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Winners of 2024 Australian Organic Industry Awards announced

This year’s winners of the prestigious Australian Organic Industry Awards were crowned at a gala event in Melbourne on Friday evening.

Hosted by Australian Organic Limited (AOL), the awards ceremony marked the conclusion of the two-day 2024 Australian Organic Conference at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

AOL Chief Executive Officer, Niki Ford, congratulated the winning businesses and individuals for their outstanding contributions to Australia’s $2.6 billion organic industry.

Australia’s largest certified organic meat producer, Hewitt, was named Business of the Year, while its retail brand, Cleaver’s Organic Meat, took out Brand of the Year.

“Thank you to the forebears of our company, who are also some of the early pioneers of certified organic meat in this country – most notably Peter Gall who’s here with me tonight,” Hewitt Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mick Hewitt, said.

“When I think of organic farming I think of my grandfather, who at 95 years old is still living a natural and healthy life – he helped lay the foundations for what we do and many other organic farmers.

“Thank you to AOL for hosting these awards and giving us this honour.”

Carly Burnham was another beef producer to win a major award, named this year’s Organic Farmer of the Year.

Fifth generation producers at Monto, Queensland, Ms Burnham and husband Grant gained organic certification for their Bonnie Doone Beef enterprise in 2017, and last year gained the distinction of becoming the largest holder of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), following the implementation of a long-running soil carbon project run in conjunction with CarbonLink.

“I feel very proud to be an organic producer, as I’m really living by my values,” Ms Burnham said.

“This recognition enforces we’re on the right path in producing good-quality, healthy organic food. As many people in farming know, it’s often not just one person running the show, so I want to pay tribute to my husband back at home right now mustering cattle while I’m here accepting the award. It’s a real team effort so thank you to everyone at Boonie Doone.”

2024 Australian Organic Industry Award Winners
Brand of the Year: Cleaver’s Organic Meat
Business of the Year: Hewitt
Retailer of the Year: Santos Organics
Organic Woman of the Year: Karen Ward, Honest to Goodness
Young Organic Leader of the Year: Chelsea Eldridge, Eldridge Fresh Organics
Farmer of the Year: Carly Burnham, Bonnie Doone Beef
Innovation Award: WoodShield
New Product of the Year: Soulfresh, Lo Bros Purple Grape Organic Kombucha 330ml
Hall of Fame: Alex Podolinsky, BDRI
Chairman’s Award: Andrew Youngberry, Inglewood Organic