The Organic Industry needs your voice – now more than ever ….

The Organic Industry needs your voice – now more than ever ….

We are writing to you as constituents, businesses and producers that are involved in the organic industry across Australia.  We ask you to support the future of our country’s clean and green reputation, and the urgency in preserving our ecosystems and local food security.  The organic industry provides a model for the rest of agriculture, that is localised, transparent and without the additional dependency or high externality costs of conventional agriculture.  Our industry needs your support – and we look forward to adding your voice to our charter.

For too long Organics had been thought of as a niche market or component of Agriculture, but if one takes a world view instead of looking at the microcosm of Australia, we have entities such as the EU wanting to transition 25% of their Agriculture to Organics by 2030 via The Green Deal and Farm to Fork initiatives

Organic and regenerative farming systems can:

  • provide a neutral or positive environmental impact with added benefit of providing co-benefits to the environment and humanity
  • help to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts that are already proven by scientific publications
  • reverse the loss of biodiversity via organic standard provisions and verified by academia indicating 30% more biodiversity on organic farms
  • ensure food security, nutrition and public health, making sure that everyone has access to sufficient, safe, nutritious, sustainable food production systems that have been vetted by good science.
  • preserve affordability of food while generating fairer economic returns, fostering competitiveness of the international supply sector and promoting fair trade

In so doing Organics addresses triple bottom line objectives including:-
Organic Farming enables and accelerates the transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system.  Government investment is required to address deficiencies in advisory services, financial instruments and more importantly participatory research and farmer led innovation are needed instrumentally as they can help resolve tensions, develop and test solutions, overcome barriers and uncover new market opportunities.

Background

  • Value of the organic sector in Australia $3.65B(AU) and worldwide over $88B(AU)
  • Urgency of climate change and the direct impact on agriculture sector
  • Importance of biodiversity value and enhancement on private land
  • Synergy across different sectors including energy, agriculture, health
  • Rewarding land stewardship through ecosystem management outcomes
  • Pioneering industry and independent of Government (historically)
  • Established Net-Zero pathway for agriculture and business to transition

Key Requests from the Organic & Biodynamic Industry to the Federal Government:-

  • One single National Organic & Biodynamic Standard owned by Industry, with the full support of the Federal Government (regulated by State Government)
  • Endorse domestic regulation in Australia. Knowing it’s direct impact and barrier on domestic and international trade entrants and international equivalency markets
  • Improve the integrity and traceability of the organic supply chain domestically and for all imported goods (and reduce the level of fraud and risk to existing businesses)
  • Rewarding producers for their ecological stewardship together with a simple mechanism to ascertain and transition carbon footprint beyond Net-Zero in agriculture and business
  • Ascertaining a biodiversity value on farmland and conversation area (private & public land)
  • State recognised Government bodies that support the growth of organic agriculture 
  • Facilitate a Sensitive Site register provided by State Governments as part of ‘right to farm’
  • Endorse a roadmap in climate resilience, adaptation and long term business resilience planning for regional communities & local economies.   
  • Invest in Research & Development for key biological outcomes across the agriculture sector
  • Provide regular and rigorous data capture through ABARES with tailored organic data for on-farm production, business, supply and export.

The time is now….

Agriculture in Australia is at a crossroads.  Producers are attempting to increase their yields with reducing on-farm profitability while managing higher climate risk exposure than ever before.  We need to capture premium markets (like organics) and empower producers with better business profitability and diversified income streams.   Our Country needs best in class producers that are resilient against natural disasters and rewarded with better crops, profitable and diversified businesses,  healthier and improved natural ecosystems.  We need to review the existing farming model that reflects a more sustainable and resilient farming infrastructure that invests in the next generation of producers, better markets with full consideration of the impact on the environment.

Key Considerations:-

  • True cost of ecosystem services in our waterways, agricultural land, biodiversity and food production should be clearly understood and be a driver of change
  • Research and Education on the importance of carbon reduction, repurpose and offset to underpin regional resilience and transition agriculture beyond net-zero
  • Opportunity to strengthen cross sector links between health, education, agriculture & economics 
  •  Structures that underpin the food security of our country ahead of dependency on large scale, low value commodity markets that may be affected by external pressures

References from around the world:-

Your CALL to ACTION:-

Add your name HERE to our growing list of supporters, so a bipartisan voice can advocate for healthy agriculture and business production systems for the long term.

If you would like more information or to be kept up to date please subscribe to our blog HERE

We look forward to speaking with you further about how you can support the organic industry more in your region.

Sincerely in Action

ORICoop Board

https://www.organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/

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Eco-Credits now available

Eco-Credits now available

The first fully Australian farmer-owned carbon credits, the Eco-Credit, have just been released – with tangible benefits to local farmers, business, communities and the environment.

The Eco-CreditTM scheme was created by the Organic and Regenerative Investment Cooperative (ORICoop), which aims to unite the food value chain and increase the uptake of organic and regenerative practices across Australia by increasing collaboration between farmers, businesses and consumers.

Eco-CreditTM buyers can now offset their existing carbon footprint, with full transparency as to where and how each credit is generated and determine other environmental co-benefits, by visiting https://www.organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/services/Eco-Credit

Each Eco-CreditTM represents 1 tonne of CO2 positive emission drawdown, validated annually through rigorous testing, and are provided by ORICoop’s organic, net-positive regenerative farmers who run diverse farm businesses including dairy, cropping, livestock and mixed farming systems.

ORICoop EO Carolyn Suggate said that the Eco-CreditTM  concept was developed by ORICoop in conjunction with farmers looking to advance farm system approaches to provide safe, secure and affordable food with a regenerative ecological impact.

‘The scheme links those farmers to external buyers, be that corporate, small business or Mum’s and Dad’s keen to play a role and do their bit in fostering sustainable practices and reducing their own carbon footprints’ Ms Suggate said. To activate carbon drawdown urgently we need all contributors to be empowered to participate.

Victorian farmer Stephen Whitsed is the first ORICoop producer to offer Eco-CreditsTM to the market, and aside from the environmental benefits can see immediate environmental, CSR, and other economic benefits for businesses, producers and local communities.

”It’s an environmentally-friendly credit ​​that rewards organic producers and builds stronger connections between businesses and our on-farm practices that enable carbon benefits to be exchanged. As organic producers we are looking forward to demonstrating our on-farm practices that are increasing carbon drawdown and legitimise better environmental stewardship for the long term,” Mr Whitsed said.

Mr Whitsed said the Eco-Credit process is straightforward for farmers and ‘definitely beneficial’ to his farm and environmental management, and hopes investors will benefit from their transition beyond net-zero and the planetary impact.

“The validation process is through soil testing every year, including GPS points to ensure we soil test in the same place every year. Following that we send the soil samples to a laboratory to be tested, and wait for the results,” he said.

Farmer and organic industry advocate and researcher, Greg Paynter, sees a range of benefits the Eco-Credit scheme will provide, including environmental and ecosystem functioning, farm viability and improved social and mental health outcomes for farmers where stress is alleviated by the additional revenue stream provided by the scheme as a reward for best practice land stewardship.

“It’s a dividend that doesn’t come from production output, it comes from a different stream, the productive and regenerative capacity of the land,” Mr Paynter said.

“In Australia, we are striving for $100 billion worth of production from agriculture annually, but our understanding of the research that comes out of Canada, a very similar country to Australia, is they produce that amount, but 98% of it goes into the cost of production or services to provide that production, so the net profit or return on investment of effort is not very high,” he said.

“But if you value land stewardship and make it worth something, the production of food or fibre you get from the land is a reward and you do it in a manner of organic and regenerative production systems, that conserves the basis of the production system into the future. There is talk of only 60 harvests left in some places in Europe and the soil will be destroyed, so we need to act with urgency – and what the Eco-CreditTM does is offer an incentive to do something whilst still maintaining a living.”

Fourth generation Western Australian farmer and agroecological farm system advocate Mr David McFall said the Eco-CreditTM project links businesses who want to do better, and rewards practices to adjust to the changing climate that are not seen to be outwardly ‘commercial’, especially natural capital management like tree planting, increasing biodiversity and soil carbon and water works for habitat and land cooling.

“This is one mechanism that is farmer-derived and farmer-led. It ticks the boxes in terms of accessibility and linking people who have capacity with people who want to do things in the landscape,” Mr McFall said.

“It’s a journey we’re doing for very practical reasons, there’s farmers like Stephen Whitsed and myself who want to do better, but the ‘do better’ that’s asked of farmers is not necessarily an upfront conventional outcome. So this mechanism takes the risk out of the investment and becomes a shared journey as it connects people who want to see good done, but are perhaps urban-based or don’t have access to land, develop partnerships with a farmer,” he said.

“Each farmer is motivated at different levels, and the intelligence behind this system is that it’s not just carbon, it’s approaching it from an ecosystems services platform – that’s embracing revegetation, and in time will embrace cleaner water and air, and keeps toxic substances out of our food and agricultural production systems.”

Iain Smale, of Pangolin Associates, feels the release of the Eco-CreditTM will be popular for businesses, providing alternative options for carbon credits. He also expects they will raise awareness of the growing organic and regenerative agricultural industry in Australia working to capture carbon and mitigate the key drivers of climate change, which is especially important given per-capita carbon emissions in Australia are amongst some of the highest in the world.

“With the Eco-CreditTM, you’re having a bigger environmental impact than just a carbon credit,” Mr Smale said.

“Australia as a nation in the developed world has close to the highest per capita emissions. Per person it’s around 23-24 tonnes, NZ is around half that, and a lot of Europe is less than half that. It’s because Australia has two main drivers – we’re heavily reliant on fossil fuel, coal and gas generation and it’s the tyranny of distance – people have a lot of transport miles, including for heavy transport, trains and trucks, and we don’t have any high speed rail, so much of our economy is based on fossil fuel,” he said,

**. To buy Eco-CreditsTM, register HERE

** To follow the Eco-Credit journey of this and other farms click HERE

Eco-Credits is a nationwide scheme open to organic and biodynamic producers.   Other ORICoop farmers will shortly be stating their pledges and looking to develop partnerships with businesses and processors associated with their farm.

What are your End of Financial Year Goals?

What are your End of Financial Year Goals?

Empower the world you want to be part of ……

We know it’s been a rough year for many.  We are rallying support in the last days of the financial year towards organisations that continue to ‘do good’ through these tough times.  Here is our hot list for any tax deductible donations that align with your values …..

* Make a donation to ORICoop Bushfire Fund (tax deductible via AMF)

* Offset your carbon footprint directly with organic producers

* Support our friends at CERES  who continue to do incredible things across Melbourne

* Fifteen trees – buy your own tree to be planted and watch them grow

* Buy a carbon credit that goes directly to indigenous communities

* Trees for Life – connecting seeds with farmers one by one

* Buy a piece of rainforest – from just $2.50

* Bush Heritage – supporting bushland conservation

* Tasmanian Land Conservancy – preserving farmland in Tasmania

* Offset Earth – for only $2.50/week

* Firesticks – supporting Indigenous communities

* Organic Matters Foundation – Organic education and buy a tonne of carbon
*
Earthworker Cooperative – supporting businesses transitioning across the Latrobe Valley

And your yearly financial health check up list!

* Transfer your super to one that aligns with your investment criteria

* Review your banking (and mortgage choices) to an ethical one

* Switch your browser to Ecosia and plant some trees

* Close down that ‘extra’ credit card

* Invest your funds to enable ethical and sustainable returns that don’t cost the earth

Could your business achieve Net-Zero by EOFY 2021?

We are urgently calling on all ethical, organic, conscious businesses to aim for Net-Zero by the End of this Financial Year.    Let’s show some love for our planet!  Here is how you can start your journey….

* Calculate your carbon and environmental footprint
* Choose credits that align with your business values
* Reduce your footprint through best practice sustainability

Our newly released Eco-Credits can help you achieve this – while directly benefiting organic producers that are increasing the carbon across their farm businesses.  Key outcomes include:-

* Verified independent soil tests confirm carbon drawdown

* Quantification of biodiversity quality and density in every farm system

* Annual ecological reports (including natural capital)

* Eco-Credits™ are only offered once and then retired

* All purchasers receive an Offset Certificate to verify your offset

Apply for your Eco-Credit here

Or you can download an Eco-Credit Application Form here

Or contact us for more information