Funding boost for organic growing operations

Four organic fruit and vegetable growing operations are the beneficiaries of a million-dollars in grants and interest-free loans, thanks to the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund, that will allow them to upgrade production systems and develop expansion plans:

Gingin Organics, Neergabby: Owned and operated by Lynda and Noel Harding, Gingin Organics is the first Western Australian recipient of funding. The operation grows a range of organic and seasonal vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. The Hardings will use the $200,000 grant to develop six hectares of new organic farmland and upgrade their packhouse.

Biofarms Australia, Forth: Biofarms Australia, run by brothers Chris, Mark and David Benson (pictured), produces a diverse range of certified organic vegetables such as broccoli, beetroot and pumpkin. The Tasmanian growers will use a $500,000 interest-free loan from the Fund to buy new machinery and equipment, and upgrade irrigation systems on the 300-acre farm.

N&A Group, Batlow: Nestled in the south-west slopes of New South Wales, the N&A Group has been supplying Woolworths as a conventional supplier since 1956 and decided to diversify into organics in 2015 in response to increasing demand for organic produce. It will use a $150,000 interest-free loan to fund protected cropping at its Ardrossan Orchards in Batlow.

Paringi Farms, Paringi: The Kazzi family are third-generation growers. They own Paringi Farms, which will use a $170,000 interest-free loan to convert its electricity supply to renewable sources and invest in new packing equipment. The farm uses different growing practices including glasshouse, shade net and field production to produce organic vegetables such as capsicums, zucchinis and tomatoes.

For the full article, which is featured in the Vegetables Australia – Winter 2020 magazine, please click here.

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