Announcing organic award winners

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

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Senator Nick Xenophon and Sophie McQueen, accepting 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.

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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.

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Deborah Wray and Senator Nick Xenophon

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.

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.

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Monika Fiebig accepting award with 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.

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Rosemary and Gavin Dunn with Nick Xenophon

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.

“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 Dunne 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!”