VICTORIA SCOOPS THE POOL AND TAKES OUT TOP PRIZES AT THE 5TH ANNUAL AUSTRALIAN ORGANIC AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE:
SOUTH MELBOURNE’S WHOLE KIDS NAMED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, AND MUSHROOM FARMER CHRIS MCLOGHLIN OF LOCKWOOD SOUTH NAMED FARMER OF THE YEAR
Victoria’s most innovative organic producers have shone at the 5th annual Australian Organic Awards for Excellence scooping the pool with seven awards in total including the two main prizes of the night.
South Melbourne-based Whole Kids, which produces Australia’s largest range of certified organic, additive free and allergen friendly snacks for kids took out Business of the Year, whilst organic mushroom farmer Chris McLoghlin, who runs his business Mycelia Organics at his Lockwood South farm and Diggers Rest, took out the coveted Farmer of the Year award.
The awards were hosted in Canberra on Tuesday night at Pialligo Estate Glasshouse by leading not-for-profit industry group Australian Organic, celebrating the outstanding and innovative contributions members of the nation’s organic industry have made over the past year, showcasing leading products, businesses and individuals. Dignitaries in attendance at the prestigious event included Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.
This year’s judges say entrants exceeded expectations, commenting, “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.”
Australian Organic is the leading industry peak body responsible for ensuring organic standards in Australia remain in the hands of the industry. Australian Organic established an organic certification scheme to independently verify that farmers and processors were producing in accord with those standards and also introduced the highly recognisable Bud logo. This symbol ensures the integrity of organic products in the marketplace for consumers.
This year Australian Organic received a huge amount of high-quality entries for this year’s awards. The full list of winners is below:
Best Organic Market Innovator
WINNER: Australian Organic Food Co Soup (Braeside, VIC)
Certified Organic Wine Business of the Year
WINNER: Kalleske Wines (Greenock, SA)
Export Market Leader
WINNER: COYO Organic (Yandina, QLD)
Best New Certified Organic Product of the Year
WINNER: Soulfresh Lo Bros COLA Kombucha (Altona North, VIC)
Certified Organic Food Product of the Year
WINNER: Cleaver’s Organic Chicken Nuggets (Toowoomba, QLD)
Certified Organic Non-Food Product of the Year
WINNER: TOM Organic Female Hygiene (St Kilda, VIC)
Certified Organic Alcoholic Beverage of the Year
WINNER: Kalleske Wines (Greenock, SA)
Certified Organic Non-Alcoholic Beverage of the Year
WINNER: Bean Ground and Drunk Coffee (Reservoir, VIC)
Certified Organic Cosmetic Product of the Year
WINNER: SATIVA Skincare (Bangalow, NSW)
Best Organic Influencer
WINNER: Mukti Organics (Maleny, QLD)
Farmer of the Year
WINNER: Chris McLoghlin, Mycelia Organics (Diggers Rest/Lockwood South VIC)
Business of the Year
WINNER: Whole Kids (South Melbourne, VIC)
Retailer of the Year
WINNER: Apples and Sage Organic Wholefoods (Balwyn VIC)
Young Organic Leader
WINNER: Daniel Spotswood, Mt Alma Organics (Inkerman, QLD)
WINNER: Mulloon Creek Natural Farms, The Mulloon Institute (Bungendore, NSW)
WINNER: Anni Brownjohn, Ozganics (Murwillumbah, NSW)
Hall of Fame
WINNER: The Booth Family, Mary and David Booth, Buronga Organics (Cootamundra, NSW)
WINNER: The Druce Family, Coral and Neil Druce, Green Grove Organics (Junee, NSW)
Organic products are incredibly popular in Australia, with demand growing consistently year on year. The 2018 Market Report compiled by Australian Organic reveals that the nation’s organic industry is worth a massive $2.4billion. The total value of exports is now in excess of $700 million per annum with exports growing more than 15 per cent annually (compound growth rate). Fruit, vegies, nuts, meat and eggs account for three quarters of the value with sectors growing considerably since 2014. Currently, the area of land under certified organic management in Australia is 35million hectares – more than half of all certified land area on planet earth.
Dr Andrew Monk, retiring Chairman of Australian Organic says the emerging and sustained export growth across red meat, wines, dairy and horticultural products to name a few, is a particularly exciting feature of the industry now.
“It really highlights a maturing in terms of supply chains and supply-ability to the world,” he says. “There is growing demand, both domestically and internationally for Australian certified organic products, and the integrity that is associated with the brand and the Bud logo. The industry is very diverse in its growth from regional gourmet producers to vertically integrated supply chain value adders marketing to the world. This industry remains smaller relative to all its international trading partner counterparts suggesting we’re only now on the cusp of a significant growth uplift for this market segment in the years ahead.”