SOUTH AUSTRALIAN WINERY AND NEW SOUTH WALES’ EGG FARMER TAKE OUT TOP PRIZES AT 2019 6TH ANNUAL AUSTRALIAN ORGANIC INDUSTRY AWARDS
It was a big night for two rural organic producers at the 2019 6th Annual Australian Organic Industry Awards with McClaren Vale’s Angove Family Winemakers awarded Business of the Year and Llandilo’s Petar Pirovic crowned Farmer of the Year.
Angove, who were also up for two other awards including Export Market Leader, and Certified Organic Alcohol Product of the Year for their Organic Shiraz Cabernet, has been producing wine for more than 100 years across five generations.
The business ensures that all 500 hectares of their vineyards are managed organically, making them one of the largest and most successful certified organic winemakers in Australia. Their weeds are controlled without herbicides, instead using native pasture grasses, tillage and slashing. Fungal diseases are controlled using natural products, and pests are managed by encouraging natural predators.
Meanwhile, third generation egg farmer Petar Pirovic from NSW triumphed over cattle farmers Ian Scholes of Blackall, and Bloss Hickson of Rolleston, to win the coveted Farmer of the Year award.
Pirovic was awarded the top prize for his farm’s ongoing dedication to their 600 customers including independent fruit shops, grocers, organic retailers and food manufacturers. The business attributes its ongoing success to its staff who are trained in several quality assurance practices and safety standards, including the Australian Certified Organic Standard.
Other top recipients on the night included Tasmanian biotech company Marinova, producers of high purity seaweed extracts for the health market who took out Export Market Leader; Queensland company Arcadian who were awarded Certified Organic Food Product of the Year for their Cleaver’s Organic Beef Lasagne; and Victoria’s Simon Schulz, from Timboon’s Schulz Organic Dairy, who won Young Organic Leader.
The awards were held in Melbourne last night (Friday, November 15) at Tallows event space in Kensington. Hosted by leading industry group Australian Organic, the awards celebrate annually the outstanding and innovative contributions members of the nation’s organic industry have made over the past year, showcasing innovative products, businesses and individuals.
The night was emceed by 2019 Australian Organic ambassador Elle Halliwell in front of more than 200 people which also included MP Danielle Green.
This year judges say entrants exceeded expectations. “With so many innovative new products, successful business stories and extraordinary individuals, this year’s finalists are a true credit to our industry which has quickly become one of the most dynamic markets in Australia,” said Australian Organic CEO Niki Ford.
Australian Organic Ltd (AOL) is the leading industry peak body representing the interests of Australian certifiers and operators. Ms Ford said Australian Organic works closely with Australian government departments to ensure organic certification remains robust while also ensuring consumers are getting what they pay for through promoting awareness of certification marks like the Bud logo, now recognized by more than 50 per cent of organic consumers. Consumers should always look for a certification mark when choosing organic products, so they don’t get fooled at the register.
Australian Organic received a huge amount of high-quality entries for this year’s awards. The full list of winners is below:
Certified Organic Food Product of the Year
Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co. – Cleaver’s Organic Beef Lasagne; Toowoomba, QLD
Certified Organic Non-Food Product of the Year
Aus Organic Feeds – Aus Organic Feeds Retail Range of Certified Organic Chicken Feeds; Greenmount, QLD
Certified Organic Alcohol Product of the Year
Gemtree Wines, The 2019 Luna Temprana Tempranillo by Gemtree Wines; McLaren Flat, SA
Certified Organic Non-Alcohol Product of the Year
Teelixir Pty Ltd – Mushroom Cacao Latte Starring Reishi and Rose; Woori Yallock, VIC
Certified Organic Cosmetic Product of the Year
Ahria International Pty Ltd – Ahria Organics Herbal Essences Cream; St Ives, NSW
Best New Organic Certified Product
TOM Organic Pty Ltd – TOM Organic Applicator Tampons; St Kilda, VIC
Best Organic Industry Innovator
Australian Organic Food Co; Braeside, VIC
Best Organic Influencer/Educator
Aimee Marks – TOM Organic; St Kilda, VIC
Young Organic Leader
Simon Schulz – Schulz Organic Dairy; Timboon, VIC
Export Market Leader
Marinova Pty Ltd; Cambridge, TAS
Retailer of the Year
Organic Angels; Torquay, VIC
Farmer of the Year
Petar Pirovic – Pirovic Family Farms; Llandilo, NSW
Business of the Year
Angove Family Winemakers; Magill, SA
Vanya Cullen; Wilyabrup, WA
Hall of Fame
Mal Flannery; Gold Coast, QLD
Organic products are incredibly popular in Australia, with demand growing consistently year on year. The Australian Organic Market Report 2019 revealed local demand for certified organic products is skyrocketing with $1.93 billion dollars generated in domestic sales for 2018 across a wide range of products. The figure is up $256 million from domestic sales of $1.67 billion for 2017 with the total Australian organic industry now worth $2.6 billion and growing year on year.
It also found 65 per cent of Australian households are now buying some sort of organic product or produce yearly – an annual rise of five per cent. Vegetables, beef, non-alcoholic beverages, fruit, ready to eat foods, nuts and cosmetics/health products are the most in demand items. Demand from overseas countries for Australian organic exports is also continuing to forge ahead with the amount of total export tonnage for 2018 having grown by 13 per cent since 2017. Over the last year, 30,155 tonnes of organic produce and products were exported to 61 different countries.
Martin Meek, Chairman of Australian Organic, said seeing the organic industry expand exponentially was a testament to its many quality producers. “Australian Organic is 32 years old this year and, along with many of our members, we have seen organics grow from a fringe cottage industry to one of the fastest growing mainstream categories and a significant export earner,” he said.
“This rapid growth, whilst exciting for industry, comes with challenges. It’s the role of Australian Organic to help members navigate these challenges. We have a four-pronged tactic outlined in our strategic plan and we’re committed to securing domestic legislation for certified organics in Australia in 2020.”
Mr Meek said in particular, fake organic products are the number one competitor to genuine certified organic products in the Australian domestic marketplace. “These awards help raise awareness, emphasise the importance of certification, and highlights our certified Bud logo which is the most recognised organic brand in the country.
“Despite any challenges, it is an exciting and dynamic time to be a part of the Australian organic industry. AOL was there at the very beginning and has built a strong infrastructure so it can be a significant resource well into the future.”
FULL EVENT PHOTO GALLERY COMING SOON!
For enquiries and to interview any winners or Australian Organic representatives please contact:
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