Canowindra farmer wins
inaugural organics gong
CANOWINDRA farmer, Sam Statham, has taken out the inaugural 2012 New South Wales Organic Pioneers Award.
“Sam first started growing grapes and olives organically in 1997 and is now widely respected in organic industry circles right across Australia,” says Department of Primary Industries acting skills and communities director, John Newcombe.
“Sam is a trailblazer in the organics industry and has made a significant contribution to the development of the rapidly growing sector.
“Sam’s family business Rosnay is a certified organic farm producing winegrapes, olives and figs as-well-as value-added products such as olive paste, fig preserve and award-winning wines.
“Sam founded the Australia-New Zealand Organic Wine Show and previously chaired the Vignerons Committee of the Biological Farmers of Australia.
“Sam will receive a $6000 travel bursary to investigate other organic enterprises or research facilities and continue his great work in the industry.”
Mr Newcombe says the judges had a tough task in awarding the winner and described all entrants as exceptional.
“Congratulations to all entrants and in particular our other finalists which included Rob Fenton, a TAFE teacher from Albury, and Joyce Wilkie and Michael Plane, market gardeners from Gundaroo near Canberra,” says Mr Newcombe.
“The strength of the entries is a clear indication of how the sector has grown and transformed into a sophisticated $504 million industry nationally.
“Over one million hectares of land in NSW is now certified as organic and the industry employs an estimated 25,000 people nationally.
“NSW has the largest number of certified organic producers and is home to 43 per cent of Australia’s organic vegetable farmers and 37 per cent of Australia’s fruit producers,” Mr Newcombe says.