Welcome to the Cellar Door – Gemtree Wines


gemtree-vineyards-gemtree-cellar-door-gemtree-wine21Who
…are you?

Gemtree is a family owned winery dedicated to growing better wine, naturally.

We believe that great winemaking stems from the collaboration between viticulturist and winemaker, which in this case are husband and wife. Dynamic duo Mike Brown, Chief Winemaker, and wife Melissa Brown, Biodynamic Viticulturist, work together to grow our award winning Gemtree Wines.

What…do you do?

Winegrowers for more than 30 years, Gemtree Wines now own 328 acres of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards in McLaren Vale. With minimal intervention in the winemaking process and a more environmentally conscious farming system, Gemtree produces certified organic and biodynamic wines which are powerful, concentrated, and express the true characteristics of each grape variety and the region.

Where…are you located?

Our Sustainable Cellar Door and winery is located in the famous winemaking region of McLaren Vale.

When…did you become certified?

Gemtree achieved organic certification in 2011 and is currently certified organic and biodynamic by Australian Certified Organic.

What is your organic story?

Being a staunch consumer and user of organic products, Melissa advocated that the removal of herbicides and many synthetic chemicals from the vineyard would produce better tasting fruit and ultimately lead to high quality wines and she was absolutely right! By introducing organic and biodynamic farming practices in the vineyard Melissa has enhanced the overall health of our vineyard ecosystem.

Melissa started farming biodynamically in 2007 but we took a very pragmatic approach to the transition. These systems had to work with our vineyard, so we couldn’t just throw the baby out with the bath water and just all of a sudden change every single regime. We started slowly and now after several years we can see a noticeable difference in the health of our vineyard and quality of our fruit. Mike conducted extensive experimentation with biodynamic and organic wines using alternative winemaking practices and the result is the quality wines that Gemtree produces today.

The Gemtree family see themselves as custodians of the land and their approach to sustainability is simple ~ it is the right thing to do. It is not just about winemaking, it is about setting new standards for sustainable, generational farming. Sustainable, organic and biodynamic approaches underpin everything that we do. Even our cellar door is sustainable.

Our sustainable cellar door opened in April 2013. It was purpose built in Sydney and now sits lightly upon the earth on stilts. From recycled materials and energy efficient utilities to a huge solar panel and worm farm to recycle our food scraps, the design of our cellar door is the perfect reflection of the Buttery family’s commitment to sustainability and the environment.

What do you love most about your business?

We love that we can make premium quality McLaren Vale wines whilst enhancing the vineyard ecosystem instead of degrading it. Our farming approach is not only to enhance the quality of our wines but also leave a sustainable legacy for our children.

And….any good stories to share?

Gemtree is a proud gold sponsor of Australian Organic Awareness month. Gemtree are also proud partners of the Australian Organic Member Benefits. For details of their offer to members, please visit: http://staging.austorganic.com/gemtree-member-offer/

The Gemtree Family (1)
The Gemtree Family

Profile of the Month – Benalla Mushrooms

Andrew

Who…are you?

Andrew Cowan / Benalla Mushrooms.

What…do you do?

I grow certified organic mushrooms, ‘It’s not a job, it’s a life’.

Where…are you located?

Benalla, Victoria. It’s about a two hour drive from Melbourne.

When…did you become certified?

Just over 20 years ago.

Why…did you become certified?

We wanted to give people a choice of being able to buy organic mushrooms as there was no one else growing organic mushrooms.

What is your organic story?

My father and I started growing mushrooms over 25 years ago. We are the first certified organic commercial mushroom farm in Australia, and the longest lasting. Other certified organic mushroom farms have come and gone and now there are just two, so I have to work on any problems that arise myself and figure out things as we go along. We get phone calls from people all over Australia who are happy to be able to get certified organic mushrooms. One lady advised she is allergic to everything, but she can thankfully source our products which is usually a struggle for her. We also always have plenty of mums phoning us asking the difference between conventional and organic. I am always happy to explain the difference!

What do you love most about your business?

Growing mushrooms organically is a constant challenge and keeps you thinking and on your toes. I mostly love the different people I am able to talk to through this industry, people who want to know about organics. Some people I have spoken to hadn’t even heard of Benalla until we started selling the mushrooms! I love promoting certified organic, and the reason why, and am always happy to hear from interested parties who would like more information.

And….any good stories to share?

Jill and I have our life which is mushrooms. After 25 years of growing with only two weeks off, I definitely enjoy my job and love what I do.  I wouldn’t know what else I’d rather be doing, so will continue.

Andrew is very proud of his 17 staff who he currently employs at Benalla.

Mushrooms

In the spotlight – Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co. Pty Ltd

Export Market Leader Award 2015, Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co.
Export Market Leader Award 2015, Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co.

Who…are you?

Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co Pty Ltd.

What…do you do?

We are Australia’s largest supply chain manager and manufacturer of organic meat.  We sell domestically and we export to approximately 8 countries.  Our organic products are beef and lamb.

In the domestic market we supply to the major supermarkets under the “Cleaver’s” brand.   Quite a bit of this product is value added and includes our new paleo range of products.  We were lucky enough to win the best organic food product for our paleo sausage.

Internationally our customers include Whole Food Markets in the USA.  They are the major retailer of organic product in the North American market.

Where…are you located?

Our headquarters is in Toowoomba in QLD.  It’s very close to where our beef is processed and most of our cattle producers are also in QLD.  We also have operations on the Central Coast of NSW and an office in Sydney.

What is your organic story?

Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co is the result of a long term friendship between our CEO (Alister Ferguson) and the Livestock Manager (Peter Gall).  Both grew up on cattle properties in western Queensland and their friendship goes back to their teens.

Both Alister and Peter grew up in the Western Qld town of Blackall.  Alister was from a cattle property while Peter’s family ran a large flock of self-replacing merinos and Santa/Hereford cattle.

Peter’s family merinos required perpetual treatment with synthetic chemicals to ward off lice and flies. Nobody in Peter’s family enjoyed the use of chemicals and they became sick if they inadvertently got it in contact with their skin (which was often!). Their cattle on the other hand, while they were a secondary income, required no chemicals at all.  After seeing “certified organic beef” being sold in a small butcher shop in Melbourne for a huge premium whilst at college, Peter decided investigate this market further.

Peter returned to the family property after college and proceeded to tell them that they needed organic certification. This concerned many of his family.  Despite their concerns, they decided to back Peter’s judgement and give it a go – the wool floor price had broken down and prices were very depressed.  Little did they know, Peter had no idea where they were going to market their organic beef, lamb and wool once they became certified. They applied for “organic certification” with the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) in 1997 and received full certification in 1999. Where were they going to market their product? There were no other certified producers in their area at all. Peter formed a company and processed four head of their cattle at the Pittsworth abattoir (after getting it certified organic as well), and proceeded to sell the meat. This was when the market for organic meat really took off.

Coles began to stock certified organic meat around this time and not long after, exporters began shipping certified organic beef into the EU. Peter helped these companies with their supply chains because he knew if there was more supply, his own limited numbers of cattle would be easier to sell. Peter tried the certified organic lamb market with limited success (although this market has grown significantly since) and he also sold “certified organic wool” into Germany, but the premium was not great at the time.

Peter’s friend of many years, Alister Ferguson, was working in a large meat trading business but shared Peter’s passion for grass fed organic meat.  He joined forces with Peter and in 2005 Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co selected a modest 66 head of cattle for processing from a certified organic farm in central Queensland. The outcome was excellent.  Demand grew rapidly, the momentum from success with beef carrying the company into the organic lamb market in 2008.

As a result of increasing global demand for grass-fed organic meat, Arcadian Organic has grown to be the largest certified organic meat producer network in Australia.  The combination of sophisticated processing systems and advanced supply chains allows Arcadian to supply a truly global market.

Arcadian’s growth has been driven by a commitment to Australian family farming.  We love the fact that we’re helping to safeguard their environment and the wellbeing of future farming generations.

Today Alister Ferguson is the CEO of Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Company and Peter is the Livestock Manager.  Peter is also on the Board of Australian Organic – which started out as the BFA.

The growth in organics has been extraordinary since Peter and Alister’s journey began.   Peter and Alister owe a great deal to the industry and are proud to be a part of its growth.

What do you love most about your business?

What we love most are the relationships – and that’s with both customers and suppliers.  It’s fantastic to see our partners in both groups enjoying prolonged growth.  They also have truly sustainable businesses as a result of partnering with us around organic meat product.

We have long term partnerships with both customers and livestock producers.  Every time we enter a new relationship we anticipate it is going to last for many years.

Many of our partners, especially the farmers, are family businesses.  There is a real feeling of contributing directly to the wellbeing of farming families through what were are doing.

Even though we don’t do business with consumers directly, we do get a lot of direct feedback, especially via social media.  When consumers get in touch to say how much our product means to them and the wellbeing of their family, it is especially heartening.

Arcadian OrganicExport-Market-Leader-GOLD

Homestead and Certified Organic Land for Sale – Longreach Qld

Clair, Maree and Andrew King, Silverwood Organics

To view the property for sale, please visit Elders Real Estate website here.

Information on the certified organic business:

Who…are you? Andrew and Maree King

What…do you do? Grow Organic Dorper Lambs – Deliver fresh organic Lamb packs to customers doors in Qld- Produce new value added Lamb product LamHam for National Sale and distribution.

Where…are you located? Longreach Qld

When…did you become certified? 2001

Why…did you become certified? To keep up with consumer demand, certified organic is still the most in demand section in the grocery sector. To improve the quality of health for our family and our farm.

What is your organic story? We decided to convert our sheep stations to organic status in 1999.  We became fully certified in 2001 to sell organic lambs and sheep, and organic wool.  We did this in conjunction with diversifying from a Merino enterprise to a Dorper lamb enterprise.  This worked very well and the quality lambs we were producing inspired us to set up our online business selling organic lamb packs and home delivering them to customers’ doors in South East Qld.

We began processing in Longreach a few years after we started and also hold organic certification for Longreach Agrcultural College abattoir and certified our secret recipe organic gluten free Lamb and Rosemary sausages.  We branched out again producing a cured and hot smoked leg of Lamb – LamHam which is now the sole focus for us going forward with huge export potential.

What do you love most about your business? The passion to produce quality organic products and the relationships that we build with our customers.

And….any good stories to share?

We were supplying the Office of the Governor of Queensland with our Organic Lamb and our LamHams last year and Princess Anne attended a function where our lamb was served to her.

For more information, please visit Elders Real Estate here

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Important Department of Agriculture Notice – Exports

The Department of Agriculture last year issued a notice for certified organic clients who export, which was circulated to all our ACO export clients in May 2015. Please note the below information is now being enforced by the EU import authorities.

Certification of all stages of organic chain

This is a reminder to all certified operations that all stages of the supply chain must be certified.

For manufacturers/importers/exporters/wholesalers if you are purchasing certified organic products or ingredients the supplier must be certified.

Example 1: A certified processor purchasing imported organic ingredients from an importer. In this instance the importer is still required to be certified. This is despite the importer purchasing the organic ingredient from a certified supplier in Europe and the importer providing the certified processor with their European supplier’s organic certificate.  Even though the importer is only acting as an agent and not physically handling the product, they still need to have organic certification.

Example 2:  A wholesaler purchasing certified organic fresh produce and selling to other certified operators or exporting.  The wholesaler is also required to be certified.

ACO inspectors will be looking for evidence that all stages of the organic chain are certified at annual and unannounced inspections.

If you require further information, please do not hesitate to call Jenny or Janine on (07) 3350 5706.

 

ACO certifies organic fast food chain!

OliversWe are proud to announce that Oliver’s Real food are now certified by Australian Certified Organic.

If you been to your local Oliver’s Real Food Store recently, you may have noticed that menu items that are certified by ACO will display the ACO logo next to them. As Oliver’s continues to grow and source certified organic produce and products, we will be able to certify even more items on their menus!

2016 is definitely looking happier, healthier and organic! https://oliversrealfood.com.au

Nature’s Gift Christmas give-a-way winner annouced!

Natures giftCongratulations to Leah Pollard!

Nature’s Gift gave away an amazing doggy hamper for her pooch this summer.

Nature’s Gift’s certified organic range allows your pets to lead healthy and happy lives. It gives you peace of mind that you are feeding your pet nutritionally dense and naturally nourishing food.

Head to http://www.naturesgift.com.au to check out the rest of their great certified organic range.

Competition Time : January 2016

Perfect PotionThis month’s giveaway has been brought to us by Perfect Potion who is giving one lucky reader the chance to WIN an Aromatherapy Essential Oils Kit and Mini Bamboo Ultrasonic Diffuser valued at $174.45.

The aromatherapy kit containing eight 5mL pure essential oils: Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang Essential Oils all of which provide a diverse range of aromatherapy properties. You will also be equipped with The Petite Guide to Aromatherapy booklet which contains a guide to pure essential oils, aromatherapy blends, aromatherapy therapeutic index and much more.

The Perfect Potion team are dedicated to creating an innovative and diverse range of holistic natural aromatherapy products that not only nurtures the body, mind and spirit but also respects the delicate balance of our environment. Using certified organic essential oils and plant extracts that offer a gentle and holistic approach to personal wellbeing and revitalise and harmonise body, soul and spirit.

To WIN simply send an email to Brittany.Stewart@staging.austorganic.com stating why you would love to win this pack from Perfect Potion with the subject line Perfect Potion Giveaway. The winners will be chosen at random and announced in the upcoming newsletter.

Creative Recipe – January 2016

organic crunch recipe Each month we will continue to share delicious recipes made from 100% ACO branded ingredients!

This month, Eva from Eat Lift Glow, was chosen to share her incredibly delicious Organic Crunch Beauty Pancakes recipe.

Do you think you have what it takes? #CertifiedCookOff

Organic Crunch Beauty Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup Bare Bunny Perfect Pancake Mix

1/2 scoop The Beauty Chef’s Inner Beauty Powder

1 cup Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk Blends: Organic Coconut

1 Organic Free Range Sunny Queen Farms Egg

2 tablespoons Spiral Organic Coconut Butter

1 cup five:am Apple Crumble Granola

1 Whole Kids Frooshie (banana, strawberry, apple)

1 tsp Absolute Organic, Organic Chia Seeds

1 tbsp Absolute Organic, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

 

Method:

1. Mix coconut milk, egg, coconut butter and beauty powder in large bowl

2. Add 1 cup of Bare Bunny perfect pancake mix

3. Mix lightly until just blended

4. Melt small amount of coconut oil onto heated pan, scoop mixture onto pan, 4 tbps at a time

5. Flip over pancake once cooked on first side, continue until all batter used

6. Stack pancakes onto plate

7. Spread five:am Apple Crumble Granola and Whole Kids Frooshie in-between pancakes

8. Top with some organic chia seeds

9. Eat whilst hot!

Website: www.eatliftglow.com Instagram: EatLifeGlow

SeaFM joins the Australian Organic band wagon!

Sea fmThe Gold Coast’s No.1 radio network – SeaFM – is providing Australian Certified Organic clients the opportunity to participate throughout 2016 in a contra promotional deal across the station.

Each month we will be looking for brands that have product available in the Gold Coast market that are willing to supply sample product and a major prize in return for on-air call out and promotion.

This is a contra arrangement, with a saved media value of around $5,000 or more per product that participates.

Interested?  Reach out to elyshia@missymischief.com.au for more details!

Have you been featured?

Town & Country farmerPick up the latest issue of Town and Country Farmer and head to page 31 to read up on various Australian Organic clients who discussed matters close to their heart in this month’s issue.

Therese Kerr, Co-founder of the Divine Company, cleared up the confusion some people might have between conventional, natural and certified organic as well as providing top tips to avoid harmful and toxic substances.

Did you attend or win big at the Australian Organic Awards for Excellence? Keep an eye out for your photograph!

Vinita, founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton, discussed the current cotton industry and why she decided to establish her own company founded on the principals of nurturing the environment by using certified organic cotton.                 

CEO Paul Stadhams discussed the rise of the organic industry and the benefits this can provide for smaller businesses.

Andrew and Amanda Walker from Tambo Queensland chatted about what inspired them to convert to certified organic and most importantly Amanda’s number one tip for serving a steak!

View Town and Country website here: http://www.tacfarmer.com.au

Whole Kids instigates change with Kochie’s Business Builders

Whole KidsMonica Meldrum founder of Whole Kids caught up with David Brophy and the team at Kochie’s Business Builders to share her inspiring business story and why she decided to change healthy foods for kids.

If you missed out on her interview which aired on Channel 7 on January 3rd, you can watch it here.

 

Discounted magazine advertising rates

Town & Country farmerLet Town and Country Farmer help you reach a wider audience with their special advertising rates for Australian Organic members throughout 2016.

Town & Country Farmer is published bimonthly and is available nationally through newsagents.

For 30 years, Town & Country Farmer has been delivering essential information on traditional farming enterprises as well a wide range of new and emerging industries.

As the original “how-to” small farming magazine, Town & Country Farmer is designed to help readers expand their farming knowledge, reach their goals and make life on the land easier with its focus on the practical aspects of living “the good life”.

Head to our member benefits page to view the special advertising rates for Australian Organic members.

The Marketing Toolbox & Print Solution will revolutionise your business!

Lady with printerThe latest initiative from Australian Organic and Fuji Xerox, The Marketing Toolbox & Print Solution, has launched and it’s a key resource for ACO clients.

Why is this the best ethical solution for your office?

90% less waste production:  The marketing toolbox doesn’t use toners and minimises the impact on the environment, reducing landfill by up to 90% compared with toner printing.

Low Printing Costs: It involves an inexpensive toner-less, vegetable-based print method.

Environmentally Friendly: The technology doesn’t use toners and therefore reduces landfill by up to 90%. The machine especially loves recycled paper, and fits easily & quietly on your filing cabinet or side table.

The Marketing Toolbox & Print Solution includes:

  • The environmentally-friendly Xerox ColorQube 8900 machine.
  • Unlimited access to all of Australian Organic’s creative and professionally designed marketing collateral at the push of a button, 24/7.
  • ACO clients receive 250 A4 full colour prints – that’s 125 double-sided OR 375 DL envelope sized product flyers on heavy stock – and 500 black and white prints or copies every month. All of this material is able to be personally branded with individual logo and details.
  • It includes great service, parts, labour, maintenance, print consumables and drums for a guaranteed 60 months from Fuji Xerox.
  • ACO clients are already pre-approved for immediate delivery and rental!

If you want to work smarter, spend less, print greener and build your business, find out more HERE

Stay up to date with the latest certified organic products to hit the market recently!

To be featured simply email janine.heinemann@austorganic.com with one image along with 50 words on your latest product.

January

 Barambah

Barambah Organics

Barambah Organics’ Certified Organic High Protein Smoothies are lactose free and light in fat. Perfect for those who are looking for protein after exercise or for added nutrition in their daily diet.

 

Bare Bunny

 

Bare Bunny 

Bare Bunny has launched their new range of pizza base/ flatbread mix made from certified organic 100% wholegrain spelt and wheat flours.

 

 

 

 

Eco OrganicsEco-Farms

Eco-Farms has launched their first certified organic bean pasta range, Eco Organics.

The range is all Australian Certified Organic, gluten free and vegan.  It comprises of Black Bean Spaghetti, Mung Bean Fettuccine and Soybean Spaghetti.

 

 

Coconutto-Banner-ImageNature Pacific

Nature Pacific recently launched their world first and innovative new coconut product, Banaban Organic Coconutto! It is the by-product of their Fiji grown extra virgin coconut oil in an organic Nespresso pod form (for coffee machines), and it seriously tastes amazing! It is just like having a shot of coconut oil x 1000% and has a rich, creamy crema on top!

For the last six months, their Creative and Marketing team have been working on 12 NEW revolutionary organic coconut products and are aiming to have the largest coconut product range in the world! Stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates of other new products! www.facebook.com/banabanvirgincoconutoil

What’s been in the News – January 2016

Australian-Organic-logo

Get your garden thriving with Nature’s Way

https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/health/wellbeing/how-to-get-your-garden-thriving

Pana Chocolate’s rapid climb to success

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/inside-innovation-how-6-smes-shook-up-business/49264-how-we-got-set-to-grow-pana-chocolate-s-story.html

Head to Page 29 in Australian Retailer for our 2015 wrap up!

http://www.tmpc.com.au/magazine/australian-retailer-back-issues/

Australia’s appetite for organic foods at record levels

http://ausfoodnews.com.au/2014/12/10/australias-appetite-for-organic-foods-at-record-levels.html

 

Certified Organic Cattle for Sale

Jervoise Station Greenvale Qld would like to offer the following Certified Organic cattle for sale to other newly certified organic properties.  We offer 50 #S3 steers for sale, 260 #S2 steers for sale, and up to 300 heifers for sale ( we have 1000 and can offer weaners, H2, or H3 categories for those wanting to stock with organic breeders), all cattle are brahman X.  The heifers have a reserve price of $1,500 each and depending on which size are wanted and whether they are PTIC or not.  We are accepting offers on all these categories for the next 14 days.

The attached photo’s show the herd type young animals.  Easywean nose rings in weaners for non-stressful weaning.

JSJ Ranching Pty Ltd

Jervoise Station,

Box 2, Mt Garnet,

Qld. 4872

Phone (07) 47885553

http://jervoiseorganics.com

In the Spotlight: Brynley King, Young Organic Leader 2015

Young Organic Leader 2015, Brynley King
Young Organic Leader 2015, Brynley King pictured with Chair, Andrew Monk and CEO, Paul Stadhams

We are pleased to introduce Brynley King, who was recently awarded the Gold Young Organic Leader (Under 30) Award at the Australian Organic Annual Awards held at the Lockyer Valley in late November last year.

Who…are you?bryn taveuni island

Hi, my name is Bryn, I am 24 years old and I am the daughter and employee of Stacey King and Ken Sigrah the Managing Directors of Nature Pacific and inspiration behind Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil. Since the age of five years old, my parents have had me travelling everywhere with them, visiting some of the most remote parts of The Pacific and Asia and spending time hanging out on coconut plantations. Alongside my mother and father I also assist with aid projects with the Banaban community on Rabi Island, Fiji.

What…do you do?

I am now the Creative Director for Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil, and I seriously have an amazing job! As Creative Director, I get the privilege to visit our Australian Certified Organic farms in Fiji and Sri Lanka where I work with our farmers and food chemist to help produce and market the most innovative coconut products in the world. An average day for me on the coconut farm in Fiji is tray-riding on the back of a ute through rich volcanic mountains with over 800,000 coconut trees. It is my absolute favourite place in the entire world. When I am home working in Australia, I help to produce and market new Banaban products and creative concepts, writing cookbooks based on Banaban Coconut products and working on my recently developed coconut recipe inspired Apple iTunes App with my love for cooking with Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil.

Where…are you located?

Our Australian Certified Organic processor facility is located in Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast. We are not only an organic manufacturing facility but have a great coconut inspired space with café, recipe and cooking class demonstration kitchen, Fiji bure and even have coconut trees inside the building.

When…did you become certified?

We became certified organic in 2008 and since that time have registered over 30 Australian Certified Organic products.

Why…did you become certified?

We became certified organic because we wanted to let our customers know we were serious about the quality control of our products and the importance of what the bud logo of Australian Certified Organic represents. To me personally and as someone working in the organic coconut industry, I also love the fact as an organic consumer, that genuine Australian Certified Organic products are audited all along the production chain from farm to finished goods with strict organic standards.

What is your organic story?

Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil was born in my parents’ garage in Robina on the Gold Coast in 2004. I still remember when my mum Stacey, told her friends she was leaving her office job to start an organic coconut oil company. Everyone thought she was nuts! By 2008, we were Certified Organic and exploded in the worldwide market. We are not only selling in Australia now, but exporting to over 19 countries around the world. I look back on that time when my parents started and can’t help but smile. My parents remortgaged our family home and risked it all for the Banaban brand and the dream of selling coconut products worldwide and today they are doing exactly that. It is truly a humbling and rewarding feeling.

I believe that it is important to educate the younger generations of our society the importance of certified organic products. I hope through my coconut recipes and writings that I can encourage more youth to choose Australian Certified Organic products.

What do you love most about your business?

For my parents and I, the thing we love most about our business is the fact that 11 years on so many people worldwide now know the Banaban story and their plight for justice after the devastation they faced from over 90 years of phosphate mining. As my stepfather and Fiji family are Banaban Islanders, it is incredibly rewarding to hear customers speak of the Banabans. 11 years ago before Banaban was born, nobody knew the Banaban story and the brand to us resembles much more than just the humble coconut. It resembles the redevelopment and bettering the futures of the Banaban Islanders for generations to come.

I also LOVE the fact, that a simple coconut can generate income for thousands of people throughout The Pacific and Asia.

And….any good stories to share?

We recently launched our world first and innovative new coconut product, Banaban Organic Coconutto! It is the by-product of our Fiji grown extra virgin coconut oil in an organic Nespresso pod form (for coffee machines), and it seriously tastes amazing! It is just like having a shot of coconut oil x 1000% and has a rich, creamy crema on top!

For the last six months, our Creative and Marketing team have been working on 12 NEW revolutionary organic coconut products! We are aiming to have the largest coconut product range in the world and are so far very close to that! Stay tuned on our Facebook page for updates when our new products launch!

www.facebook.com/banabanvirgincoconutoilCoconutto-Banner-Image

 

 

 

Profile of the Month: Three Peaks Organics

Trish with berries
Trish Macfarlane, Three Peaks Organics

Who are you?  Three Peaks Organics

What do you do?  We grow organic blueberries.

Where are you located?  Holwell, Tasmania (a sleepy little town that you would miss if you blinked).

When did you become certified?  We became fully certified late last year.

Why did you become certified?  We were already not using chemicals, sprays or fertilisers and it seemed like a natural progression for the farm. Making the initial phone call to TOP (now merged with Australian Certified Organic) and the reassurance on the other end of the telephone that they would help us with our transition journey was all that was required to convince us that this was the path we needed to take. So our journey has been through both ACO and TOP and we are very proud of our association with both companies.

What do you love the most about your business?  There are so many aspects of our business that we love.  However probably at the top of the list is the look on people’s faces when you explain to them that a blueberry is not just a blueberry. In fact there are quite a number of varieties for them to try – the puzzled looks on their faces are priceless. We base our growing principles around taste and not yields.

What do you see for your business in the future? We are currently updating our brand and value adding in order to achieve a sustainable farm which has produce to sell for most of the year and that people will remember our products for their taste! Currently 95% of our produce goes to the Mainland, but you can also buy direct from us at our farm gate.

The list of things we want to learn just keeps growing. I hope that we never stop learning or striving to be better, as I feel that if we do then we have probably also lost our passion…..our passion to produce something that people remember for the taste, not the volume that we can produce.

In the next 2-3 years we are looking to expand our current blueberry side of the farm and develop our organic range of different produce.

IMG_5095blueberry punnets

 

23 December 2015: Australian Organic and Australian Certified Organic are currently experiencing difficulties with our internet and phone services.

Australian-Organic-logo23 December, 2015 – Australian Organic and Australian Certified Organic are currently experiencing difficulties with our internet and phone services. We are managing this issue and will return to full service as soon as we can. Please note Export services are currently being interrupted. For urgencies, please contact Michael Baker 0413 216 955. Thank you.

Message from the Chair – January 2016

Andrew Monk, Chairman
Andrew Monk, Chairman

Happy New Year and welcome to an incredible jam packed year ahead for Australian Certified Organic producers and marketers. For those who thought 2015 was a high water mark for events, new mainstream promotions and a refreshingly new level of professionalism across our group in servicing the organic industry, the best is yet to come.

We trust you are having a break like our support office team has been during the Xmas break – though always on call and active for exporters and to respond to market issues.

2016: the best in Australian Certified Organics is yet to come. Join us for the ride!

PS 2016 is the year to make sure you are a certified organic business member of the Australian Organic group. There is simply far too much to otherwise miss out on with possibly the world’s best organic trade services group.

Marinova wins Nutraceutical Ingredients Company of the Year 2015!

Marinova
Marinova CEO, Mr Paul Garrott, receives the 2015 Nutraceutical Company of the Year Award from Mr Mark Dougan, Managing Director of Frost & Sullivan (Australia & NZ).

On 3 December, 2015  the Annual Frost & Sullivan Awards were held at the Hilton, Sydney.

A big congratulations to ACO client Marinova who were announced the Australian Nutraceutical Ingredients Company of the Year for 2015. The award is in recognition of Marinova’s achievements across all facets of their business operations – particularly the successful commercialisation of research and development. Well done to the team!

Read more here

Welcome to the Cellar Door: Harris Organic Wines

Harris Organic Who…are you and Where…are you located?

Duncan Harris – Harris Organic Wines

Harris Organic Wines was established by Duncan Harris in 1998. Starting from scratch, Duncan built the winery and planted all the vines. Some of the vines are grafted on to root stock and these are well established now.

Harris Organic Wines is the only organic winery in the Perth metropolitan region and produce an eclectic range of award winning wines that include: shiraz, chardonnay, verdelho and a muscato style muscat, as well as delightful sparkling wines. Harris’ also make certified organic dessert wines such as liqueur Pedro Ximenez.

Harris’s are also Western Australia’s only certified organic distillers who produce a wonderful wood-fired distilled Brandy, Eau de Vie and Vodka.

With only 2 Ha of vineyard the Harris’ manage all aspects of wine production on site. While the quantities are modest, so are the overheads and their prices.

When…did you become certified?Wines

2006

Why…did you become certified?

If you are not certified you are not organic, so we did.

What is your organic story?

We purchased the property in 1998. We have always grown organic grapes and made organic wine, however, only became certified by ACO in 2007. Prior to us purchasing the property, the land had 13 years of rest as the vines were removed in 1985. The Baskerville property was sold by the original owners who held it from the 1920’s until approx 1985.

What do you love most about your business?

There is always something to do to improve, to make, to repair, to innovate, to market, to sell, to sleep, to cry, to laugh.

And….any good stories to share?

We have recently become involved with Australian Organic’s members benefits for 2016! We are offering a discount to Australian Organic members on purchases of our certified organic wines on-line using a unique code. We look forward to your support!

15 years celebration!

Harris Organic Wines opened its Swan Valley cellar door on the first of January 2000 with two products. A hearty red shiraz and a dry chenin blanc both winning medals at the Swan Valley wine show.

After humble beings, in 2004 Duncan Harris applied for organic certification with BFA/ACO. Their first certified organic certificate was issued in late 2006, just in time for the 2007 vintage.

Since 2000, Duncan has increased the range of wines available to over 15. The grape varieties now include chenin blanc, verdelho, chardonnay, shiraz, malbec, pedro ximenez, muscadelle and muscat a’ petit grain. Duncan has made dry wines and liqueurs from these varieties, including traditional method sparkling wines, fortified liqueurs of pedro Ximenez, muscat and verdelho and in the near future, a liqueur tokay (muscadelle).

Duncan obtained a manufacturers license for spirits so as to produce certified organic spirits from his organic grapes. These days they have a range of unwooded brandy called eau de vie, wooded brandy and a refined grape spirit called vodka.

Harris Organic is able to ship wines and spirits intrastate and overseas.

To celebrate this achievement, a 15 year celebration was held at the winery early in December this year with local foods, fine organic sparkling wines and local dignitaries …… A great evening!

Brandy pic 3

The dates are in for SIAL China 2016!

Sial China

Get ready for SIAL 2016. The 17th edition of SIAL China 2016 will be held in Shanghai. They are expecting 60,000 visitors between the exhibition dates 5-7th May.  Will you be exhibiting?

The Hong Kong Austrade delegation will begin on the 9-10th May. It will comprise of the Hong Kong Bus tour, taking you to top supermarkets, major agriculture markets and the Seminar. The Seminar will involve guest speakers from leading agricultural areas, domestic certification program and Hong Kong trends, followed by buyer presentations and networking.

We will keep you updated with ongoing dates and information including the Austrade Shanghai itinerary.

Please be mindful that there are only TWO positions left. If you are interested in joining Australian Organic and like-minded businesses on the ACO Asian Tour, please contact Joanne Barber at Joanne.Barber@staging.austorganic.com or (07) 3350 5716.

First shipment of organic free range chicken has been exported from Toowoomba!

Inglewood Farms 

 

 

 

 

 

The growing demand of the certified organic food market is growing even more evident. On November 23rd local company Inglewood Farms transported their Organic Free Range Chicken to Hong Kong from Toowoomba West Wellcamp Airport.Not only was this the first international flight out of Wellcamp, but it was also Inglewood Farms 2nd birthday as well. View their website here or follow them on Facebook

High Trees Estate wins Silver and 3 Bronze Medals

High Trees medals A big congratulations to High Trees Estate who recently won 4 awards at the Compak Golden Bean Coffee Roaster Competition. They received 2 bronze awards in the organic category and 1 Silver and 1 Bronze in the Australian Grown Class. Well done to the team!

A successful Annual Awards for Australian Organic

Young Organic Leader 2015, Brynley King
Young Organic Leader 2015, Brynley King

Our 2015 Annual General Meeting and Annual Awards for Excellence took place at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre, Gatton on November 27th. The awards were hosted by Australian Organic ambassador Zoe Naylor. Zoe was the face of our 2015 CSA and promoted the success of our awareness month in this month’s issue of Town and Country Farmer.

The evening recognised the achievements of our growing industry and showcased those who have helped its continued growth, including individuals, businesses and standout certified organic products.

The Young Leader Award was presented to Brynley King from Nature Pacific Pty Ltd, whose creative and innovative approach in reaching consumers impressed the judges. A major asset not just to Nature Pacific, but to the broader national and international movement for certified organic products as well as a major contributor to establishing food as medicine in the health and well-being sector.

 

Export Market Leader Award 2015, Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co.
Export Market Leader Award 2015, Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co.

Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co. received the Gold Award for Export Market Leader by reaching more markets with greater depth and number of export certificates issued (administered by ACO under the Australian government Organic Export Orders program) while creating a 10 year history, driving industry growth in Australia.

The Gold Independent Retailer of the Year went to both Wray Organic for their 9 bricks and mortar stores and Bhumi Organic Cotton for their online store. Bhumi is ushering in a new sector for the Australian organic industry; beautifully designed textiles paired with purpose and an inspiring story – helping third world producers escape the poverty and synthetic chemical industry trap by providing viable market alternatives. Wray Organic was also a stand-out due to their dedication to the certified organic industry, the clear labelling of products as certified in their stores and the expansive mindset they have to continue growing their business and the authenticity with which they are conducting their retailing operations.

Therese Kerr, an Australian Organic Goodwill ambassador, was awarded the Organic Industry Leadership award for her pivotal role in changing public perception about certified organic products by conducting regular public forums educating the public. She has worked tirelessly in front of and behind the scenes in bringing the certified organic message to Australian consumers.

Organic Industry Leadership Award 2015, Therese Kerr
Organic Industry Leadership Award 2015, Therese Kerr

One of the biggest certified organic wholesalers in the country, Eco Farms, received the title of Wholesaler/Trader of the Year. Eco Farms has branches in all the eastern states and directly employs approximately 250 people and directly or indirectly buys from hundreds of organic farmers and manufacturers, here in Australia and overseas. Eco-Farms has been reaching out to community and school groups, as well as working through Foodbank and Ozharvest with excess stock.

The delicious Loving Earth Chocolate was awarded the title of Manufacturer of the Year. Loving Earth takes the manufacturing of the products they develop back to the indigenous communities who grow and process the raw materials, thereby adding more value to their work and increasing the revenue they can generate for their local families.

The Best Certified Organic Product in the Non Food category went to Vanessa Megan’s Nature’s Elixir Face Oil (NEO). Vanessa Gray has established an astounding and innovative range of organic cosmetics and personal products to the exacting requirements of the Australian Certified Organic Standard. NEO is testament to the research and balance sought and achieved in the Vanessa Megan product range. NEO is both innovative and effective but also based on nature’s own potency and simplicity.

The Best Certified Organic Product in the Food category was awarded to Cleaver’s new Paleo Sausages. The Paleo range highlights Cleaver’s drive to remain innovative and market reactive. Cleavers has continued to deliver to consumer expectations and through product diversification, has maintained this position.

Don Murray from Nature’s Haven was titled Farmer of the Year. Mr Murray has over 30 years’ experience in agriculture and after initially instigating certified organic activities with his NSW Nature’s Haven property in 2002, Don’s family venture now consists of 7 farms, stretching across two states, purposefully delivering 12 month’s supply of fresh produce. Don is very active and generous in both regional communities where his farms are situated and his long term vision for successful, competitive Australian organic farming is clearly evident by his nurturing of the next generation of farmers, his son Brendan.

Chairman's Award 2015, Richard McDougallDr Andrew Monk, Chairman of Australian Organic, awarded Rick McDougall from Whetstone Organics the honourable Chairman’s Award for his ongoing service to the industry as well as market integrity.

The prestigious Hall of Fame Award was presented by last year’s recipient Gavin Dunn to both Geoff Steinicke, who was the original founder of Melrose Health, and David Williams, a founding member of Australian Organic, formerly the BFA (Biological Farmers of Australia). Geoff and David have been inducted into the Hall of Fame due to their active involvement in the organic marketplace and industry services sector and continued service to the broader industry.

The evening included a wine tasting from various Australian Certified Organic wines from all over Australia, including finalists Pig in the House, Kalleske Wines, Angove Family Winemakers, Gemtree Vineyards and Yangarra Estate Vineyard.

A big thanks to everyone who attended and to our amazing wine clients whose certified organic wines were sampled at the wine tasting.

Congratulations to all our award winners and finalists for 2015. We can’t wait for next year!

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Message from the Chair – December

Andrew Monk, Chairman
Andrew Monk, Chairman

This year has been a cracker for Australian certified organic businesses and their products. If you have missed news on the Awards for Excellence, Australian Organic Awareness Month, our latest CSA ad featuring Zoe Naylor and much more you are seriously missing out.

You can find the links to most of these events here. If you are a certified business with our group but not an actual member of Australian Organic you may be limiting your business’s future access to important industry and market information including networking events while simply missing out on a new package of benefits being created by our team. Click here to contact us if you want more information on this.

We wish you the best for the coming holiday and festive season for those who celebrate that time. What definitely happens predictably at this time of year in Australia is a drop off in demand for ACO organic products in the big cities as people flee to the coast. Wherever you are these holidays don’t forget that your active, conscious choices to buy Australian Certified Organic not only bring benefit to you and family but also to our hard working, committed organic producers.

We thank-you for your ongoing support for the Australian Organic family and its proud network of leading certified organic business people.

Profile of the Month – Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider

Andrew & Ian Smith
Andrew & Ian Smith

Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider, restoring the glory of apples in The Apple Isle!

A finalist in this year’s Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence in the Best Product, non-food category, Willie Smith’s Organic Cider 18 Varieties limited edition also took out top accolades at the Australian Cider Awards, winning Best in Show, Best Cider & Best Australian Cider or Perry.

William Smith, son of convict parents, settled in Tasmania’s Huon Valley in the 1800’s and planted the first apple tree for the orchard still in use today in 1888.  The farm has remained in the family and is now into the 3rd & 4th generation of orchardists in Ian & Andrew Smith.  Comprising 115 acres and situated 45 minutes south of Hobart, the farm is the largest organic apple orchard in Australia.

Tractor in orchard 150dpi

After perfecting the craft of growing great apples over the generations, the idea of producing another great product was born – organic apple cider.  An organic cidery, the first of its kind in Australia, has been built on the property and the apples make up 99% of the cider produced.  Following in the tradition of the farmhouse ciders of Northern France, a unique and complex cider is produced using a blend of apples left to develop and mature on the tree to boost flavour & sugar levels.

Converted from an original apple shed built in 1942, The Apple Shed Museum, Ciderhouse & Providore in Grove is a popular spot for locals & tourists alike.  Giving the fascinating history of the Huon Valley’s apple heritage, it also contains the full range of Willie Smith’s products, a café with simple regional fare and the providore provides an outlet for local producers to showcase their wares.  It also hosts many musical and other special events.

The_Apple_Shed_0002

A recent addition to the Willie Smith product range has been a collaboration with renowned whisky distiller Bill Lark to produce a limited edition Whisky Aged cider, with the cider sitting in Lark distillery casks for 7 months before bottling.

For more information visit the William Smith & Sons website:  williamsmith&sons.com.au

In the Spotlight – Bare Bunny

Georgia
Georgia Bamber, Founder Bare Bunny

Who…are you?

Georgia Bamber, founder of Bare Bunny food company.

What…do you do?

We make ORGANIC, 100% wholegrain pancake and baking mixes.  Made with only the highest quality ingredients we try to keep our products simple – just real food, with no fillers, additives or preservatives and absolutely nothing artificial.

Where…are you located?

Currently we are based on the beautiful South coast of NSW, but are very soon to relocate to the equally lovely Southern Highlands.

When…did you become certified?

Just earlier this year – our first products were launched in June.

Why…did you become certified?

First and foremost I wanted to make products that I would be happy to feed my children and eat myself – that meant they had to be organic!

Secondly I needed to keep my company in line with my own personal ethics – which means for health reasons not eating food products tainted with chemicals and for environmental reasons using organic ingredients that cause the least damage to our soil, water and air.

What is your organic story?

Six years ago my family and I went from being long-term expats in Asia to living on our very own beautiful farm.  Having lived in fairly close quarters in Asia, I had River Cottage fantasies of having the space to grow our own fruit and veg – the farm provided just the chance and my family and I got stuck straight in.  We quickly established an orchard, a veg patch and a crazy flock of chickens and I began to make just about everything we eat from scratch.

As we started to eat all the fresh organic produce and home made foods, we noticed our health and energy levels begin to sky rocket.  Not only did the food taste amazing but almost every day we veritably bounce out of bed ready for another day.  I attribute most of these benefits to the fantastic home grown and cooked organic food that we eat.

Realising that not everyone has access to real healthy food like I do, nor perhaps the inclination or time to cook everything from scratch, a business idea, and Bare Bunny, was born – to eating real, healthy food easy with time saving products made with only the best natural, organic ingredients.

What do you love most about your business?

There is a lot to love about owning your own company and doing what you love, but what I love most is having the chance to make a difference by helping people to make positive changes in their eating habits, which have knock on effects into so many other areas of life.  Through the business, not only do we make great, healthy (and of course tasty) products but on our website and blog we offer information, advice, tips and tricks on how to eat a healthy ‘real’ food diet.

It makes me happy to see people embracing positive food choices and getting that health buzz.

And….any good stories to share?

We are really excited to be launching two new products at the beginning of December.

Our GF pancake mix made of organic 100% wholegrain millet and buckwheat flours should make all our gluten free friends happy.  Made with only quality ingredients, with no starches and fillers they are a healthier and tastier option than other GF products out there.  The mix is really versatile – it can be used to make pancakes of course, but also muffins and cakes too.

Our pizza base/ flatbread mix is made from organic 100% wholegrain spelt and wheat flours.  They are so easy to make and super healthy.  We are excited about all the new recipe ideas we will get to develop using this new mix.

To order or for information, recipes and tips visit www.barebunny.com.au

Australian Organic Annual Awards 2015 Winners

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Young Leader Award

GOLD               Brynley King – Nature Pacific Pty Ltd – QLD/FIJI

SILVER            Brooke Howell – The Yalumba Wine Company – SA

BRONZE          Will Magin – Bill’s Certified Organic Health Bakery – NSW

 

Export Market Leader

GOLD                Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Company – QLD

SILVER             Kialla Pure Foods Pty Ltd – QLD

BRONZE           Murray River Organics Pty Ltd – VIC

 

Independent Retailer of the Year

GOLD                Bhumi Organic Cotton – VIC (ON-LINE STORE)

GOLD                Wray Organic – QLD (RETAIL STORE)

SILVER             Nebo Organics – QLD

BRONZE           Sherwood Road Organics Pty Ltd – QLD

 

Manufacturer of the Year

GOLD               Loving Earth Pty Ltd – VIC

SILVER            Barambah Organics – QLD

BRONZE          Yangarra Estate Vineyard – SA

 

Wholesaler/Trader of the Year

GOLD               Eco-Farms Pty Ltd – NSW, VIC, QLD

SILVER            United Organics – QLD

BRONZE          Kialla Pure Foods Pty Ltd – QLD

 

Organic Industry Leadership

GOLD               Therese Kerr –The Divine Company – NSW

SILVER            Gary Leeson – Organic Crop Protectants – NSW

BRONZE           Nicole and Harvey Giblett – Newton Orchards/ Valley View Organics – WA

 

Farmer/s of the Year

GOLD               Donald Murray – Nature’s Haven – QLD/NSW

SILVER            Joan and David Cook – Dandaragan Organic Beef – WA

BRONZE          Natasha and Wayne Shields – Peninsula Fresh Organics – VIC

 

Best Certified Organic Product – Non Food

GOLD               Vanessa Megan NSW – Nature’s Elixir Face Oil (N.E.O)

SILVER            Mount Horrocks Wines SA – Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling

BRONZE          Kalleske Wines Pty Ltd SA – Kalleske Johann Georg Shiraz

 

Best Certified Organic Product – Food

GOLD                Cleaver’s Organic NSW – Paleo beef sausage

SILVER             five:am VIC – five:am New yoghurts and cereals range

BRONZE           Murray River Organics Pty Ltd VIC – Gobble range

 

Chairman’s Award 2015

Richard McDougall, Whetstone Organics, QLD

 

Hall of Fame 2015

Geoff Steinicke

David Williams

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Kalleske wines wins prestigious sustainability award

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Tony and Troy Kalleske, founders and co-owners of Kalleske Wines, were rapturous with their win

Kalleske Wines has been awarded the Banksia Gold Award and the Small to Medium Business Sustainability Leadership Award at the 2015 Banksia Sustainability Awards held on Friday the 13th of November.

Tony and Troy Kalleske, founders and co-owners of Kalleske Wines, were rapturous with their win: “To win our small to medium business category was amazing but then to go on to win the Gold Award, Australia’s highest ranked sustainability award and be named the best of all 59 finalists was an even more incredible, humbling and a somewhat surreal experience”.

To find out more about Kalleske Wines head to http://www.kalleske.com/

Certified Organic wine fit for the royals

Royals
Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall with Oranje Tractor winery proprietor Murray Gomm during a visit to Oranje Tractor Wines.

This month, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwell visited Australia and two of our clients were chosen to be a part of this royal tour!

Gemtree Wines and Oranje Tractor Wines both were selected to represent in South Australia and Western Australia respectively.

ACO Client Gemtree wines was selected by PIRSA as the only winery to take part in the South Australian Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment Exhibition and Showcase, where both Prince Charles and Camilla attended.

The exhibition and showcase was held at the Seppeltsfield Estate, Barossa Valley and Gemtree was prestigiously selected due to their passion for organic and biodynamic viticulture and their core focus on sustainability.

During their tour of Western Australia, the Royals visited ACO’s OGA client Oranje Tractor Wines.

The royal couple spoke with proprietor Murray Gomm whilst enjoying a tasting tipple during their visit. They further celebrated Prince Charles’ 67th birthday by the cutting of a cake at the winery.

You can find out more about Gemtree and their sustainable practises at www.gemtreewines.com or Oranje Tractor Wines at http://www.oranjetractor.com

Image Credit: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Mums are doing it for themselves

Monica from Whole Kids graced the cover of AusMumpreneur

A big congratulations to Monica from Whole Kids who graced the cover of AusMumpreneur Magazine this month after being awarded the title of AusMumpreneur of the Year.

Vinita from Bhumi Organic Cotton was awarded the sustainability award and was also featured in the magazine.

The current edition of AusMumpreneur Magazine features stories on both Monica and Vinita and how they got to where they are today.

You can view it online here.

AOAM was a great success

ZoeAOAM ambassador Zoe Naylor graced the cover of the November/ December issue of Town and Country Farmer Magazine as well as a great article about the success of Australian Organic Awareness Month.

We already can’t wait until September 2016!

In the Spotlight – Pure & Green Organics

Grace Culhaci with her z'akin cosmetic product
Grace Culhaci with her zk’in cosmetic product

Who…are you?

Pure and Green Organics Pty Ltd

What…do you do?

We are manufacturers of the certified organic skincare brand zk’in

Where…are you located?

Rydalmere, NSW

When…did you become certified?

The company was first certified by ACO in 2009 and we joined the COSMOS program in 2013.

Why…did you become certified?

As a cosmetic formulator I fell in love with the green chemistry requirement under the COSMOS program.  Good green science is eco thinking mixed with ethics, balancing the needs of humans and the eco system. This is important as at least a third of the technologies used by cosmetic companies depend directly or indirectly on the living world, yet only 12% of the Top 100 brands take biodiversity into account in their sourcing.

Another unique aspect of COSMOS certification is the approval that is required for the packaging of organic formulations. All packaging must be free from gold and silver as these prohibit recycling from taking place, all packs must be food grade and BPA free with no acrylic. This represents a massive reform to the industry and is long overdue.

Certification guarantees the consumer that all product claims have been independently verified. The COSMOS logo means every aspect of our products have been scrutinized as complying with the stringent organic and quality standards of this certification, in particular, every farmer supplying us ingredients must also be certified organic. Nothing falls through the cracks, there is no green-washing. You can be confident what you get is honest beauty from an honest product.

What is your organic story?

I observed that while many women make healthy food choices, they are willing to compromise on their skincare and use synthetic ingredients – the equivalent to a junk food diet for our skin – because they feel organic skincare while safer, might not deliver the results they are looking for. I wanted to develop a range that would offer genuine safety but was also results based.

And thus zk’in came into being.

Developed with advanced clinically proven, certified organic ingredients chosen for both their outstanding performance and purity, the formulations feature a unique 100% natural preservative system. These efforts have contributed to new knowledge in the scientific field and has earned the company a research and development grant from the Australian Government.

The ‘z’ in the brand name ties in with our zero tolerance policy to anything less than the best. There are no parabens, no sulphates, no petrochemicals and no unnatural ingredients in any zk’in certified organic skincare product, achieving naturally beautiful and clinically proven results, free from worry about toxins or synthetic ingredients.

What do you love most about your business?

It’s been lovely to witness the appreciation we’ve received from consumers and stockists alike, thankful to find a brand dedicated to safety, honesty and integrity, but still delivering results consumers are looking for

And….any good stories to share?

In the 12 months since launching zk’in, the brand was won 9 awards with a 10th being announced in December 2015.

One of our award winning products is zk’in Line Smoothing Serum. As the anti-ageing market grows, so does the demand for wrinkle smoothing products. In the past it was difficult for an organic brand to achieve success in this market, with the most common ingredients being botulotoxin injectables or synthetic neuropeptides, like Argireline – both of which are prohibited for use in organic products.

zk’in Line Smoothing Serum features paracess extract, a 100% natural alternative to synthetic wrinkle smoothers and an approved input for organic products. This plant is traditionally used in food and medicine making it by far the safest option available to market to date.

Line Smoothing Serum has become our #1 selling product in Australia and throughout the UK and Denmark based on its performance, ease of application and gorgeous scent.

©Photograph live PL - Ben Scott photography - Sydney fashion photographer
©Photograph live PL – Ben Scott photography – Sydney fashion photographer

Message from the Chair – November 2015

Andrew Monk, Chair Australian Organic
Andrew Monk, Chair Australian Organic

Australia is about to experience the biggest and most important awards for organic products in the industry’s history. Watch this space for announcements!

Behind every Australian Certified Organic product and the Bud brand sits endless hours of meticulous checking, auditing, testing and spot inspections. And that’s after endless hours of labour of love of the farmers and food, beverage, textile and cosmetic makers who toil to produce these amazing products for you.

The fees we charge as a not-for-profit member organisation are invested back into protecting, educating and promoting the certified organic message. Your membership fees help with this cause.

With Christmas fast approaching don’t forget that with some simple purchases you can not only make it a great day for your closest friends and loved ones but also express your support for the hard working families whose own acts are helping keep our shared environment freer from synthetic chemicals.

Australian Certified Organic: leading standards, leaders of industry, leading to a better healthier environment and families for us all.

Profile of the month – The Organic Farm Gate

The Organic Farm Gate Opening - November 2013
The Organic Farm Gate Official Opening – November 2013

Who…are you?

The Organic Farm Gate Pty Ltd

We are Australia’s largest network of certified organic growers.

What…do you do?

We work together to plan, grow, pack and distribute a range of fruit and vegetables year round. The Organic Farm Gate Pty Ltd was established by a group of Australian farmers to provide structure behind the further development of the Horticultural Organic Category. We co-ordinate supply from key farms across the country to supply core lines every day of the year.

The generational commitment through our founders speaks volumes about the custodianship of the land which is reflected in the commitment to better manage the supply chain. Bauers Organic Farm – 5th generation, Wombat Forest Organics 6th generation and 3 generations on Googa Organic Farms.

Our vision collectively is to manage the organic category for the benefit of all; to give it vision, leadership and structure so that we all prosper from the riches of our organic land.

We are passionate about real organic food that tastes great, is of the highest quality, is full of nutrition and is good for your health and the environment. All our farms are certified organic to Australian and National standards and owned by Australian families.

Where…are you located?

Our head office and packing facilities are located at 88 Carpendale Road, Carpendale QLD 4344 – in the Lockyer Valley. Our growers are located across Australia.

What is your organic story?

We are a group of experienced, high quality producers. As leading growers we are working together, planning and learning from each other to produce some of the best food in Australia – all year round. The Organic Farm Gate Pty Ltd was formed to provide a service and a support network for other like-minded growers for professional planning, packaging and distribution of certified organic fruit and vegetables. The group has also expanded to include a large modern, certified packing facility based in Queensland that is celebrating its 2nd year anniversary in November 2015. Our facilities further enhance our capabilities and we are currently developing our strategies in the domestic and international markets.

What do you love most about your business?

Our growers work together by learning from each other in growing techniques, their differing regions across the country providing supply that does not compete with each other but enhances each other’s offering. Our growers give generosity in mentoring other growers and their drive to make the industry more cohesive is at the heart of our culture and needs to be celebrated.

And….any good stories to share?

The newest crop from The Organic Farm Gate is our Certified Organic ZING Ginger; it is in season now and harvesting has begun! Anthony Bauer from Bauer’s Organic Farm has grown the ginger crop himself and knows how good this product is for you.  Anthony uses certified organic ginger daily in fresh juices, teas, stir fries, curries, soups and more.

Ginger has been known for its medicinal purposes and many health benefits for centuries. Its positive effect on digestion is well-known but it’s also used to treat nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, colds, flu, headaches and coughing.

With so many health benefits of Certified Organic ZING Ginger, we are sure you will find your inner ZING! Certified Organic ZING Ginger can be found in supermarkets and organic food stores across Australia.

For recipe ideas and information go to www.australianorganicfarmers.com.au and for further information about our business go to www.theorganicfarmgate.com.au

Farmgate packing facilities
Farmgate packing facilities

2015 Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence – National Finalists

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2015 Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence

Congratulations to the following finalists:

Young Leader Award

Brendan Murray – Nature’s Haven – QLD

Brooke Howell – The Yalumba Wine Company – SA

Brynley King – Nature Pacific Pty Ltd – QLD/FIJI

Daniel Quattrocchi – Monika’s Organics – SA

Jacob Parrish – The Organic Farm Gate – QLD

Will Magin – Bill’s Certified Organic Health Bakery – NSW

 

Export Market Leader

Angove Family Winemakers – SA

Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Company – QLD

Kalleske Wines Pty Ltd – SA

Kialla Pure Foods Pty Ltd – QLD

Mount Horrocks Wines – SA

Murray River Organics Pty Ltd – VIC

Pana Chocolate – VIC

The Yalumba Wine Company – SA

 

Independent Retailer of the Year

Bhumi Organic Cotton – VIC

Nebo Organics – QLD

Sherwood Road Organics Pty Ltd – QLD

Wray Organic – QLD

 

Organic Industry Leadership

Andy Gulliver – C-Wise – WA

Gary Leeson – Organic Crop Protectants – NSW

Melissa Brown, Mike Brown and Andrew Buttery – Gemtree Wines – SA

Nathan Free – Wattle Organic Farms Pty Ltd – VIC

Nicole and Harvey Giblett – Newton Orchards/ Valley View Organics – WA

Therese Kerr –The Divine Company – NSW

Troy Kalleske – Kalleske Wines Pty Ltd – SA

Ulli and Helmut Sprantz – B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Pty Ltd – SA

 

Wholesaler/Trader of the Year

Amazonia (Aust) Pty Ltd – QLD

Eco-Farms Pty Ltd – NSW, VIC, QLD

Kialla Pure Foods Pty Ltd – QLD

Terra Madre Pty Ltd – VIC

United Organics – QLD

 

Manufacturer of the Year

Barambah Organics – QLD

Endota Spa – VIC

Hakubaku Australia – VIC

Kalleske Wines Pty Ltd – SA

Loving Earth Pty Ltd – VIC

Pana Chocolate – VIC

Perfect Potion – QLD

Yangarra Estate Vineyard – SA

 

Farmer/s of the Year

Andrew Youngberry – Inglewood Farms – QLD

Donald Murray – Nature’s Haven – QLD/NSW

Jamie and Verity McTaggart – Saltbush Livestock Pty Ltd – SA

Joan and David Cook – Dandaragan Organic Beef – WA

Lauran & Henriette Damen – Kindred Organics – TAS

Lisa and David Tatman – Spring Creek Organics – VIC

Marleen and Ronald Van de Winckel – Marleen Herbs of Tasmania – TAS

Natasha and Wayne Shields – Peninsula Fresh Organics – VIC

 

Best Certified Organic Product – Non Food

Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. VIC – Organic Tonic Water

Grosset Wines SA – Grosset Polish Hill Riesling

Jasmin Skincare Pty Ltd Qld – Natural Ageing Serum

Kalleske Wines Pty Ltd SA – Kalleske Johann Georg Shiraz

Mount Horrocks Wines SA – Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling

Pig in the House NSW – Pig in the House Shiraz

Vanessa Megan NSW – Natures Elixir Face Oil (N.E.O)

Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider TAS – Willie Smith’s Organic Cider

 

Best Certified Organic Product – Food

B.-d. Farm Paris Creek Pty Ltd SA – Swiss quark

Bill’s Certified Organic Health Bakery NSW – Ancient grains and activated super seeds sourdough

Cleaver’s Organic NSW – Paleo beef sausage

five:am VIC – five:am New yoghurts and cereals range

Loving Earth Pty Ltd VIC – Chocolate range

Murray River Organics Pty Ltd VIC – Gobble range

2014 Australian Organic Annual Award Winners!

A feminine hygiene manufacturer, a chocolatier, a fruiterer and wine maker are amongst the winners of this year’s Australian Organic Awards.

sophie and nick
Senator Nick Xenophon and Sophie McQueen, accepting the award on behalf of Aimee Marks

Founder of certified organic feminine hygiene products Aimee Marks has been awarded the Australian Organic Young Leader Award for her role in educating women and girls about health.

Aimee of TOM Organics pioneered a new category of Australian owned certified organic pads and tampons, which are now widely available in supermarkets.

The Award was presented at the inaugural Australian Organic Awards held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on Friday night and were presented by Senator Nick Xenophon.

They are the first awards of their kind to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of individuals and businesses in Australia’s over $1.5 billion organic industry.

Australian Organic owns the nation’s largest and most well known organic certification mark on our shelves, Australian Certified Organic. Its logo appears on over 14,000 products.

The Young Leader Award is open to people 30 years or younger and have demonstrated a high level of commitment to the organic industry.

Whole Kids crop
Senator Nick Xenophon and Whole Kids’ David Waites

Senator Xenophon said, “Tonight’s awards should provide a moment to recognise achievements in the industry, to acknowledge the wins and use those victories as stepping stones to greater progress.”

Vanya Cullen from Cullen Wines was awarded the Export Market Award.

Cullen Wines successfully exports to 14 countries and leads the way with an innovative marketing strategy which demonstrates a commitment to doing business internationally.

Best Certified Organic Small Store Retailer went to Queensland franchise Wray Organic, which has nine stores in and around Brisbane.

Founders and owners Deborah Wray and Gary Davis provide a fantastic training program for staff and have built strong customer loyalty.

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Best Small Retailer Award winner Deborah Wray and Senator Nick Xenophon.

Children’s health and snack food manufacturer Whole Kids took out the Organic Innovation Award for their range of products, marketing creativity and commitment to health and wellness.

Innovative chocolatiers Loving Earth has been awarded the Australian Organic Industry Leadership Award.

Loving Earth makes a range of certified organic, raw chocolates in Melbourne and has achieved impressive sales for a company that has never paid for advertising and instead promotes itself through social media, racking up 100,000 Instagram followers.

Loving Earth also sources its raw ingredients through systems that have fair conditions and wages for farmers.

Daniel, Monica Fiebig nick xenophon cropped
Chairman’s Award for Organic Industry Integrity went to Monika Fiebig, pictured with her son, Daniel and Senator Nick Xenophon.

The Chairman’s Award for Organic Industry Integrity went to Monika Fiebig, a South Australian wholesaler of certified organic fruit and vegetables who works tirelessly outside of her business to promote organics and to maintain probity in the organic industry.

In a fitting finale to the awards ceremony organic grain manufacturers Rosemary and Gavin Dunn from Four Leaf Milling were inducted into the Organic Hall of Fame.

Rosemary and Gavin were instrumental in developing the organic industry in Australia 25 years ago when they co- founded Australian Organic.

At the time it was one of a very few organisations supporting farmers using methods that didn’t rely on synthetic chemicals.

CEO of Australian Organic Paul Stadhams says it’s great to be able to acknowledge people and businesses that have contributed so much to the growth of the organic industry.

Rosemary and gavin dunne crop
2014 Hall of Fame winners Rosemary and Gavin Dunn with Senator Nick Xenophon

“The Hall of Fame is an award I’m particularly proud to introduce because there are so many people who have laboured for such a long time to create the profitable, robust and growing industry that organics is today.

“Rosemary and Gavin Dunn have volunteered so much of their time to develop the industry, as well as juggle a very successful milling business in South Australia.

“It’s thanks to early pioneers like the Dunns for developing market access niches and options and giving consumers a choice about what sort of food they eat. Congratulations to all the award winners!”

AOAM Major Prize Winner announced

Winner Jenny HallWe would love to once again thank everyone who participated in Australian Organic Awareness Month during September.A massive congratulations to Jenny Hall who won the AOAM Major Prize – a five night escape to Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.Her winning entry to the question, Tell us in 25 words or less what the Australian Organic logo means to you was: Confidence that we are eating organic foods that meet vigorous standards, using holistic approaches for growth and consumption enhancing sustainability.

A big thanks to everyone who entered the competition and shared their love of certified organics throughout the month.

 

Competition Time – October 2015

H2cocoH2Coco is giving away a 3 month supply of their Organic Virgin Coconut Oil 500ml to 4 lucky winners, valued over $190.00!

H2Coco Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is amazingly versatile and packed with health benefits. Eat it straight from the jar, mix it in a drink, cook with it or spread it on your toast. You can even use it in your natural beauty regime to nourish skin, moisturise your hair or as a natural make-up remover.

To WIN this great prize, simply send an email to Brittany.Stewart@staging.austorganic.com stating what you would use your coconut oil for with the subject line H2 COCO Giveaway. The winners will be chosen at random and announced in the November newsletter.

What’s coming up in 2016

 2016

12-14 March 2016 – Melbourne &

1-2 May 2016, Sydney

ACO-628x90

5-7 May 2016, Shanghai China

Sial China

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27 November

Australian OrgAO-invite-AGM-2015anic Annual Events 2015

We will be holding our Australian Organic Annual Events, including Annual General Meeting, on Friday 27 November 2015.

This year it will be hosted at the grounds of the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre. The meeting will be held from 2:00-5:00pm followed by the much anticipated award ceremony and wine tasting from 6:00-10:00pm

This is a popular event for both our members and clients, so don’t forget to RSVP by 13 November to contact@staging.austorganic.com

 

 

11 November

Blackmores institute

 

 

Do you know the nutritional and therapeutic value of the foods you eat?

Take part in Blackmores Institute Webinars to explore the foods you eat with a Paddock to Plate Webinar

Date: 11th November

Time:  6.30-7.30pm AEDT

Where: Online Webinar

In the journey from paddock to plate the nutritional and therapeutic potential of our foods are irrevocably altered. The webinar will feature Dr Liza Oates who will present a summary of the numerous factors that affect the therapeutic value of the foods we eat, and provide suggestions for getting the most nutrition from your food dollar.

For more information, or to register, click here

 

7th November

YangarraCelebrate Spring in style with Yangarra Estate Vineyard

Adelaide friends, come and help us celebrate our new Spring releases with an afternoon of sunshine, Yangarra-grown Lamb on the spit, acoustic tunes by Paige Renee Court and activities for the kids.

Nigel Rich from The Elbow Room will be preparing delicious Lamb, salad and bread hampers for your enjoyment. NB: All hamper orders must be pre-booked and paid for with your reservation.

Yangarra wines can be purchased by the bottle or glass on the day. The wine list is available at www.yangarra.com. Limited soft drink will be available and Dawn Patrol Coffee Roasters will be serving all day and available for purchase. Please note that BYO is not allowed and cheese plates are also available for purchase on the day.
Date: Saturday 7th November 2015

Time: 11am – 5pm

You can purchase tickets here and for any enquiries please call us on 08 8383 7459 or email sales@yangarra.com.

We hope to see you there!

The Yangarra Estate Vineyard Team

Got Juice?

Arahura JuiceAra-hura Farms, famously known for their fresh produce and in particular their carrots, has now launched a cold pressed juice range (and it comes as no surprise that carrot features throughout!). The juices are certified by ACO and are now available nationally throughout IGA and health and organic food stores. Keep an eye out for these great flavours:·         Carrot, Apple, Ginger

·         Carrot, Apple, Ginger, Beetroot

Want to find out how Arahura Farms began? Click here.

Are you up to date with your supplier requirements?

Do you supply produce to Coles, Woolworths or Aldi? They are just some of the retailers that have elected to be bound by the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct by the ACCC.“The Code governs certain conduct by grocery retailers and wholesalers in their dealings with suppliers. It has rules relating to grocery supply agreements, payments, termination of agreements, dispute resolution and a range of other matters.” ACCCThe Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.is a voluntary code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Find out more here.

Tracking the source proves successful for Kialla Pure Foods

Tracker KiallaFine Food Australia’s “New Product” Awards took place in September and Kialla Pure Foods’ Plate2Farm Tracker proved a massive success. It was placed as a finalist in both the ‘Best New Food Service Product’ and ‘Best New Australian Made Product’ categories.Read the full press release below:

Kialla tile

Plate2farm tracker, finalist at Fine Foods Australia New Product Awards

Not only was the Plate2Farm tracker the only organic product that made it into the finals at the Fine Foods New Product Awards in September, it was the only product which was a finalist in 2 award categories: Best New Foodservice Product and Best New Australian Made Product.

And while the tracker was pipped at the post by Australia’s obsession with coffee (winners by category were a new milk product designed for baristas, and an Aussie made coffee machine), Kialla Pure Foods still received plenty of enthusiastic response to its innovative use of organic traceability.

Kialla’s tracker makes use of the organic audit process to enable consumers to track their grains back to the actual farmers who grew them. The shopper can scan the QR code using their mobile, and via the internet they can know immediately where and how their food was grown and processed.

Kialla designed the Plate2Farm tracker in response to consumers’ increasing interest in the source of their food. The internet, in combination with traceability inherent in organic certification, provides a perfect way to connect people in cities with the farmers who grow the grains.

The tracker includes videos and photos of the actual farmers, as well as maps of their location. It also gives some in-depth insight into what’s involved with organic farming, making it a great education tool for school children.

See the tracker in action at:

http://www.plate2farm.com.au

The Right Food Group brings an award-winning product to your home!

Anni BrownjohnCongratulations to The Right Food Group team who took home 2 awards at the NSW Business Chambers Annual Awards.The Right Food Group was awarded the NSW Business Chamber Regional Business of the Year Award for displaying superior performance in all aspects of their business.

They also were presented with the Excellence in Export Award which is given to businesses who are forging a strong reputation for Australian products and services in international markets. Great work!

Their brand OZGANICS was established as a certified organic sauce company in 1999 and now consists of not only sauces but dressings, salsas and spreads.

 

Wray Organic turns 10!

Wray Organic birthdayOn the weekend of the 10th of October, Deborah Wray and her team at the Wray Organic Palm Beach store celebrated their 10th birthday in the only suitable way possible – cooking demonstrations and tastings of delicious, certified organic goods! In February 2016, Wray Organic is set to open their first interstate store in Tamworth, NSW. Another reason to celebrate!

 

Are your team up to date on what “certified organic” really means?

What certified organic really meansWe have developed training tools for staff at all different levels of knowledge regarding the meaning of “certified organic”.It is a guide for your business to help train different departments such as your sales team, buyers, marketing team or research departments.For further information and to download the training tools, click here.

Where are they now: Nathan Free

Nathan Free, Nuffield Scholar
Nathan Free, Nuffield Scholar

Where are they now: Nathan Free

This month we chatted with Nathan Free. If his name sounds familiar that comes as no surprise – in 2014 Nathan was awarded the AUSVeg Young Grower of the Year Award and is a current Nuffield Scholar (2015). He is definitely one to keep an eye on and shows no signs of slowing down. Nathan has been travelling the globe as part of his scholarship and we chatted about his journey so far. From learning more about the organic industry abroad and new adaptable techniques to where he believes Australia is positioned globally in the organic industry.

What have you been doing since your scholarship was awarded?

My Nuffield Scholarship has taken me around the globe. The first stop was the Contemporary Scholars Conference which was held in France in March. This was a 10 day conference including 75 2015 Nuffield scholars from around the world and myself, learning about the global view on world agriculture. The event was a fantastic start to the Nuffield experience and I developed a deeper knowledge of the global food market.

On the 1st of June I left with a small group of scholars to start my Global Focus Program (GFP). This program saw us travelling to 6 countries over 6 weeks to discover the agricultural economies relevant to these countries. My group and I travelled to Singapore where we were given a briefing from the Australian Government and different industry sectors. We then travelled onwards to India, Qatar, Turkey, France and the United States. After completing the GFP program I began my personal study. This took me approximately 8 weeks to complete, travelling throughout America, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and France.

On your personal study abroad what did you learn whilst visiting different countries?

My personal study program was to research topic sustainable organics. My idea was to learn from both research organisations and commercial growers on the most up to date practices in building soil health and growing certified organic produce in an economical way.

While I was in the USA I was impressed with the commitment of research organisations. Universities and institutes are developing new techniques to improve the efficiency of organic production. Additionally some highlighted notes were soil testing specific to organic production, organic no till, premium compost production and weed management.

The Netherlands was a great visit as I got a greater understanding of the supply to developed organic markets, how large scale organic production can work and the assistance it requires.

From production on their mineral rich soils to smart pre-packaging techniques and extensive sales networks, the Netherlands is a great success. Fresh production growers also had a great range of processing companies offering contract based production.

My time in France was based on soil health rather than organic production. It was great to see things that I had learnt in America and other countries were also being used in France. I attended some great informative workshops that discussed crop rotation, soil biology and no till options. A great deal of producers are not using the above practices but the workshops were still full of people keen to understand the principle.

How do you think Australian growers benchmark with horticultural growers internationally?

Organic producers within Australia generally rank lower than the majority of their international counterparts. I believe international research organisations and organic industry groups are a lot more committed to achieving a great result for their producers.

We need to be looking at industry collaboration to develop committed working groups that can effect change in our industry. Building soil sustainability and economical production will be key in building our international recognition. Like any progressive business, we need to be looking at what the biggest factor is holding up organic sales, which in my opinion is price, so we need to be open minded in the way we change and adopt efficiencies.

What is the most innovative aspect you have seen as part of your industry visits this year? Organic no till farming was one of the most interesting things that I have noticed from around the world, and could have great results in Australia if adopted. The key benefits to organic no till are consistent ground cover, low soil disturbance and greater soil biodiversity making organic production more economical. This method has been tried and tested throughout the world with great success. Brand of origin is also becoming really big in America more specifically New York State where locally produced food is pushed by government and respected by consumers. This kind of initiative will be positive for our organic industry in Australia as we have a smaller grower base. Change can be effected quickly, giving consumers a greater understanding of the story of where their produce comes from.

How is your research shaping the knowledge you will bring back to Australia once your Nuffield Scholarship is finished? Some of my goals on my return to Australia will be to set up an organic research farm where growers and researchers can test ideas that will be beneficial to the greater industry, and to work with seed breeders and researchers to develop organic varieties of fruits and vegetables specific to the Australian climate and conditions. My goal will be to improve the sustainability of certified organic industry in Australia, through the whole supply chain starting with the growers, then the packers and all the way to the retailers that are dealing with the most important part, our consumers.

Nathan Free is currently the managing director of Wattle Organic Farms trading as Alkira Organics. Nathan is responsible for vegetable production, packaging, marketing and dispatch. You can check out Wattle Organic Farms on Facebook here

Recipe of the Month – October 2015

Image supplied Foodfitandrepeat.com
Image supplied Foodfitandrepeat.com

The October ‘ACO Recipe of the Month’ has been submitted by popular health and wellness blog ‘FoodFitandRepeat’.  Their healthy, fun and delicious Breakfast Parfait was created using only ACO certified brands including five:am, Organic Chia Seeds from Honest to Goodness, Ovvio Vanilla Bean Powder and Australia’s Own Organic Almond Milk Blend. Check it out here

 

 

In the Spotlight – Black Crow Organics

DavidLitzow_44
David Litzow, Black Crow Organics

Who…are you?

We are Black Crow Organics. We, Dave and Tammy Litzow, own and operate the 400 acre farming enterprise. We have been farming all our lives and are 4th generation farmers. We have state of the art cold rooms, machinery and packing facilities. We pride ourselves on purchasing new technology in farm machinery and always try to improve our business, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

What…do you do?

We work out on the farm 7 days a week with 4 full time employees. We grow lots of different vegetables including potatoes (5 different varieties), pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, cabbage, celery and cauliflower. We supply Australia-wide to organic wholesalers who on sell to the retailers. Some of our products arrive to the consumers 2 days after they are picked.

Where…are you located?

We are located in the heart of the Lockyer Valley. Our main farm is in the Tenthill region consisting of beautiful black creek loam soils. Our other farm is in the Mulgowie area and has the best quality water in the valley.

When…did you become certified?

We became certified 10 years ago.

Why…did you become certified?

We became certified due to our child being born very premature and only weighing 1kg. Doctors told us there was no real reason why this happened. When you are told something like that you take a real good look at your life. We didn’t farm with too much chemical, but we decided to eliminate all chemicals from the day our daughter was born. Converting to organic was difficult as disease is very hard to control. As you know, you never stop learning when you are farming the organic way.

What is your organic story?

Our organic story is very simple. We just wanted a better life for ourselves and for our 2 young daughters. We wanted to show them how to live life healthy and of course naturally. Our daughters are now pursuing careers and the organic food, cosmetics and cleaning products are second nature to them. All the organic industry needs is families to convert a little at a time and it will be better for their health and also the environment.DavidLitzow_07

What do you love most about your business?

The most exciting part of the business is to hear the customer feedback. We often receive calls from the guys who sell the produce to the end customer telling us to keep doing what we are doing. For example, “Your potatoes taste great!!!” We also had a bus load of keen gardeners out to the farm this year and it was good for them to see how much work goes into producing a quality product. It was great to see them get their hands dirty and to observe all the worms in the ground.

Profile of the Month – Marleen Herbs of Tasmania

Marleen Herbs of Tasmania

echi field  30jan14
The Tasmanian fields.

Organic Medicinal Herbs and Extracts

Farmed with innovative ‘organic’ solar machinery

Ronald & Marleen van de Winckel relocated their business (formerly Marleen Kruiden) from the Netherlands to a 40ha mixed farm at Barrington in north-west Tasmania in 2011.

The main focus of the business is in growing and processing organic medicinal plants to produce extracts such as tinctures, essences and pressing-juices. The raw plant material is also sold fresh, frozen or dried.  The main consumers of their product are phyto-therapeutic and homeopathic companies using certified organic herbal material.

After harvesting, plants are assessed for suitability for further processing and the drying, freezing, extracting, maceration and pressing are carried out in the purpose built laboratory on the property.

As well as the herbs, the property also produces vegetables, edible flowers, fruit and nuts and runs a small herd of Hereford and Murray Grey cattle for manure and meat for local sale.

elec tractor 30jan14 030
Ronald using his modified tractor.

Ronald’s background in Agricultural Engineering has no doubt been the impetus for the very ‘organic’ conversion of farm machinery from combustion engine to solar.

The solar propelled tractor is made from a 1949 Allis Chalmers tool carrier, and does the important work of mechanical hoeing.

The herb harvester is ‘electrified’ by incorporating all the components of a redundant electrical forklift truck.

As Ronald says: “The obvious advantages for organic farming are no noise, far less stressful, no fume or oil pollution for the herbs, and of course use of renewable energy.”

Fresh plant tinctures are distributed in Australia through The Pharmaceutical Plant Company, another ACO client, however a “farm gate range” of herbal teas, essential oils, vinegars and infused oils are also available at  www.farmhousedirect.com.

 

lavender harvester marleen 27dec14
Marleen with the lavender harvester

Celebrating and acknowledging the best in 2015!

Andrew Monk, Chair Australian Organic
Andrew Monk, Chair Australian Organic

Message from the Chair – October 2015

Hello,

Next month brings us that time of year we have now marked out for celebrating and acknowledging the best on offer from our amazingly diverse and vibrant organic marketplace.

Leaders and the best organic products will be on display shortly with the finalists announced for the Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence.

I am constantly humbled as well as inspired by this growing diversity and professionalism, as a consumer of Australian organic products, and as chairman of Australia’s leader in maintaining organic market integrity.

Please join with us this coming month, in continuing the celebrations right through the Christmas period, by supporting our hard working, capital risking, organic entrepreneurs, be they farmers or food and beverage makers.

Buying Australian Certified Organic products from these food industry pioneers and leaders on a daily basis will make someone else’s day out there – someone who counts dearly – the people who are building healthier communities while sustaining our fragile earth.

Please share, please be involved, and this celebratory season please join with us in recognising these great organic folk in our midst.

Andrew Monk

Chairman

Australian Organic Ltd

Welcome to the Cellar Door: Angove Family Winemakers

Vine Image edittedWho…are you?

Angove Family Winemakers

What…do you do?

Craft an extensive range of organic (and non organic) wines from our vineyards across South Australia.

Where…are you located?

Principally McLaren Vale and Renmark

When…did you become certified?

2008

Why…did you become certified?

For commercial, quality and environmental reasons. We identified a gap in the market for good quality, well priced, organically certified wines and knew we could put together a good offer.

At all levels of viticulture, organic systems help the vine produce better fruit. Photosynthesis, the method by which the vine converts sunlight into sugar in the grapes, is increased in an organically maintained vineyard. The vines’ efficiency increases and the ripening process of the grapes becomes faster. We have seen in many instances that the earliest fruit harvested is usually the best quality and often from organic vineyards. If a vine is truly healthy and growing in healthy soils we believe they will be producing better flavours earlier in the growing season. Healthy soil is promoted and created by extensive use of organic mulches and the growing of a permanent sward of grasses along the vine rows. This in turn encourages symbiotic insect and spider populations to flourish that naturally take care of any pest insect species. The mulch reduces the amount of water that needs to be applied to the vine and also the need to use herbicides to control weed populations. Under-vine weeding, if required, is undertaken using pine oil (have you noticed how nothing grows under a pine tree) or manually removal.

A healthy vine is also more resistant to mildew and fungal growth, including botrytis. This further reduces the need to use any control sprays. If sprays are used they are all made from organic materials and certified for use by Australian Certified Organic. Abiding to an organic protocol to run a vineyard and make wine is timely, and in many cases more costly, than running a “chemically sustained” vineyard, but in the long term the earth is stronger, the vine is healthier and the wine it produces is better for you and the planet.

On the environmental front we are a 5th Generation family owned business that strongly believes in making sure we pass our vineyards and land onto the next generation in better condition than when we inherited them – abiding to an organic protocol helps us do this.

What do you love most about your business?

Being able to create a product that not only brings a smile to people’s faces and in doing so, also help restore the earth.

And….any good stories to share?

We continue to grow our organic offer with the recent release of Blind Tiger Organic Gin. The name comes from the 1920’s Prohibition Era where a “Blind Tiger” was an establishment known to illegally sell alcohol, with a focus on celebrating the exciting flavour and taste of liquor cocktails, many of which were gin based.

This gin has been crafted in the London Dry style and uses exotic organically sourced botanicals from around the world. Juniper Berry is the core botanical of many gins and in Blind Tiger provides a backbone of fresh spring forest and citrus notes. Coriander has been selected as it enhances the citrus characters of the juniper and imparts a subtle earthy character whilst the angelica root gives a delightfully aromatic and heady note of musk. Summer savoury completes the botanical mix and contributes a subtle mint like peppery character. The combination of these herbs creates a London Dry gin that is a perfect mixer with tonic or soda and a great base for one of the hugely popular gin based cocktails.Negroni

The fact sheet for the product can be viewed here and the website is now live at www.blindtigergin.com.au

GREEN GAZPACHO AND ZA’ATAR FINGERS (SERVES 6) by Renae Smith

Masterchef recipe pic 1

YOU NEED:

  • *2 sticks of celery (incl. leaves)
  • *2 small green capsicum (seeds removed)
  • *2 Lebanese cucumbers
  • *1-2 green chilli (seeds removed)
  • *200g baby spinach leaves
  • *20g of basil leaves
  • *20g of continental parsley
  • *2 cloves of Australian garlic
  • *2tsp of organic agave or maple syrup
  • *100g walnuts (slightly toasted)
  • *50g pine nuts (slightly toasted)
  • *3tbs of red wine vinegar
  • *225ml of organic olive oil
  • *40g of soy yoghurt
  • *400ml of water
  • 250g ice cubes
  • *Pink salt
  • *White pepper

FOR THE ZA’TAR FINGERS

  • *Organic sourdough – cut into fingers
  • *2 tbs organic thyme leaves (fresh)
  • *1 tsp of sumac
  • *1/4 tsp pink salt
  • *1 tbs sesame seeds (toasted)
  • *Olive oil

* Certified Organic Ingredients available at your local green grocer store or supermarket.

WHAT TO DO:

Roughly chop celery, capsicum, cucumber and chilli and place into a blender. Add spinach, basil, parsley, garlic, agave, walnuts, pine nuts, vinegar, olive oil, yoghurt, most of the water, ice cubes, salt and pepper. Blitz until smooth, adding extra water to get the desired consistency – I like mine a pumpkin soup consistency. Taste – adjust seasoning or sweetness if required.

Meanwhile, cut bread into ‘fingers’. Mix thyme, sumac, salt and seeds with oil until it forms a paste. Toast bread lightly on both sides, and then spread one side with the spice mix. Toast again until hot, without burning the seeds or spices. Allow to cool slightly.

Serve gazpacho with 2 ice cubes, a drizzle of organic olive oil and a sprig of time and a warm finger or two of spiced bread. Enjoy.Masterchef recipe pic 2

Not sure where to buy organically certified products? Find out here.

Renae Smith is a specialised vegan and vegetarian cook. She became known for her love of local ingredients and healthy cooking, after successfully participating in Masterchef Australia 2014.

W: http://www.renaesmith.com.au

F: www.facebook.com/renaesmithmc

 

Live a Divine Life with Therese Kerr

Devine Competition

 

Celebrate Australian Organic Awareness Month with our ambassador Therese Kerr, founder of The Divine Company.

Proudly certified by Australian Organic, The Divine Company is a premium beauty and personal care collection for women, men and children.  The collection contains the highest quality certified organic, nutrient and antioxidant rich ingredients and features personal care essentials of body wash, moisturisers, and fluoride free oral care and aluminium free deodorants.  Free from synthetic ingredients commonly found in conventional beauty and personal care products.

Therese Kerr is giving away ONE complete certified organic Divine by Therese Kerr collection gift pack valued over $250.00. To WIN the gift pack, simply send an email stating why you prefer certified organic personal care. The winner will be chosen at random.

The Divine Company is owned and made in Australia. The Divine Range is available at http://www.thedivinecompany.com

Winners of our August competition will be announced on the 30th September and listed in our October Newsletter.

October Event News

Upcoming Events

NOVEMBER

Support your industry at our Annual General Meeting & Australian Organic Annual Events 2015!

We will be holding our Annual General Meeting on Friday 27th November 2015.

This year it will be hosted at the grounds of Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre. The meeting will be held from 2:00-5:00pm followed by the much anticipated award ceremony and wine tasting from 6:00-10:00pm.

This is a popular event for both our members and clients, so don’t forget to RSVP by 13th November to contact@staging.austorganic.com

AO-invite-AGM-2015

 

SoilCare National Biological Farming Conference 2015

In celebration of the International Year of Soils (2015), SoilCare will be hosting the National Biological Farming Conference and Expo, running from Friday 6th – Monday 9th of November in Lismore, NSW.

The event aims to enable farmers, service providers and product manufacturers to come together to:

  • Provide a national, cross industry forum for knowledge and information sharing/exchange,
  • Further the development of a cohesive group with a clear identity,
  • Host internationally/nationally respected specialists and farmers to guide and assist delegates to learn and gain new skills and knowledge,
  • Confirm the growing number of farmers and service providers engaged in biological farming systems,
  • Establish networks, refocus energy, and problem solving, and
  • Showcase an Expo of sustainable farmng products and services.
Find out more information or register here

 

Past Events

OCTOBER

Taste Riverina Festival and Green Grove – 21st October

As part of the up and coming Taste Riverina festival of events you can come and see Green Grove for yourself on the 21st October 2015.

This event will feature talks on soil biology, soil health and on local organic produce. To book a place call Converte on 1800 108 940.

For further information on this event, please click here.

 

SEPTEMBER

Andrew Monk speaks at Fine Food Australia

Andrew Fine FoodsDr Andrew Monk, Australian Organic Chairman this month was invited to speak at the Fine Food Australia exhibition on their ‘Talking Food Stage’.

Dr. Monk discussed the growth of the certified organic industry and the importance of certifying a product.

www.finefoodaustralia.com.au

AUGUST

Organic Grain, Fodder and Livestock Forum

Organic Grain, Fodder and Livestock forum guest speakers were on hand to answer any questions and concerns farmers and business operators had while visiting Goondiwindi.
Organic Grain, Fodder and Livestock forum guest speakers were on hand to answer any questions and concerns farmers and business operators had while visiting Goondiwindi.

 

On 24 August, the Organic Grain, Fodder and Livestock Forum was held at the Royal Hotel, Goodiwindi.  This event provided grain growers the opportunity to network with other peers in their industry as well as participate in a forum discussing tactics for critical shortages of organic grain in Australia

Image courtesy of Queensland Country Life

Telstra Women’s Business Awards

 

UlliSpranz29A huge congratulations to Ulli Spranz from B.-d Farm Paris Creek, who this month was announced as one of the 26 Finalists for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards for 2015.  Good Luck Ulli!

Building a better future

A big congratulations to Vermont Primary School, Victoria on their successful grant application to construct a school garden. We wish Vermont Primary School every success with their garden and are looking forward to seeing the results soon!

A big thank you to The Sunraysia Natural Beverage Company Pty Ltd for their generous contribution to the schools program.

sunraysia_banner1_JAN15 (2)

2015 Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show

sydney show

2015 Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show

Winners from ACO included:

2015 Olive Oil Competition

Diedrich Pty Ltd T/A Suckling Road Olives – Champion Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Olive Product (Classes 1 to 17)

2015 Regional Food Competition

Barbushco Pty Ltd – Champion Organic Regional Food Exhibit (Classes 1 to 25)

Congratulations!

Zeally Bay Sourdough have a bun in the oven – Congratulations!

Sourdough Bread - ZeallyOn September 3rd at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards, Zeally Bay Sourdough were announced the winners of four awards in the Sourdough Category.

They placed Gold with their Southern Casalinga, Silver with their Fruit Loaf and Bronze with both the Light Wholemeal and Spelt Buckwheat & Polenta. They were the only certified organic bakery in the Sourdough Awards Category.

Zeally Bay Sourdough (ZBS) was established in Torquay in 2007 using a family-kept leaven that is more than 30 years old. The Zeally Bay Sourdough bread range is all hand-made and certified organic with ACO.

Joel Farnan from Zeally Bay Sourdough comments that winning the awards ‘is a resounding endorsement of our bakery out there in the Sourdough Bread Category.’ ‘And that importantly for our organic suppliers, it also demonstrates that we are buying the best ingredients from the best of the best producers in the country. The fact that they happen to be organic, is proof that organic food is better food.’

Sourdough bread making is a highly skilled craft and our bakers have an intimate understanding of the process. Each loaf takes in excess of 30 hours to make, going through multiple fermentation stages before being baked. The fermentation or sourdough action imparts a wonderful flavour and moist texture as well as a good crust on our bread.

Zeally Bay Sourdough supply retailers, cafes and restaurants on the Surf Coast, Geelong and Melbourne surrounds with fresh baked bread daily.

Ausmumpreneur Award Winners Announced!

Monica Whole Kids Win
Monica Meldrum, Whole Kids

We’re very excited to announce that the 2015 St George Banking Group Ausmumpreneur Award winners were announced in Melbourne on Saturday 5th of September and two ACO clients were among the inspiring business women.

Co-founder of Whole Kids, Monica Meldrum was presented with the 2015 St George Banking Group Ausmumpreneur of the Year Award and Vinita Bhumi from Bhumi Organic Cotton was presented with the 2015 St George Banking Group Ausmumpreneur Sustainability Award.

Vinita Bhumi, Bhumi Organic
Vinita Bhumi, Bhumi Organic Cotton

A big thanks to everyone who voted and a big congratulations to all the other passionate mothers who were nominated on the night.

Barambah Organics kicks off spring with multiple awards!

DA.AGDA.Champion2015.PMSBarambah Organics was awarded the winner of two categories at the recent QLD Dairy Industry Awards. Barambah’s Sour Cream won the Cream Category and Barambah’s Lactose Free Milk was named Best New Product. Barambah’s All Natural Yoghurt was runner up in the Yoghurt Category.

Barambah attributes its success to the highly nutritious grasses that are grown on its certified organic properties on the NSW/QLD border and the vitality of its herd of cows, who are in incredibly good health. They are carefully watched over by expert animal and human Nutritionist Ian Campbell, owner of Barambah Organics. Ian oversees the production on farms as well as in the factory at Brisbane.

Barambah’s dairy products are some of the most highly awarded in Australia. Their Labna was Champion Flavoured Cheese for 2015 at the Grand Dairy Awards and was also given the title of Highest Scoring OrganiBarambah Sour creamc Dairy Product at the Australian Dairy Awards!

Barambah’s products are stocked in many of the best stores throughout Australia and used by many of Australia’s top chefs. Five of Barambah’s dairy products are in contention for the Grand Dairy Awards for 2016!

Congratulations Barambah!

Best of luck Barambah!

Meet the Antipodes Gin Company

Antipodes_Gin_Shane_Reid_PortraitA
Shane Reid, Co-owner Antipodes Gin Co.

This month we meet the Antipodes Gin Company. They are new to the ACO family, joining this year, and thrilled to now be certified alongside so many other amazing certified organic products.

So…..

Who…are you?

The Antipodes Gin Co

What…do you do?

We make Gin and it’s Australia’s first certified organic gin made in Australia and to be available on Australian shelves.

Where…are you located?

Melbourne and Adelaide.

When…did you become certified?

Early July 2015.

Why…did you become certified?

“Getting organic certification and being carbon neutral was a mindful decision for us, we wanted our business to have less impact on the environment, to promote sustainability and we also wanted to work alongside like-minded, ethically motivated suppliers.

Being Australian Certified Organic means that as a business, we are continually working smarter. Certification has challenged us to think carefully about every practice and process in our business and to make sure that everything we do is beneficial on a number of levels.”

What is your organic story?

Antipodes Gin was born when two best mates of 25 years, with a shared love of gin, decided they wanted to produce their own drop. Shane Reid, Adelaide-based commercial photographer and Melbournian, Rory Gration, a long time food industry professional, hatched a plan to produce Australia’s first certified organic and carbon neutral gin.

They first started talking about making a gin together about three years ago, but in 2015 on Australia Day, they finally bit the bullet and registered the business, The Antipodes Gin Company.

Shane and Rory grew up together in Mildura. Now, living in two different cities with busy lives and young families, they wanted to create something they could enjoy together with friends and family. They wanted it to embody flavours that they feel are quintessentially Australian and that reflect their journey as Australians. Both men grew up in the country’s citrus belt, Sunraysia, so of course sweet orange peel and lemon oil flavours feature prominently, as well as native lemon myrtle. Shane and Rory are passionate cooks and a longtime staple of both their kitchens – Tasmanian pepper berry – also features. All this sits alongside the essential Juniper berry hit.

What do you love most about your business?

We credit the amount of goodwill we’ve experienced not only to our gin’s incredible flavour, but also to what were our two absolute must-haves – being certified organic and carbon neutral. Our business has created a new benchmark for the Australian craft spirits industry.

Want to sell Antipodes Gin? Please email or phone or 0411 245 609Antipodes_Gin_Vertical_2

Visit their website at www.antipodesgin.com

Friends of Australian Organic

Emmily Makeup ArtistDo you need a makeup artist?

This month we wanted to introduce you to Emmily Banks. Emmily has been supporting Australian Organic this month using her talents as an organic make-up artist for our shoots for TV.

Emmily is a Sydney-based make-up artist of over eight years. As the creator of the online beauty blog depthsofbeauty.com.au she is a firm believer in all natural, organic, nourishing and ecofriendly cosmetics. Through her blog, she is advocating for greater understanding of the toxins in cosmetics and how users can avoid them to live an absolutely healthy, chemical free life. She was the makeup artist for the Australian Organic Awareness Month campaign with Healthy ME and helped glam up the ambassadors. We asked her: why organic make up?

‘Health and wellbeing has always been a priority in my life. When I decided to study Makeup Artistry I was also tossing up studying a Naturopathy course, so it’s not much of a surprise to me that I’m now teaching the importance of using natural beauty!’, Emmily laughs. ‘I became really uncomfortable representing products and brands that I knew were getting the job done well, but weren’t necessarily beneficial or nourishing for the skin. So I started looking into natural and certified organic beauty. When I realised it was just as effective as the toxic mainstream brands, I made the full transition and committed to using only natural, organic, eco-friendly, cruelty free beauty.’

Organic produce is obviously beneficial for the body, but women (and men) around the world are surprised to see that the results of using organic make-up are better than the mainstream products available in pharmacies. ‘My clients always comment on how fabulous their skin feels whilst wearing natural and organic beauty – there’s no irritation or stinginess, plus it barely feels like you’re wearing makeup at all! It’s so lightweight and allows the skin to breathe. I have also had clients with highly sensitive skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea, who have reported it completely clearing up once making the transition to certified organic beauty and skincare.’

As the driving force behind the blog Depths of Beauty, Emmily is inspired to share information and life-changing facts about nontoxic beauty – and claims she won’t stop until she has helped millions of women to detox their makeup bags! Her aim is to create deep beauty, filled with self-love, confidence and happy, healthy living. ‘I think Australian Organic Awareness Month is an absolutely incredible initiative to create greater awareness around the importance of using and consuming certified organic products. Ultimately I believe our health and wellbeing, and that of our planet, depends on society realising just how vital it is to live as toxin-free as possible. Hopefully Australian Organic Awareness Month will help people to realise just how easy and important it is to make the right choices.’

Emmily knows that beauty comes from the inside. One of her favourite ACO products is Orchard St’s Cold Pressed Juices and Smoothies. ‘I am a huge advocate of hydrating and nourishing our bodies with mineral and vitamin rich juices for easy and quick cellular absorption to support and promote a healthy, energised body! Orchard St has the highest quality, most delicious blends of juices and smoothies on the market and I just can’t get enough of them! Seriously, I drink around 10+ per week.’

Emmily offers workshops, personal makeovers and consults, and will keep blogging about cruelty-free, toxin-free, all-natural and organic products on her blog depthsofbeauty.com.au and her soon to be launched YouTube channel.

Recipe of the Month

Kidgredients Granola BarsThis month we kicked off a brand new campaign with online bloggers and media called the Australian Organic Endorsed Recipe promotion. Online food, lifestyle and family bloggers are asked to create a recipe using 100% ACO branded products!  This month we give KidGredients the seal of approval with their amazing Granola Bar recipe! Check it out here.

WA Court of Appeal ruled against certified organic farmer

This month we learnt that the WA Court of Appeal ruled against certified organic grower Mr. Steve Marsh.  Mr. Marsh was not certified under ACO however a statement was drafted to show our support and position on the decision.

We are sad to hear the decision in regards to Mr. Marsh’s court appeal. Mr. Marsh was not certified with Australian Certified Organic therefore we were not involved in this case in anyway and unable to give any comment however this would be a devastating outcome for any Australian farmer.  Australian Organic support a system that aims to protect our farmers and ensure they avoid any legal situations that could result in them losing their farms or lifestyles.  We support a system that allows our clients to continue farming with the protection and knowledge that they are in line with National Organic Standards and we will always deliver Non-GMO products.”

CEO Australian Organic features on the cover of The Australian Retailer magazine

Australian Organic's own CEO, Paul Stadhams, on the cover of The Australian Retailer magazine.
Australian Organic’s own CEO, Paul Stadhams, on the cover of The Australian Retailer magazine.

You might have recognised the face on the cover of this month’s The Australian Retailer Magazine!  Our very own CEO, Paul Stadhams, features on the cover in celebration of Australian Organic Awareness Month.  You can pick up a copy at any good newsagent or view it online: http://www.tmpc.com.au/magazine/australian-retailer-back-issues/

Meet Tasmanian growers, Kindred Organics

Team Kindred
Pictured left- right: Peter, Henriette, Lauran and John. Quinoa field with Mount Roland in the background

This month we are shining the spotlight on Kindred Organics; Australia’s first commercially grown, certified organic quinoa farm located in Tasmania.

Lauran and Henriette Damen had a dream to live and work in rural Tasmania having fallen in love with the beautiful landscape and lifestyle of the state.  However there was one problem – they lived over 16,000km away in Holland!

This didn’t stop them and in 2001 they packed up their lives and made the massive move across the world and settled on the North West Cost of Tasmania in the idyllic township of Kindred; where soil is fertile and perfect for farming.

That year saw the birth of the popular brand Kindred Organics. Australia’s first farm to grow commercial quantities of certified organic quinoa.

Quinoa is the gluten free and highly nutritious pseudo cereal which provides more protein than any other grain. Seeing a huge surge in popularity over the last few years, quinoa is considered one of Australia’s favourite super foods and is now a staple on most restaurant menus.

Kindred Organics’ quinoa is grown, harvested, cleaned and polished on site at Kindred Organics; with a special washing and drying facility developed that allows pre-washing of the quinoa; along with quinoa flour.

In 2015 Kindred Organics was a finalist in the ‘Delicious’ awards for both pre-rinsed quinoa and for buckwheat wholemeal flour; a medallist for the latter product.

Buckwheat, a member of the rhubarb family, is also a highly nutritious and gluten free pseudo grain gaining in popularity for its health benefits.  Kindred Organics processes both white and wholemeal buckwheat flour, rolled oats and spelt flour.  The spelt flour is milled in a separate stone flour mill.

Over the last decade Kindred Organics has been working towards achieving a fully certified organic farm with their land size growing to 237 hectares to date.

This growth in farm size has enabled them to increase their production of food to include strip grazed beef cattle, spelt, oats, linseed and buckwheat.

Kindred Organics is a family owned and run operation with their son Peter, 24, recently joining ‘Team Kindred’ and youngest son John, 22, learning the ropes during his university holidays.

Kindred Organics supply shops and restaurants in Tasmania and wholesalers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

For information on all products available, useful information and tasty recipes visit their website or email.

Submit Judith Gregg, ACO (TOP) Office Manager, Tasmania

Don’t miss your chance to nominate for the 2015 Australian Organic Awards

AO awards 2015 badgeAustralian Organic owns the nation’s largest and most well known organic certification mark on Australian shelves, Australian Certified Organic. Australian Organic was exploring ways to celebrate the achievements and successes of ACO clients and ultimately, in 2014, the Australian Organic Awards were created. These Awards are the pinnacle of our yearly celebrations and are an opportunity to acknowledge our clients at a special award ceremony.

The inaugural Australian Organic Awards were held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on 14 November, 2014 and winners were presented their trophies by Senator Nick Xenophon. They were the first awards of their kind to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of individuals and businesses in Australia’s rapidly growing organic industry.

This year, we are once again celebrating the immense contribution that Australian Certified Organic clients make to the organic industry. In addition to Australian Organic Awareness Month, which raises awareness of products, we are proud to announce the 2015 Australian Organic Annual Awards, our opportunity to celebrate and showcase the year’s most outstanding organic products, businesses and individuals.

Nominations will be open from 11 September to 16 October, 2015. The winners of the Awards will be announced at the Australian Organic AGM dinner at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre, 34 Lake Apex Drive, Gatton, Queensland on November 27, 2015.

To nominate your ACO group certified organic company or individual, please complete the nomination form and view the 2015 Australian Organic Awards Prospectus.

Entry requirements

  • Participants must duly complete the nomination form and provide additional information as requested.
  • All nominations must be received by 5.00pm Friday, 16 October 2015.

For more information, please contact  Janine Heinemann or phone (07) 3350 5706.  Good luck!

Event News

SEPTEMBER

Taste Riverina Festival and Green Grove – 21st October

As part of the up and coming Taste Riverina festival of events you can come and see Green Grove for yourself on the 21st October 2015.

This event will feature talks on soil biology, soil health and on local organic produce. To book a place call Converte on 1800 108 940.

 

Fine Food Australia 2015 – 21st September

ACO Chairman Andrew Monk will be speaking at the Find Food Australia “Talking Food Stage” for more information or to book your tickets go to www.finefoodaustralia.com.au

Australian Organic AGM & Annual Events – 27th November

SAVE THE DATE! The 2015 AGM will be held in the beautiful location of Lockyer Valley QLD.

 

AUGUST

Australian Organic networking event at Belle’s Hot Chicken

bellesAustralian Organic was delighted to be able to host a networking event in Melbourne on the evening of the 21st July 2015. The event was well attended with 70 clients and members, at the fabulous Belle’s Hot Chicken located in Fitzroy.

At the event we were able to showcase  the following ACO clients along with their products; Eco-Farms, Inglewood Organic Farms, Bonah (the Billing family), Peninsula Fresh Organics, Cullen Wines, Gemtree Wines, Frankland Estate Wines, Angove Family Winemakers, Kalleske Wines, J & J Wines, Mountain Goat Beer, Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co and to end the evening, delicious chocolate from Pana Chocolate.

The feedback received from this event was extremely positive with many introductions being possible. One of the highlights of the evening was the introduction of Tania Zaetta as one of our ambassadors for Australian Organic Awareness Month coming up in September 2015.

Thanks to all who supported the evening and we look forward to seeing many more clients and members at our next event.

 

Australian Organic Awareness Month Marketing Downloads

AOAM-2015-aqua-logoAustralian Organic Awareness Month is just around the corner, so it’s time to start decorating your stores! If you are a retailer who stocks products wearing ACO’s Bud logo, you can get involved! We have created posters, banners, shelf wobblers and stickers promoting Australian Organic Awareness Month and have collated all of this marketing material where it can be accessed and downloaded for FREE! Visit the Australian Organic Awareness Month Marketing Downloads page today. Once your store is all dressed up make sure to take a photo and post it online, tag Australian Organic on Facebook or @australianorganic on Instagram and we’ll share your photos to promote your store!

Don’t forget to promote the official consumer competition of the month – head to Australian Organic’s Facebook page and tell us in 20 words or less: What does Australian Certified Organic’s Bud logo mean to you? Consumers have the chance to win 5 nights accommodation at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, the perfect wellness escape! This prize is valued at $3435.00 and includes return flights from anywhere in Australia to the Gold Coast, followed by personal transfer to and from the retreat by Gwinganna.

For more information visit the official landing page of Australian Organic Awareness Month 2015.

 

Organics centre stage at Fine Food Australia 2015

fine foodFind yourself in Sydney on the 21st September? Why not stop by Fine Food Australia and catch our very own Dr Andrew Monk speaking onstage about the trends, issues, challenges and of course, the opportunities in the $1.72 billion organic industry.

The Fine Food tradeshow is a great way to connect buyers and sellers within the food industry. A number of Australian Certified Organic clients will be participating in September such as Silverwood Organics, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat CoEco-Farms and Spiral Foods.

For more information on Fine Food Australia 2015 Click here

 

Join us for the Organic Grain Fodder and Livestock Forum

AO grain invite JUL15 FINALThe upcoming forum in Goondiwindi will introduce growers to the on-farm business opportunities of organic grain production. You will get the opportunity to hear industry leading speakers discuss the growing opportunity globally for Australian agriculture within the organic industry.

Location: Royal Hotel, Goondiwindi, Queensland

Date: Tuesday 1st September 2015

Time: 9:00am followed by a networking lunch

RSVP: 24th August via email to shannon.reynolds@aco.net.au

Please contact Annabelle Bushell (Industry Development Officer) for more information (07) 3350 5716.

 

 

Step into spring with Gemtree Wines

gemtree inviteGemtree Wines invites you to a Spring Fling Long Table Lunch. They wish to invite you to enjoy a three course lunch prepared by The Salopian Inn Head Chef Karena Armstrong, matched with certified organic Gemtree Wines. The spring inspired menu will highlight a variety of seasonal ingredients including succulent spring lamb, perfectly accompanied with Gemtree Stage 7 Single Vineyard Shiraz.

What: Spring Fling Long Table Lunch

When: Sunday 13 September from 12.00pm
Where: Gemtree Winery 32 Hamilton Road McLaren Flat
Cost: $95 per person

RSVP: (02) 8383 0802 OR cellardoor@gemtreewines.com

Bookings are essential as the event is limited to 60 guests, so get in quick! Existing Small Footprints Wine Club members and those who sign up on the day will receive a $20 wine voucher.

 

Lockyer Valley Integrated Crop Protection Information Session

Lockyer Valley Integrated Crop Protection Information SessionGet the latest information and advice on controlling insect pests in vegetable crops, and controlling insect contaminants in leafy vegetables.

Controlling insect pests in vegetable crops is always an issue for farmers and advisors. The pests are similar each season but how to control them is not always the same. Insecticide resistance management is something to be considered carefully and using all the available cultural controls is something that is often overlooked. Preparing well for the coming season can help to avoid problems rather than try to solve them during the life of the crop.

Insect contaminants such as moths and Solider Beetle can be a serious problem, especially in processed leafy crops. Hear the latest on how to control them.

Speakers include:

Dr Paul Horne, Director / Entomologist, IPM Technologies Pty Ltd on preparing for the season ahead.
Brad Giggins, Director, Total Horticultural Consulting on improving the management of insect contaminants in processed leafy vegetables.

Date: 26th August 2015
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Place: Gatton Research Station, Warrego Highway, Lawes, 4343

Stay for a free BBQ afterwards.

Hurry places are limited. Flyer attached.

Contact Lynn Christie at lynn@ahr.com.au or call 02 9527 0826 to register.

 

Natural Cosmetics Masterclass – Bangkok

Australian Organic is one of the supporting organisations for the upcoming Natural Cosmetics Masterclass in Bangkok on 2-3 November 2015.

For more information on this event please visit their website.

Australian Organic Awareness Month Marketing Downloads

AOAM-2015-aqua-logoAustralian Organic Awareness Month is just around the corner, so it’s time to start decorating your stores!  If you are a retailer who stocks products wearing ACO’s Bud logo, you can get involved!

Australian Organic Awareness Month is just around the corner, so it’s time to start decorating your stores! If you are a retailer who stocks products wearing ACO’s Bud logo, you can get involved! We have created posters, banners, shelf wobblers and stickers promoting Australian Organic Awareness Month and have collated all of this marketing material where it can be accessed and downloaded for FREE! Visit the Australian Organic Awareness Month Marketing Downloads page today. Once your store is all dressed up make sure to take a photo and post it online, tag Australian Organic on Facebook or @australianorganic on Instagram and we’ll share your photos to promote your store!

Don’t forget to promote the official consumer competition of the month – head to Australian Organic’s Facebook page and tell us in 20 words or less: What does Australian Certified Organic’s Bud logo mean to you? Consumers have the chance to win 5 nights accommodation at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, the perfect wellness escape! This prize is valued at $3435.00 and includes return flights from anywhere in Australia to the Gold Coast, followed by personal transfer to and from the retreat by Gwinganna.

For more information visit the official landing page of Australian Organic Awareness Month 2015.

What’s been in the news!

2015

September

This month we are celebrating Australian Organic Awareness Month; a celebration that is being picked up across the news. Check these links out!

Munch Crunch Organics Blog

EcoBeautyEditor

The Land

Fine Food Australia

iStyle TV

Kidgredients

West End Magazine

Food Service Magazine

 

August

Angove Family Winemakers

Dwayne Martens won the Telstra NSW Business Award

Australian Organic Network Dinner

Natural and Organic Cosmetics

Going Green – the truth about natural beauty products

Leading the way in Organic Wines

Win a chance to learn from Tania Zaetta

taniaOur newest ambassador for Australian Organic Awareness Month – Tania Zaetta – has launched her new book ‘Trim and Tone with Tania Zaetta’.

Tania’s book includes tips to live a healthy lifestyle, exercise demonstrations and some great organic recipes and nutrition tips. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Whether you know a little, a lot, or nothing at all about eating and exercising right, this book is your answer!

Tania is giving away ONE signed copy of her latest book – so to win this ultimate giveaway simply send an email to Brittany Stewart about your favourite healthy living tip! The winner will be chosen at random. See Full T&Cs here

‘Trim and Tone with Tania Zaetta’ is available now through Target Australia and all good bookstores. RRP$29.95 AUD, published by New Holland Publishing.

Step into spring with Gemtree Wines

gemtree inviteGemtree Wines invites you to a Spring Fling Long Table Lunch. They wish to invite you to enjoy a three course lunch prepared by The Salopian Inn Head Chef Karena Armstrong, matched with organic Gemtree Wines. The spring inspired menu will highlight a variety of seasonal ingredients including succulent spring lamb, perfectly accompanied with Gemtree Stage 7 Single Vineyard Shiraz.

What: Spring Fling Long Table Lunch

When: Sunday 13 September from 12.00pm

Where: Gemtree Winery 32 Hamilton Road McLaren Flat

Cost: $95 per person

RSVP: (02) 8383 0802 OR cellardoor@gemtreewines.com

Bookings are essential as the event is limited to 60 guests, so get in quick! Existing Small Footprints Wine Club members and those who sign up on the day will receive a $20 wine voucher.

Organics centre stage at Fine Food Australia 2015

fine foodFind yourself in Sydney on the 21st September? Why not stop by Fine Food Australia and catch our very own Dr Andrew Monk speaking onstage about the trends, issues, challenges and of course, the opportunities in the $1.72 billion organic industry.

The Fine Food tradeshow is a great way to connect buyers and sellers within the food industry. A number of Australian Certified Organic clients will be participating in September such as Silverwood Organics, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co, Eco-Farms and Spiral Foods.

For more information on Fine Food Australia 2015 Click here

Australian Organic Awareness Month 2015 Update

ambassadors

The countdown to Australian Organic Awareness Month in September is almost over and we are excited to share with our clients and members the list of celebrities that have put their hands up to get behind our annual celebration as official ambassadors. We have been completely overwhelmed with the response we’ve received from local celebrities wanting to get involved!

This year’s ambassadors donating their time and joining current Australian Organic ambassadors (Pete Evans, Therese Kerr and Costa Georgiadis) include Australian household name and wellness mentor Tania Zaetta, McLeod’s Daughters actress Zoe Naylor, Hi 5’s Dayen Zheng, Vanessa Megan founder of Vanessa Megan beauty products, The Beauty Chef’s Carla Oates, The Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter, Adele McConnell the voice of Vegiehead.com, Brenda Janschek from ‘Think Outside the Cereal Box’, Doctor Claudia Lee, health expert Dr Sarah Lantz and chiropractor Dr Kate Wood.

We are so excited and proud to announce the following ACO clients who will be the official sponsors for Australian Organic Awareness Month 2015:

Gold Sponsors: Cleavers Organic Meat Company, Australia’s Own Organic, Absolute Organic, Nature’s Gift Australia, Gemtree Wines, Spiral Foods, Whole Kids, Thomas Chipman Organic Chips, Bhumi Organic Cotton, Arahura Farms, Bean Ground & Drunk, five:am Life, Barambah Organics and Bill’s Organic Breads

Silver Sponsors: Borderland Organics, Casalare Pty Ltd and The Beauty Chef

Bronze Sponsors: Bare Bunny, OrganicSpa, E3 Live Pty Ltd and Douglas Park Organics

Thank you all for your continuous support – we look forward to a very successful campaign this September!