interview with Dr Andrew Monk) vision

Organic Boxes

To strengthen awareness and create more exposure for our industry following the success of the Australian Organic Market Report launch, we’ll be engaging with an even wider range of media and influencers each month to keep spreading the message of organics to the masses!

The best way to do it? Throughout the year, gift them a first-hand taste of our amazing certified organic goods in the form of ‘Organic Boxes’ that will be carefully delivered to their doorsteps for them to experience the wonder of fresh, unique and nourishing products.

We’d love your help to include a variety of items across a range of industries (showcasing the breadth of the organic offering we have in Australia), from organic beauty products to chocolate to coffee and more!

It presents a great opportunity for your brand and business to gain exposure and be under the nose of some of Australia’s most influential food, health, beauty and lifestyle journalists, business and agricultural writers and highly influential people that inspire others.

If you’d like to submit your interest in being involved, please email Brittany Stewart.

Opportunity for strategic input from organic business people. What do you think and want? 

An Organic Industry Working Group is liaising with the DPM’s office and DAWR, reviewing how industry will fund some generic ‘benefit to all’ areas including standards, market integrity and market access.

While there is much passion and divergence on how best to structure or approach this, it is vital business members cast their views on these issues over the coming months.

Australian Organic Ltd has focused on ensuring whatever structures are in place are fundamentally practical, representative of the majority and financially viable. This is why some structures and organisations have failed our test or performed poorly to date.

What is critical is that the industry itself continues to set its own agenda, standards and representation, not government and not interest groups without ‘skin in the game’.

Democracy, like business, belongs to those who turn up.

We want to ensure that the lifters of this industry remain in charge of setting the agenda which is why we are actively engaging.

Contact us in the weeks ahead if you have not heard from Policy Partners or us directly (via our eNews) on these issues.  Industry members will have opportunity for feedback and input at industry forums over the two months ahead.

Contact: (07 3350 5706) or alternatively, contact@staging.austorganic.com

 

July News – Australian Certified Organic

Updates

  • Exporting to the EU – Introducing TRACES. From October 2017 every export to the EU is required to be lodged electronically via the European Unions system TRACES. ACO will still be issuing the required documentation to you through this system and the process for requesting an export certificate for the EU may change slightly. From October 2017 paper copies of the EU Transaction Certificates will not be required to accompany the shipment.

Hot Topics

  • ACO Service Desk! Have you signed up for the ACO Service Desk? The Service Desk is the best way ACO can help you. You can lodge any request from a label approval to a general question! It’s simple to set up, click here to find out how!
  • OGA Program Close – Just a reminder that the OGA Small Growers program is closing on 30 June 2018. Current OGA clients can choose to transfer to ACO certification to remain in the certified organic family. Not sure about your options? Click here to find out more about it!
  • ACO Logo – Remember that ACO has implemented the “ACO” logo to be used on products that are imported or contain imported ingredients. The “Australian” version of the logo is reserved for products which are 100% grown, processed and packed in Australia. This logo change will be mandatory as of 1 July 2018 in line with the Country of Origin Labelling changes. To obtain the correct logo or enquire about what logo you need please let us know via Service Desk!
  • Producers under $50,000 annual turnover now pay no levies! – The Australian Organic Group is very proud to announce that from 1st July 2017 forward, all producers with an annual revenue of $50,000 or less will no longer pay Industry Development Levies!  This is an initiative to assist our new and smaller growers into the organic industry by creating a more cost effective certification model for them.Producers will not be part of the Industry Development Levy system until they have reached a turnover of above $50,000 pa. This represents a $295 or almost 25% saving to all smaller producers annually. For further details, please contact our accounts team on 07 3350 5716.

Are you compliant?

  • Are you obtaining your non-organic planting material approval prior to planting? You can lodge your request here: http://aco.net.au/non-organic-planting-material-declaration/
  • Are you obtaining a transaction certificate for every import of certified organic product? A transaction certificate is a key document for tracability and without it we cannot verify the product is organic.
  • Are you using non-organic ingredients? It’s a requirement to use certified organic ingredients wherever possible! This means you need to annually review and document the availability of any ingredients you have been using as non-organic!
  • Are you storing certified organic bulk products off site? Organic certification requires that any bulk material storage is inspected initially and then randomly. You should have a MOU in place with your offsite facility and full control of your product at all times.

Labelling Laws

The Australian Government is introducing new food labelling requirements to make it clearer where the products you buy are produced, grown, made or packed.  Easy to understand labels will tell you at a glance where a product comes from, so you can make a clear and informed decisions.

Are you curious about Country of Origin Labelling?

  • What is happening?
  • Why is it happening?
  • When is it happening?

Please visit this link for further information.

Vale Jennie Croft – Arahura Farms

A sad passing on Sunday, 25 June, of another titan of our organic industry. Successfully scaling up organic farming is neither for the faint hearted nor those looking for the easy and fast way to riches. The Crofts have fed most of us who have ever eaten an organic carrot, so impressive is their empire now. Jennie will be sadly missed but celebrated as a fighter, a stayer and an amazing supporter of this food and farming movement. You leave behind you a proud, able and hard working family who will carry on your efforts Jen.

Vale Rod May – Ecological farming pioneer and natural leader

One of Australia’s ecological farming pioneers passed away on the 29th May 2017. Rod May aged 63 died after a motorbike accident on the road between Ballarat and his home at Blampied.

Rod was a 4th generation farmer, who lived and worked on the family’s 200 acres at the foot of Kangaroo Hills in central Victoria. In the late 1970’s Rod returned to the family farm motivated by his interests in self-reliance, organics and tree crops. Influenced by his experience as an exchange student to the USA he became convinced of the need to develop alternatives to large-scale chemical intensive agriculture. He converted part of the family farm to organics, implementing large-scale plantings of shelter, fodder, timber, fruit and nut trees.  In 1982, Rod helped found the Central Victorian Tree Planting Co-op, Australia’s first contract tree planting business organised as a worker owned co-operative. He was also elected to the conservative Creswick Council. Over the next four decades, Rod remained active in promoting a more sustainable future as an influential leader in local politics, landscape restoration and organic farming.

The Landcare movement emerged simultaneous in several regions across Australia in the early 80’s. One of those places was central Victoria, where Rod played a leading role.  In 1983 an innovative revegetation scheme, Project Branch Out was funded by government to employ hundreds of people planting trees on demonstration sites across the Campaspe, Loddon and Avoca catchments in response to the threat of salinity.  Possibly the first large revegetation initiative, Project Branch Out was a forerunner of subsequent landcare employment programs, like the Greencorps and Green Army, adopted by successive governments. Rod was employed as the managing director of the huge program. He shared the project’s bold, holistic vision, communicating easily with public officials, conservative farmers and the previously unemployed workers putting the trees in the ground. Importantly he had credibility with dirt under his nails as both a farmer and tree planter.

Rod read widely. The latest copies of New Scientist were always lying around his owner built mud brick house.  The leader of a generation of organic farmers he worked tirelessly to integrate ecological theories into farming practices. In his role as the founding president of the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (founded in 1986) he was at the forefront of linking sustainable development and organic farming systems. His interested extended to community development and ecological restoration of entire landscapes, leading the revegetation of the Captains Creek Catchment that includes the family farm.

Rod was a charismatic leader who engaged with people from all walks of life. He demonstrated his community and industry leadership skills in a variety of formal roles, but he was also equally engaging with his many friends and family.  As organics grew in the 1990’s, Rod spent an increasing amount of time in meetings around the country and around the world, making important global linkages through the International Federation of Organic Farming Movements.

Rod did some of the first organic certification inspections in Australia and helped certify coffee growers in East Timor. His human skills were complemented by a keen intellect, strong observation skills, and a sharp memory for facts, figures and protocols of organic standards. Rod had a gift of seeing and communicating the big picture. His commitment, generosity of spirit and easy-going manner made him a natural diplomat. He brought people together including the diverse and disparate organic and biodynamic groups, who had to work together with government to establish protocols for organic exports. Rod’s understated diplomacy allowed him to work with the idealists and pragmatists of the organic movement.

Rod was married to Vivien Hodgins, a gifted drama and media teacher at Mount Clear Secondary College in Ballarat, who died tragically in the Samoan tsunami of 2009. Together they raised two strong young women – Stephanie and Carla. He and Vivien respected each other’s passions – organic farming and teaching – and loved travelling on their many overseas trips.

During many years of globe-trotting Rod juggled his off farm commitments and farming operations, with the help of his father, Morris, who supported the farm’s organic production methods, also adopted by brothers Greg and Doug. Like his father, Rod was a big bloke who loved hard work. In the paddock there would be few that that could work day in day out like he did.  He even claimed that picking spuds was great for fixing a bad back. In his later years, his knees gave him trouble after years working across the mounds and furrows of his abundant crops of irrigated vegetables. For some years he sold these wholesale but in recent years he focused on suppling local markets using methods he had seen working in Europe, Japan and the US. Rod produced mixed produce boxes, supplying customers with boxes overflowing with mixed unwashed vegies, fruits and nuts that he delivered to pick up houses, for collection by groups of local customers.  A short documentary about this can be found at https://youtu.be/pTe-xDrI1mQ

A natural teacher, Rod had a seamless grasp of soil and landscape ecology, agricultural and tree crops, organic marketing and the mechanical gadgets involved in farming. He held numerous field days, workshops and farm walks and delivered impressive lectures and public talks.

Rod had an easy way of playing with ideas, often expressed with laconic humour. He said once “ I don’t think we should say we grow veggies – its totally authoritarian. We would say the veggies grow themselves. I don’t think we should dominate vegetables. We further their lifecycles. They give up a few of their family”. Another time Rod explained that by farming he felt like a slow sculptor working with plants over time. He pointed to patch of blackberries, near his dam, where he had planted oak trees thirty years previously. “I’m still waiting for these oaks to out compete those blackberries. It’s a gradual process – this art of sculpting landscapes – but who’s in a hurry?”

Rod always had a strong interest and natural inclination for politics. This cumulated with his time as a popular mayor of the Hepburn Shire. He also stood as the Greens candidate for Ripon in 2014. He was motivated to take on political roles to bring about fundamental change. Rod had vision, always seeing options to make the world a better place, but he also made them happen – on the farm, in the community and through the organic farming movement – slowly sculpting the future.

Rod is survived by his two daughters – Stephanie and Carla – his partner Annie and his brothers, Greg and Doug and their families. He will be sorely missed by his family and by a huge group of friends and colleagues.

Obituary prepared by David Holmgren and Jason Alexandra, both friends and colleagues of Rod’s over many decades. More information can on their work can be found at: https://www.holmgren.com.au

http://rmit.academia.edu/JasonAlexandra

https://hazeldeanforestfarm.com

 

 

 

Organic Boxes – Expression of Interest

To strengthen awareness and create more exposure for our industry following the success of the Australian Organic Market Report launch, we’ll be engaging with an even wider range of media and influencers each month to keep spreading the message of organics to the masses!

The best way to do it? Throughout the year, gift them a first-hand taste of our amazing certified organic goods in the form of ‘Organic Boxes’ that will be carefully delivered to their doorsteps for them to experience the wonder of fresh, unique and nourishing products.

We’d love your help to include variety of items across a range of industries (showcasing the breadth of the organic offering we have in Australia), from organic beauty products to chocolate to coffee and more!

It presents a great opportunity for your brand and business to gain exposure and be under the nose of some of Australia’s most influential food, health, beauty and lifestyle journalists, business and agricultural writers and highly influential people that inspire others.

If you’d like to express your interest in being involved, please email Brittany Stewart.

Oaten Hay for Sale

Oaten hay 8x4x3 bales

Organic/biodynamic certified – feed test available

Central NSW

Phone: 02 6869 7635

Organic producers sought for the Australian Food Awards

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) annually conduct the Australian Food Awards, Australia’s leading national food awards program that celebrates excellence and recognises the best producers of premium food across the country.

The Australian Food Awards is currently accepting entries across eight overarching categories, including Free from / Organic.

Industry bodies play an integral part in the Australian Food Awards and the RASV would welcome your support in sharing the news with your members and encouraging producers to enter the Free from / Organic category.

There are several opportunities provided to Australian producers via the Australian Food Awards, including exclusive exhibitor tasting and networking events, benchmarking products, receiving invaluable feedback from industry experts and opportunities to be showcased at international and local trade shows.

Entries close on Friday, 26 May with more than 100 leading industry experts judging the categories from 6 to 20 July. The winners will then be announced at a gala awards dinner in Melbourne in September 2017.

For more information and to view the entry requirements, please visit the Australian Food Awards website here.

Garlic for sale

Garlic for sale, suitable for planting or still fresh enough for cooking.

Strong flavoured, Purple Hardneck from the Turban Variety.

$30 per KG plus P&P etc

Contact Ken 02 66578255 for quick response.

Angove Family Winemakers – Flying the Australian Organic Flag




One of Australia’s oldest family owned wineries is excited to be exhibiting their range of certified organic wines on the new “World of Organic Wine” stand (WOW) at Vinexpo. The event will be held in Bordeaux from the 18th – 21st of June and Angove Family Winemakers is the only Australian winery to be on this stand, together with 200 organically and biodynamically certified wineries from around the world.

Since first becoming certified just over a decade ago Angove Family Winemakers has fully embraced the organic ethos and are now the largest organic winery in Australia with nearly 200 ha of fully certified family vineyard and ongoing relationships with a number of certified growers. Achieving organic certification is a rigorous process, and it takes three years for a vineyard to become fully certified.

“We see many opportunities for great tasting, reasonably priced organic wines globally. Organic produce in general is one of the fastest growing consumer categories and it is fantastic to have built so rapidly on our early position in this market segment” stated Tim Boydell, Director of Sales and Marketing, who will be personally attending Vinexpo to showcase the Warboys Vineyard, Wild Olive and Angove Organic wine ranges.

“Organic viticulture is viewed as the best way to improve soil quality and optimise water use, which creates stronger, healthier vines and better fruit. It is more expensive but we believe it makes better tasting wines and, importantly, is better for the environment. We see this as an essential investment in our future and part of our deeply held belief to make sure that we pass our precious natural resources on to the next generation in better condition than when we started” stated Tony Ingle, Angove Chief Winemaker.

“The organic crops seem to achieve flavour ripeness earlier, at lower sugar levels, have thicker skins, especially the reds, and are less susceptible to disease. Importantly farming organically improves the environment with no synthetic or chemical herbicides or pesticides used in the growing of the grapes.”

Fast Facts:

  • 2017 marks the 11th anniversary of Angove Family Winemakers organic certification.
  • Our 300ha Nanya Vineyard now contains 185ha of organically farmed vineyard with more being certified every year.
  • Our 14ha historic Warboys Vineyard in McLaren Vale has been managed Organically & Biodynamically from date of purchase in 2008 and is now fully certified.
  • We use specially designed undervine mowers built and modified by our own engineering department for weed control – weed control is one of the hardest parts of farming organically.
  • Farming organically and using extensive undervine mulching has reduced our irrigation requirements significantly.
  • Angove is certified to Australian, USDA (United States), Canadian, EU and Chinese Standards, one of only a handful of wineries to have such comprehensive certification.

For more information on these or other Angove wines please contact Tim Boydell or visit www.angove.com.au

Phone : +61 438 391 234     Email : tim.boydell@angove.com.au Website :  www.angove.com.au

Important Exporting News: New requirements for exporting to the EU

Are you an Australian Certified Organic exporter to the EU? Please be aware of the new TRACES system being implemented by the EU here

New regulation requirements and instructions are available for download here.

A new EU template will now be required for all Organic Produce Certificates (OPCs) as well as Transaction Certificates (TC). ACO Exports emailed the new template to all existing EU exporters on Friday, 12 May. 

Please note the TRACES system will be fully operational by October 2017however, it has been brought to our attention that some EU countries are requesting the use of the new template now. If you experience any difficulties with the EU, please contact Exports immediately for assistance.

Please advise our Exports team at exports@aco.net.au should you require the template or additional information.

How to own a farm tomorrow

Photo of: Hicks family (co-founders of Cultivate Farms) Belle, George, Tim Hicks, Thea, Rosie and Tegan Hicks Photographer: Capture By Karen http://www.capturebykaren.com.au/

This article is part of a series focusing on how to make your organic farming dreams a reality.

There are plenty of organic food lovers out there who would, given the opportunity, stop everything and become a farmer tomorrow. The only thing is, becoming a farmer is a difficult task to accomplish. Access to capital to buy a farm is the biggest issue to overcome.

This problem is no longer the biggest barrier to aspiring farmers across Australia – Sam Marwood from a new organisation called Cultivate Farms provides one of many tactics available to aspiring farmers to own their dream farm tomorrow.

It might be an awkward discussion, but toughen up because this could lead to your dream farm.

There are farmers of retiring age out there waiting for you to ask them; will you sell me half your farm?

To make the discussion easier, take with you a fruit bun, youthful exuberance and the knowledge that there are investors out there who will back you to own a farm.

You should also be buoyed by the fact you are offering the retiring farmers an amazing succession opportunity.

Your opportunity frees up cash for the retiring family to do what they want in retirement – buy a house in town or in Noosa, take that holiday to New Zealand, all the time drawing income from their remaining equity in the farm which is being run by a new, enthusiastic family (i.e. you!).

The great news is that you don’t have to raise the 50% equity on your own.

You may already have some cash or assets that you can use to own some of the farm; a herd of Wagyu, savings for your house, broiler chickens or a tractor. This way you can go into the arrangement as the managing partner from day one.

The remaining 30-40% can be snaffled up by investors. There are plenty of people out there wanting to invest in farms and are seeking this type of opportunity which you have kindly put together out of your own initiative and handed to them on a plate.

It will be a solid investment opportunity because the hard work has already been done – you have found a farm, covered 60% of the capital requirements (the retiring farmer and yourself), maintained local expertise (retiring farmer) and have secured a young family with initiative and drive who will take the farm over and make it profitable (you).

How do you find these investors? You could spend some time Googling them or put out an ad on Facebook. Or the other option is to talk to farm match-making organisations who spend their waking hours finding opportunities like this for investors.

Cultivate Farms is one such organisation; they are a social enterprise aiming to rejuvenate regional communities by bringing young families back to regional communities. They connect young families with investors and retiring farmers to own and operate a farm together.

You could be in a powerful position to have your own farm in short period of time, if you connected with your own retiring farm and brought that opportunity to Cultivate Farms.

The agricultural industry has been crying out for new investment models to transition land between generations. Don’t sit around waiting for someone to find that solution for you – the ball is in your court. Get out there and BYO retiring farmer.

Sam Marwood is co-founder of Cultivate Farms. For further information go to www.cultivatefarms.com or email Sam at sam@cultivatefarms.com.

Please find additional articles below:

I want to be a farmer

Photo of: Belle Hicks. Photographer: Capture By Karen http://www.capturebykaren.com.au/

How to own a farm in your 20s

Have your farm and eat it too

How to make your farming dream a reality

Visit the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) website for information on becoming a certified organic farmer at this link.