- The person pays a once-off joining fee ($50)
- The person has applied for 5 organic shares at $10 per share
- The person is able to use or contribute to the services of the co-operative
- Is supportive of the overall mission of ORICoop
The Organic Development Group (ODG) consists of eleven organisations including certification, consumer, investment, and advocacy associations, who have over the past seven months joined together for the specific purpose of achieving regulatory reform in the Australian domestic market. The ODG has met three times in person, once virtually and has convened two separate working groups to facilitate foundational work streams such as research and review of potential pathways towards the shared goal of domestic regulation. The ODG is a voluntary group with representation by 11 industry groups. The Secretariat is resourced by Australian Organic Llimited, NASAA Organic and Organic Industries Australia (OIA) and funded by Australian Organic limited and NASAA Organic.
The group’s success was witnessed by the Australian Government at the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of Organic in Canberra during Organic Awareness Month. The Parliamentary Friends group was founded by Dan Repacholi, Member for Hunter, and Aaron Violi, Member for Casey. During the event Minister for Agriculture Senator Murray Watt attended and spoke of the importance of our industry and bipartisan support was demonstrated by the inclusion of Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Leader of the National Party David Littleproud in the final formalities.
ODG representatives are standing shoulder to shoulder, calling for reform and working as a united front. It is a credit to the representatives and the Secretariat how much has been achieved in such a short period of time. Well done to the ODG representatives for putting the industry’s future first and making this critical progress.
Photo: Greg Paynter
The little known lupin is likely the most powerful superfood you’ve never heard of. While lupins have been used as a food for as much as 6000 years in the Andean highlands and over 3000 years around the Mediterranean, they are slowly making their way onto supermarket shelves in Australia and around the globe. Meanwhile, farmers are recognising their multiple advantages in both sustainable cropping systems and as a high-protein addition to animal feed.
With over 200 species, lupins are grown in a wide array of regions across the globe, ranging from the Mediterranean to the southwestern United States, northern Mexico to both eastern and western parts of Australia. Two varieties of lupin are most commonly grown in Australia, with the majority of lupin production occurring in the winter/spring rain-fed parts of southwestern Western Australia. Australia produces about 730,000 metric tonnes of lupins per year, the equivalent of approximately 80–85% of the world’s lupin production. About 30% are used domestically within Australia, while approximately 70% are exported to Asia, North Africa and the Middle East for animal feed. As a high-protein grain, lupins are most commonly grown and harvested for human and animal consumption, yet they also hold many advantages in both cropping and mixed cropping–livestock farming systems.
Farmers can enrich their soil naturally by planting an annual that produces a kaleidoscope of pea-like flowers with bold spikes of vibrant purples, pinks and blues, rich reds and yellows, or crisp, clean whites, attracting a range of pollinators including bees and butterflies. In regenerative cropping systems, lupins produce a significant nitrogen contribution for subsequent crops in soils. They provide a disease break for cereal crops and can help control grass weeds within well planned cropping sequences. With taproots that stretch deep into the earth, lupins are drought-tolerant and also help break up compacted soil. When lupin plants die back, the taproots slowly break down, increasing the organic content in the soil, helping the soil retain water. These combined benefits can increase the yields of cereals following lupin crop rotation, particularly when grown in sandy soils.
The nutrient content of lupin grain, in protein, amino acid, energy and mineral levels makes it both a nutritional and economical addition to stock feed formulations. Among the various grain legumes used in stock feed, lupins can be used as an alternative to soybeans and are highly regarded as feed for poultry, pigs, ruminants, and fish. Research has shown that replacing soybean meal with lupin meal as an alternative poultry protein feed source reduces cost of production and improves poultry egg productivity. In other studies, using lupin grain in feed rations has been shown to increase the milk production of beef and dairy cattle. It can be more valuable to include in the diet than cereal grain because it tends to not lower the fat content of milk (as high levels of cereal grains may do). Researchers have also investigated the potential for lupin grain to be used as a plant based feed source in aquaculture operations and found that lupin was particularly useful for fish diets because of the highly digestible level of protein, good levels of digestible energy and highly digestible phosphorus.
While the crop is grown mostly to produce stock feed, there is a small, but growing market for lupin grain for human consumption. Lupins are slowly growing in popularity among consumers due to their many health benefits: protein-rich, highly nutritious, sustainable, and versatile, lupins are a powerhouse of goodness. They are one of the richest sources of plant protein and fibre (at least twice as much as other legumes) and packed full of nutrients and antioxidants including thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. Eating lupin beans has been linked to lowering blood pressure, improving blood lipids and insulin sensitivity and favourably altering the gut microbiome in studies. The Australian food industry is beginning to recognise the value of lupin and a range of lupin products are now available, including whole lupin flakes, flour, crumb, semolina, or enriched food products such as pasta, cereal and cookie mix.
ORICoop has been working with key organic growers in Western Australia and the Riverina – to expand and diversify their crop selections to include lupins. This provides producers a unique and valuable intercrop option – and enables a strong cash crop for organic dairy and poultry producers. ‘There is a strong appetite for lupins as a livestock feed, and with our Farmers Own ‘ORCA’ Brand we are pushing through the barriers to get bulk lupins from growers to end users in Victoria, Southern Australia and Queensland. Our next ambition is to tap into strategic export markets. This legume has a well deserved place of prominence in the organic and regenerative cropping market – and we are looking forward to it’s initiation across the Australian organic sector’ says Carolyn, ORICoop Executive Director
Ian and Jodi are well experienced with growing lupins in Western Australia. And are thriving in growing them under an organic system. ‘Lupin crops play a pivotal role in the viability of organic and regenerative farming systems in Western Australia. They present to the farmer a range of critical advantages over other crop rotation options available such as suitability in deep acid sandy soils, excellent nitrogen fixation capability, disease resistance and disease break for other crops, impressive stockfeed quality and volume of post harvest residues and competitive demand and value of lupin seeds.
Nitrogen is typically applied to a crop in the form of urea, and although urea application can result in vigorous crop growth it has a hidden destructive action on soil health and long term fertility that requires additional fertilisation to overcome. Organic and regenerative farming systems limit or prohibit the use of urea for this reason. Lupins can fix similar levels of nitrogen from the atmosphere directly into the soil naturally and even increase soil health making them the goto natural fertiliser for the environmentally conscious consumer and farmer. The lupin seed and after harvest crop residues provide an additional benefit of an outstanding high value stockfeed source for grazing ewes and lambs. Ewes and lambs grazing or being fed lupins outperform those running on grass crop feeds and harvest residues providing substantially more lambs and reach market weight far quicker than those running on grass crop grains and residues.
With its unique macro and micro nutrient composition, there is growing evidence that incorporating lupin ingredients into animal and human diets can have direct health benefits. On farms, the benefits range from improved soil structure and water efficiency to increased yields and profitability. With its wealth of advantages, lupins are fast becoming a key ingredient in sustainable agriculture and sustainable diets.
To enquire about bulk lupins you can contact ORICoop HERE
Story written by Eva Perroni
Greetings to all ORICoop Subscribers,
Woah the rain in the South! Thinking of all the producers that have had a busy period getting crops in before this drenching rain. We, in the snow country and juggling calving cows and snow conditions right now!
A quick update from ORICoop. We have been head down with our ORCA capital raising over the past month and navigating bulk organic grain supply across our National producer and buyer network. Together with expanding the ORCA marketplace to better meet the needs of grain producers, buyers, manufacturers and key expanding grain markets in Australia.
ORCA Investment Opportunity
Have you completed your EOI for Phase 1 of the ORCA investment project? We are proceeding with our investment strategy based on the EOI’s received to date. We have identified key infrastructure opportunities – that will provide more options for the organic grain sector in partnership with some of our key producer members across Southern Australia. This means we will be able to manage and process organic grain more locally and efficiently and increase the diversity of crops that organic producers in the southern states can grow and sell. A win-win outcome!
We have also identified new markets for existing bulk grains which is super exciting for organic grain growers keen to expand their business! We will be in touch with our ORCA members directly regarding organic grain demand and planning for the next season based on this demand. If you are interested in being an ORCA supplier – make sure you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (and join ORICoop!)
The three components of the ORICA Phase 1 investment project include:-
Have you heard about ORICoop? We are ambitiously frustrated by the barriers across organic supply chains. For both producers and for buyers, manufacturers and those building strong organic brands. As a National Organic Cooperative – we believe that together we are stronger and can overcome these barriers through a more coordinated and sophisticated approach. Come and join our growing network of over 200 organic producer members. Across States, Commodities and different farming and business systems.
You can join HERE – https://www.organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/membership/. And include your business in our Member Directory.
As an ORICoop member you get access to:-
Any questions regarding ORICoop membership please email email@example.com.
You can keep up with our latest news via our blog here – https://www.organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/blog/
Until next time,
The ORICoop Team
The Australian Organic Market Report (AOMR) 2023 was published last week and the ORICoop team would like to share some insight into the high growth and export potential for Australian organics – and particularly the massive potential of the organic grain industry in Australia
Key update from Organic and Regenerative Investment Co-operative (ORICoop)
ORICoop (Organic & Regenerative Investment Cooperative) has released the details of the ORCA investment project. A project seeded by 5 key organic producers in the Riverina. And has grown into a substantial National project incorporating producers from the Riverina, the Malle to South Australia and stretching to key producers in the Western Australian wheat belt. This has provided a significant understanding of the existing barriers and potential innovative solutions to relocalise organic, sustainable and regenerative grain, to lessen the footprint of grains across the industry and to understand the health benefits of organic food with more transparency and vitality for consumers and farmers alike.
ORCA is the first Farmer Owned organic grain brand. Led by ORICoop, a National Producers Cooperative, that seeks to do business differently. Farmer Led. Business Driven. With Sustainability front and centre in how to grow and diversify markets across the organic sector.
The Australian Organic Market report outlines the increasing demand for clean and green food. With the industry growing 14% year on year and with an increased opportunity to capture these strong markets that are health conscious, sustainably focused, and value the on-farm stewardship practices.
“Across southern Australia there are incredibly innovative grain producers. Managing a diverse climate ranging from highly productive irrigation land in the Riverina, to marginal light sandy country in the Mallee and the Western Australian wheat belt” shares Carolyn, ORICoop Executive Director. To enable these producers to capture the best markets these producers require a diverse mix of market opportunities from livestock feed through to high end premium grain markets. That enables producers to capture premium markets, spread their risk, and to work closely with manufacturers and bulk buyers that are seeking reliable, high quality Australian grown organic grains for their retail products, for a growing and lucrative market.
Through the ORCA seed project funded by Sustainable Table, ORICoop understands what is being grown, what the challenges to these markets are, and where there are better and more profitable markets from the farm gate. One of the key aspects of this project was to identify not just the market barriers – but also the physical barriers in terms of storage, processing and manufacturing capacity for organic products.
The project enables ORICoop to demonstrate how organic grain has specific requirements and why the existing commodity based grain supply chain doesn’t support organic producers. Both in terms of size, capacity and the interest in single origin or select organic grain types for domestic and export.
The next stage for the ORCA project is to co-design and build tailored bespoke infrastructure that is well suited for this mix of grain products that are in high demand from business. That reduces the footprint of the grain industry. And provides a higher level of sustainability and integrity from the farm to the end consumer.
‘‘Just this week we received another export enquiry – for over 50,000T of premium organic grain. That is more than is grown across the whole country currently!’ says Carolyn Suggate, Founder and Director of ORICoop. “What we need is a coordinated approach to sustainably build out the industry and to capture these strong domestic and export markets that value the clean and green food that organic producers are growing. And builds the capacity for more growers to expand their organic enterprises, increase their profitability while diversifying their risk with mixed crop selections.”
Investment into this area must be tailored to the needs of the industry. It is not one size that fits all. It’s bespoke infrastructure and technology, with catalytic capital that is innovative, patient and understands the downside risk of our dependence on large commodity based food and farming systems.
The Australian Organic Industry now covers more than 55M hectares of land, with more land certified in Australia than any country or continent in the world. And the Organic industry is valued at over $2.1B according to the latest market report.
As a National Producer Cooperative we are member based, and our values deeply align with producers and our end buyers. ORICoop invests back into the industry, providing business services to producers with the best potential for strong markets. And sharing the upside value of the supply chain with our network as a National Cooperative. To build out domestic and export markets, spread the risk and expand the opportunity for mutual collective benefit. That is a true Cooperative!
“The time is now for a new paradigm of investing, where growth is not the main indicator for success, but instead we see transformational ecological, social and cultural changes at the pace necessary to arrest the impact of climate.”
Chair, Sustainable Table,
Executive Director, Morris Family Foundation
“The Australian Organic sector is a strong contributor to the Australian economy, representing 0.04% GDP and contributing $851M directing and over $2.6 flow on effects. Australia has 70% of the global land under certified organic management, boosting 53 million hectares and farming revenue expected to nearly triple in the next five years. Our organic sector continues to grow year on year and there is still so much more potential to be realized”
Chief Executive Officer,
Australian Organic Limited
“Michael Coleman, the lawyer working with ORICoop on the investment, sees the ORCA fund as part of the development of more diverse options for investors interested in both profit and sustainability. “Institutional and professional investors are like all of us in seeing and generally welcoming the market’s shift towards technology, innovation and sustainability. Innovative investment options are cropping up everywhere, from retail superannuation funds to private syndicates to click-to-join carbon offset apps. ORICoop as a member-based, not-for-profit organisation is well placed to meet this demand. The ORCA fund is innovative, but it meets the fundamentals – it will own tangible assets that will be directly used by the organic producers the organisation exists to serve, and generate a return for both members and investors.”
‘The ORICoop ORCA project is tailor-made to bring together organic producers to develop an organic food supply chain that will benefit all Australians and overseas consumers. The development of ORCA seems very timely in a world where high quality, certified and healthy food is produced and delivered in a reliable and cost- effective manner.’
Partner, Audit & Assurance
Thomas, Noble & Russell (TNR)
ORICoop represents businesses across Australia that are interested in tapping into the world of healthy, planet friendly, sustainable food and farming systems. Enabling food and agriculture to provide resilience and profitability in our regional economies. To lessen the footprint in our production systems. And to increase the profitability and market capacity for organic and sustainable food into domestic and export markets. We invite you to complete an Expression of Interest to get involved in our mission.
To find out more or register for the EOI see link here https://organicinvestmentcooperative.com.au/invest/
0448 778 074
Images are available upon request
Featuring the high-quality bulk organic grains of our Cooperative members, ORCA is already providing direct benefits to local farmers like Ruth and Ray Penfold as well as addressing some of the issues faced by organic producers, processors, and consumers such as sustainable pricing, transparency, and authenticity of produce.
Over 350 tonnes of bulk organic grain has already been sold under the ORCA brand since its launch. Ruth and Ray were among the first producers to sell their organic barley under ORCA, and the Riverina farmers are excited to see how the brand and its innovative technology will help them and fellow producers in the future.
“Absolutely this is a game changer, especially for someone new coming into the market,” Ruth said.
“Understanding what the buyers want and having that communication there is only a positive. It’s helping them maintain retailer shelf space and prominence for the broader industry knowing they can get reliable and quality supply, it’s a big plus,” she said.
Carolyn Suggate, Executive Director of ORICoop, said creating ORCA was about ‘Connecting the missing pieces’.
“We embarked on this ambitious ORCA project as we knew that with this support, our producers could grow more organic product, achieve better on-farm profitability and we could improve the trust and transparency in organic produce sourced directly from each of these farms,” Carolyn said.
“Given we are a Producer Cooperative, the farmers and their business sustainability is the key to all we do.”
Technology is at the forefront of helping producers achieve the transparency and traceability of organic produce now demanded by processors and consumers, as well as achieve fairer pricing along the entire supply chain. The tailored online platform ensures every product from every farm is fully traceable on the blockchain, and will also help producers manage their on-farm grain seeding, harvest and storage more efficiently.
“The whole paddock to plate is incredibly important for the transparency of the industry, and it is the way everything is moving. Where traceability and ORCA supply chain connect is having sustainable and transparent prices on farm for producers, and the buyers paying fair prices, landed at their business, and that’s the only way we’re going to have a sustainable industry moving forward for the long term,” Ruth said.
“Our two big things are transparency, and understanding the story of the buyer, the feel-good warm fuzzy moment of knowing you’re selling to a mum-and-dad dairy farm down the road, but then also knowing what the processors want and that you’re able to produce what they’re after, and knowing you have a saleable product,” she said.
“I like the fact we can send grain directly to the farmer, and you’re also dealing with another farmer on the buyer’s side who is also trying to have a sustainable business for their kids moving forward as well.”
ORICoop Director Maroye Marinkovic said the Cooperative is aiming to bring big-corp benefits to the mostly smaller family farming operations who are part of the ORCA brand.
“There are many points of differentiation for ORCA produce. Every grain, or drop of milk, can be traced back to the farm – a farm that has a powerful story to tell. ORCA is connecting farmers to a set of tools and approaches that make this possible for organic producers of any size. Thanks to digital technology,” Maroye said.
“In addition to provenance and traceability, as ORICoop members, ORCA farmers also have the opportunity to join the EcoCredit program, which enables a detailed set of data points that cover everything from soil health, biodiversity, water quality, and even native species,” he said. This builds their farm profile and determines the on-farm sustainability, natural capital and the true cost and footprint of the food that is produced. An absolute game changer,” he said.
“Having end-to-end traceability along with rich on-farm and post-farm data, certifications, test results, supply chain proof points, chain of custody – are typically things that only highly efficient corporations could achieve. ORCA aims to make this available to producers of any size, and share the upside benefits with our members.”
Maroye also sees ORCA as a way for both farmers and processors to bring the benefits of ethically and environmentally-friendly grown and processed produce to consumers.
“ORCA isn’t just about building farmer capacity, tools, and storytelling – it will go way beyond that. The vision is to strengthen and sustainably grow the entire organic value chain, with shared benefits. Farmers and manufacturers can plan together, and grow together, and bring those shared benefits to the consumer,” he said.
“There is an increasing demand for high quality, healthy and organic produce, with a transparent view of how it was produced, and where. Not only the consumers want this, but the food manufacturers, as well. Ethically sourced, environmentally friendly produce is definitely better but traditionally, the barriers were scale, price and availability of organic supply. ORCA was created to tackle these challenges, whilst improving and amplifying the benefits of organic, regenerative and biodynamic farming.”
*For more information, or to register your interest bulk produce from local ORCA producers, click here.
*To discuss your specific bulk grain requirements contact ORCA directly – firstname.lastname@example.org
*To join ORICoop as a producer or to find out click HERE
*Producers are invited to join our Regenerative Cropping day on October 24th in the Riverina