National Organics Week

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 14th September 2010

National Organics Week will kick off on October 1st, with a launch yesterday at Melbourne’s Prahran Market.

The event – which actually runs for ten days – is being supported by the Victorian Government, Biological Farmers of Australia and the Centre for Organic and Resource Enterprises.

“Buying organic and locally supports your local community and reduces your carbon footprint and buying in season means you get the freshest possible produce at a great price. Go local, Go organic!” said NOW Ambassador Tobie Puttock.

Events around Australia include a Spring Open Day in Sydney, organic markets at CERES in Melbourne and Organika and Albion Peace Hall in Brisbane, and organic vegetable growing classes.

NOW describes itself as “10 days of targeted media and locally-staged activities designed to increase awareness of the benefits of organic products and farming production systems and accelerate the uptake of these in the wider Australian community and environment.”

Speaking at the Prahran Market, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Development, Jaala Pulford, said National Organics Week would be backed by $25,000 in support from the Brumby Labor Government and begin on 1 October.

“Victoria is home to more than 650 certified organic businesses – or a quarter of all Australian operations,” Pulford said. “Our State makes up 69 per cent of the national organic dairy industry value – $11.6 million – and we produce 3100 tonnes of organic vegetables from 2350 hectares of certified land. Organics is a fast-growing market in a food and beverage sector that employs one in five regional Victorians, so it is crucial we continue supporting jobs and farmers.”

Pulford also announced support for three other organic produce projects, including $50,000 towards a program linking farmers directly to consumers.

“We are supporting the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) with $50,000 to run a ‘friendly food chain’,” she said. “Through this project, farmers will be guaranteed a fair price and consumers will have direct access to fresh organic produce.”