Australian Organic Ltd. (AOL), the nation’s longest-established independent organics-sector body, hosted its 4th Annual Awards for Excellence on 17 November 2017.
The annual Awards night “celebrates the important contribution Australia’s leading certified-organic operators make to the nation’s organic industry – and, in turn to the Australian economy and the environment”, stated AO in a media release following the announcement.
According to a nationwide survey conducted in 2016, organic foods now have “a firm foothold” in the shopping patterns and preferences of Australians, with a recent consumer survey finding that more than two-thirds of Aussie households had bought organic products in the previous 12 months.
The recent upswing in organic product purchasing by Australian consumers – supported by major supermarket chains and retailers stocking a greater variety of (more affordably priced) certified-organic products – is a key contributing factor to the scale and quality of organic produce available in Australia today, noted Australian Organic's Communications and Marketing Manager Rhiannon Christie.
“The industry is alive and booming,” Christie said. “Earlier this year we revealed [that] our country officially holds the largest amount of organically managed farmland in the world, at 53%. So it’s no surprise that the calibre of entrants was at an all-time high this year.”
The AO Annual Awards for Excellence (AOAA) recognise finalists from across Australia in an array of categories, including:
- certified-organic foods, beverages and cosmetics;
- organic businesses – producers, processors and retailers;
- innovative organic products; and
- future organics-sector leaders.
In 2017, the ‘Innovative Product of the Year’ category was sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; and AO launched a new award category: Certified Organic Wine of the Year.
AO's 'organic champions' for 2017: the winners
AO’s Annual Awards for Excellence, and their respective recipients in 2017 were as follows:
- Farmer of the Year: Daniel and Holly Dzundza of Penjobe Pastoral;
- Business of the Year: Tom Organic;
- Young Organic Leader: Daniel Quattrocchi of Monika’s Organics;
- Retailer of the Year: Sherwood Road Organic Meats;
- Export Market Leader: Hakubaku;
- Most Innovative Certified Organic Product of the Year: Smoothie Bombs from Nutrition Darling;
- Certified Organic Food Product of the Year: Cleaver’s Organic Hotdogs;
- Certified Organic Alcoholic Beverage of the Year: Gin, vodka and espresso liqueur from Antipodes Gin Co.
- Certified Organic Wine of the Year: Angove Shiraz Cabernet 2016 from Angove Family Winemakers;
- Certified Organic Non-Alcoholic Beverage of the Year: Organic Biodegradable Nespresso Capsules from Republica Organic;
- Certified Organic Non-Food Product of the Year: Slasher Organic* Weedkiller from Organic Crop Protectants;
- Certified Organic Cosmetic of the Year: Aika Skincare Range (Aika Wellness)
- Chairman’s Award: Wayne and Natasha Shields of Peninsula Fresh Organics, and Marg Will of Organic Systems & Solutions; and
- Hall of Fame Award: Peter Woodward of the Australian Organic Honey Company T/A Berringa and Antony Croft from Arahura Farms.
Congratulations to all the 2017 award-winners (and to the brains behind them!)
For more information on AOAA award-winning organic Smoothie Bombs, check out this how-to video:
For further information about the Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence (AOAA), including lists of award finalists in each category and previous winners, visit the awards section of the official AO site.