Gingin Organics in Neergabby has become the latest beneficiary of the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund and the first from Western Australia.
Led by Lynda and Noel Harding, the commercial-scale grower will use the $200,000 grant to develop six hectares of new organic farmland and upgrade its packhouse over the next year.
The expansion will allow for an increase in the variety of crops and an improved timeline for cropping on the new farm – leading to quicker supply of organic vegetables to consumers.
“We’re passionate about supporting Australian consumers on their journey to buy and eat more certified organic food,” said Gingin Organics owner Lynda Harding.
“We have a reputation for quality and consistency of supply in varied vegetable lines, including challenging lines such as organic celery, that we want to build on. With the expansion of our farm, we’ll be able to grow more organic vegetable varieties and boost our supply to Woolworths customers year-round.
“We appreciate Woolworths’ belief in and commitment to our business and their efforts to support a sustainable market for our organic vegetables.”
Gingin Organics became a direct supplier of quality certified organic vegetables to Woolworths in July 2014. They supply Woolworths with organic carrots, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and lettuce varieties.
Woolworths Head of Produce Paul Turner said: “We’re seeing double digit growth in customer demand for organic fruit and vegetables, and believe the trend will only continue over coming years.
“We’re delighted to be working closely with farmers like Gingin to boost production and make organics much more accessible in Western Australia.
“The Hardings have strong expansion plans and we’re excited to see what the Organic Growth Fund grant will unlock for Gingin and our mutual customers.”
Working with Woolworths has already enabled Gingin Organics to plan crop types and volumes – which is critical to realising the full potential of the enterprise – while helping to manage the challenges that come with intensive organic farming. The funding through the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund will improve this further.
Round three of the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund is now open and Woolworths is inviting farmers to apply by 1 March 2020. In the next grant round, Woolworths is particularly keen to hear from conventional fruit and vegetable growers looking to convert to organic farming methods.