The Organic Expo & Green Show was held in Sydney 20-22 August and what a fabulous show it was, so many like-minded people we were all delirious with joy by Sunday evening, a real love fest! Despite the election being held on Saturday we were still incredibly busy, there were three of us at the Pure & Greenstall and none of us could even take a 5 min break until late in the afternoon – it was just constant talking and engaging with people.
A very large percentage of people who we had sent free tickets to came over to say hello, which was wonderful as we really wanted them to go to people who would appreciate and use them so a big shout out to you guys, thanks for making the effort to come along.
My most special moment was the opportunity to met Katherine, head of IFOAM and Andre, Chairman of the Organic Federation of Australia. Up til the Expo I had been a bit slack and not become a member of the OFA but after listening to Katherine speak I realised the immense value of becoming a member and contributing to the growth and protection of the organic industry in Australia. We often hear people complain “why doesn’t anyone do anything about …” well that “anyone” is generally the OFA and they can only take action with the money they raise from membership so please consider joining. The OFA is our member body and acts as the collective voice of all who work in the organic industry – farmers, processors, wholesalers and retailers.
This year focused on the women in the organic industry and Katherine gave a beautiful address during the exhibitor’s breakfast on Friday morning emphasising how women andare linked. We often associate with a nurturing for the land, a sense of care and responsibility for our actions and a desire to do what is best for our children and future generations. These caring qualities are more feminine than masculine and yet very few women were involved in the “running” of . Katherine is the first female President and she strongly encourages women to become involved in the decision making process. Women have often been slaves to farms and is the solution to this – through funding initiatives we see organic farming enabling women to run financially viable farms and women can say to their daughters, you stay in school you don’t need to work on the farm. That is powerful, is empowering women in third world countries and we don’t acknowledge this enough – its generally fair trade that gets a mention in this arena but can hold its own here too.. Andre spoke of his desire to see more women involved in the OFA so if you are willing why not contact him to learn more about how you can help the organic industry in Australia.
Teri from Blue Marlin and I presented a seminar on Sustainable Packaging on Thursday, that was loads of fun (despite the bright spotlights in our eyes the whole time !) Great to work with you Teri.
Did I mention we won some awards?
Our Rejuvenate Beautifying organic night cream won the silver medal for best beauty product and our range as a whole won the bronze medal. We were the only certified organic beauty product to win medals so we feel this was an awesome achievement.
Market Report 2010/11
Good news here – organic sales up by 15% despite the GFC! Who would have thought? Here are some highlights of the report reproduced with permission from BFA:
The Australian organic industry is forecast to become an AUD$1 billion industry in 2010 according to independent research report commissioned by the Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA). This was highlighted in the Australian Organic Market
* More than 60% of Australian households now buy organic on occasion, up from 40% in 2008
* Stand out performers include: essential oils production (up 155%) feeding the growing cosmetics sector; Poultry (eggs) (75%); Milk & dairy (36%); Fruit & wine (16.5%), while the main processors for the meat sector have reportedly grown in turnover by 25% in the past year.
* 91% of Australians say ‘chemical-free’ is important to them, being a stand out feature of organic production.
* The organic industry employs an estimated 25,000 people domestically, while organic farmers tend to be younger on average than non-organic farmers
* Operator growth numbers continues to rise, in a sustainable manner (4-5% PA), delivering higher farm gate values for the average operator.