Our farmers need you to stand with them!
Organic and biodynamic farmers have been heavily impacted by the bushfires across Southern Australia. Many have spent months living with the anxiety of ongoing fire danger. It has taken a huge toll on their wellbeing and livelihoods. They need support from all those in our community who value organic local food, to restore, rejuvenate and regenerate themselves, their farmland and their businesses.
Benmar Farm (pictured above) and Marrook Farm on the Mid North Coast of NSW were under ongoing threat from multiple fire fronts late last year. Heidi from Marrook Farm says “People must understand that farmers are feeling exhausted from the intense drought situation in NE NSW, and adding a fire to this has been financially and environmentally catastrophic, and will be for years to come”.
Hear directly from Heidi at Marrook Farm about the ongoing challenges they've faced here.
Help keep farm businesses alive and producing our food
Your donation will go directly to fire-affected organic and biodynamic farmers, and will help to:
- replace essential farming equipment
- provide soil testing and inputs for soil restoration
- fund new season’s plantings
- replace burnt fruit & nut trees
- fund new plantings to restore native vegetation
buy certified organic fodder
- facilitate farm volunteer projects
- provide ongoing organic consulting expertise
ORICoop is working with local partners throughout southern Australia, to directly support farmers on the long road to recovery, providing support in the following regions:
- East Gippsland
- Adelaide Hills
- Kangaroo Island
- Bega region
- NSW Mid-North Coast
The Organic Farmers Bushfire Appeal team runs entirely on volunteer time, so 100% of your donation will go directly to organic and biodynamic farmers to support their recovery and help them retain their certification.
Follow the progress of the appeal on via our blog HERE
Volunteer to support farmers in their recovery
ORICoop is recruiting volunteers to help on farms over the coming year, with projects happening over three stages:
- Stage 1: Restore - on farm clean-ups, immediate recovery & business restoration
- Stage 2: Rejuvenate - further works with infrastructure and organic food production restoration
- Stage 3: Regenerate - planting fruit/nut trees and native seedlings to restore biodiversity
Register here to volunteer across the fire affected regions.
The story so far...
When we launched this appeal in December 2019, our aim was to raise enough money to purchase and transport a B-double load (approx. 50 tonnes) of certified organic fodder to farms in immediate need in NSW - the cost being $14,000.
Since then, thanks to the momentum created by this appeal, we’ve had an amazing 150 tonnes of certified organic fodder donated by generous organic producers in Victoria - worth over $75,000! And the donated fodder has also unlocked almost $40,000 worth of transport subsidies through the NSW Govt. Rural Assistance Authority and the Victorian assistance package.
This means all funds contributed to the Organic Farmers Bushfire Appeal will be able to help even more fire-affected farmers with the practical support they need to keep producing organic food in these tough times.
The first truckload of organic fodder was delivered to farms in immediate need on Christmas Eve (shown on map below) - thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping to make this happen, especially to Need for Feed! The next loads have arrived in NSW Mid North Coast, and more donated fodder has been delivered to Kangaroo Island and Corryong region. Thanks especially to Demeter BDRI for assisting with fodder transport costs. Plus all the farmers that generously donated the certified organic fodder.
Where to from here?
Amongst the confusion of COVID-19, the isolation and the desolation of their road to recovery - ORICoop has continued to directly support these farmers. From on farm advisory, donated inputs, green manure and cover crops and compost - many of these farmers are seeing the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. But their stories are far from over. ORICoop is contining to support them, and explore ways that we can assist via distance around complex border restrictions and the direct impact on these farmers and their farms.
ORICoop was successful in being awarded a grant of $25,000 from BCCM and the Australian Mutuals Foundation. This grant will enable us to extend the bushfire appeal for the coming months - and to offer further support to these farmers in ways that they need it most.
The Organic Farmers Bushfire Appeal is coordinated by ORICoop (Organic & Regenerative Investment Co-operative). ORICoop is working with local partners in each region to directly support our farmers to continue growing organic food and fibre. All donations received is overseen by our Bushfire Committee & an ORICoop Board member to ensure that the funds get to those that need it most.
ORICoop exists to nurture and increase the amount of regeneratively & organically farmed land in Australia. As well as supporting farmers to be the best land stewards of our delicate ecological food system.
Other ways to help
- Encourage your customers to make a donation at the register - here is a flyer you can display. Contact ORICoop for details of how to transfer any funds raised.
- Include this takeaway flyer in your weekly food boxes, keep a stack of flyers on your shop counter, or hand out to customers with their receipt.
- Share the appeal with your customers in your next email newsletter.
- Offset your carbon footprint with tree purchases to be planted on fire affected farms - contact ORICoop for details.
- Follow the appeal via our BLOG and spread the word amongst your networks!
Consider pledging a load (or part of) of hay/fodder to fire affected farmers for next season.
- Contribute your ideas for land rejuvenation - contact ORICoop here
- Spread the word!
- Plant trees with 15 Trees (Vic) or Trees for Life (SA)
- Lend a hand to farmers in southern Australia - register your interest here.
- Consider WWOOFing on organic farms.
- Volunteer with BlazeAid or Conservation Volunteers Australia.
- Join us on Instagram and spread the word through your networks!
Thank you for your support!