Dr. Oetker Queen Australia was named ‘Business of the Year’ at the 2022 Industry Awards
A QUEENSLAND strawberry farmer, the head of Australia’s largest organic mushroom producer, and a Victorian dairy company were among 10 award winners at the 8th Australian Organic Industry Awards on Friday night.
Held at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley in Lovedale, NSW, peak industry body Australian Organic Limited (AOL) announced the night’s honourees, who collectively span an impressive and diverse range of certified organic products from fresh produce, dairy and meat, to pantry items and pharmaceutical ingredients.
AOL Chief Executive Officer, Niki Ford, said the Awards were an opportunity to recognise excellence and diversity within organics, and applauded the winners for their contribution to the nation’s $2 billion industry.
“The standard of these awards continues to reach new heights, and this year’s winners demonstrate innovation and leadership within the organic sector and how it continues to progress and evolve,” Ms Ford said.
“It has also been encouraging to witness, particularly in the individual categories, many winners choosing a career in organics, or to implement it in their business, as they have seen both the environmental and economic benefits of organic production.
“It is clear from the winners’ applications they are making a significant impact not just on their businesses, but also the broader industry, while also contributing to the national economy and the wellbeing of Australians and international customers.”
The winner of the coveted Farmer of the Year title was Sunshine Coast-based strawberry farmer Brendon Hoyle who applies innovative farming methods to produce what he believes are the sweetest berries on the market. Mr Hoyle’s operation, Ashbern Farms, grows organic strawberries in winter in the Glass House Mountains, and non-organic strawberries in Stanthorpe over summer.
CEO and General Manager of Victoria’s Bulla Farms, Georgia Beattie, was recognised as Organic Woman of the Year. As well as her role as CEO of Australia’s largest organic mushroom company, Ms Beattie sits on a number of boards including Australia’s largest certifying body, ACO Certification Ltd. It is from these leadership roles that she has been influential in making structural changes within industry to champion women.
Two new categories were featured in the Awards this year, the Innovation Award, won by Tasmanian biotech company Marinova Pty Ltd, and Brand of the Year, which went to Queensland organic flour and wholefoods company Kialla Pure Foods.
While the industry awards are judged by an independent industry panel, AOL’s Chair Martin Meek also selects the inductee to the Hall of Fame and the winner of the Chairman’s Award.
This year, Queenslander Alister Ferguson, who built one of the world’s biggest and most successful organic businesses, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co, was inducted into Australian Organic’s Hall of Fame, while fourth generation Victorian farmer Kane Busch won the coveted Chairman’s Award for his inspiring success in growing the family enterprise Busch Organics.
Ms Ford said the winners were emblematic of the dynamic and driven people who are helping to move the industry forward.
“Year after year these Awards showcase the broad range of Australia’s best certified organic producers, manufacturers and retailers,” she said.
“As an industry it is more important than ever that we all play a role in upholding the integrity of this great industry, and to continue to supply customers with nutritious food and consumables.
“Seeing the winners of these Awards gives me great confidence that the future of organics is in excellent hands.”
INDUSTRY AWARD WINNERS
Brand of the Year – Kialla Pure Foods, Queensland
Business of the Year – Dr. Oetker Queen Australia, Queensland
Farmer of the Year – Brendon Hoyle, Ashbern Farms, Queensland
Innovation Award – Marinova Pty Ltd, Tasmania
New Product of the Year – The Organic Milk Co., Organic Cheddar Block, Victoria
Organic Woman of the Year – Georgia Beattie, Bulla Park, Victoria
Retailer of the Year – Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd (trading as Coles)
Young Organic Leader – Andrew McIlwain, Green Camel, New South Wales
Hall of Fame – Alister Ferguson, The Paddock, Queensland
Chairman’s Award – Kane Busch, Busch Organics, Victoria
Photos of the Industry Award winners can be viewed at this link.
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More about Australian Organic Limited (AOL)
Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is the peak industry body engaging with government and industry to promote the commercial and social interests of those who are certified and protect the integrity of the certified industry against fraud and misleading organics. AOL has been at the foundation of organics since 1987 and is identified by the most recognised mark in Australia, the Australian Certified Organic Bud trademark. This trademark signals the highest of integrity and is recognised by 63 per cent of Australian consumers.