ORGANIC FARMERS BUSHFIRE APPEAL

By Organic & Regenerative Investment Co-operative

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Our farmers need you!

Organic and biodynamic farmers have been heavily impacted by the bushfires across Southern Australia. Many have spent months living with the anxiety of ever present 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

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
  • Corryong
  • Adelaide Hills
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Braidwood
  • 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 Instagram 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.

You can read here about our first volunteer weekend with Blue Sky Organics, bushfire affected garlic farmers in East Gippsland.

ORICoop is collaborating with BlazeAid and WWOOF Australia - you can also register with them directly to get out there helping fire-affected farmers in many different areas.

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 are also heading to Kangaroo Island and Corryong regions in the coming weeks.

About ORICoop

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 will be overseen by our regional representatives & 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

Businesses

  • 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 on Instagram and spread the word amongst your networks!

Farmers

  • Consider donating a load (or part of) of hay/fodder to fire affected farmers.
  • Contribute your ideas for land rejuvenation - contact ORICoop here
  • Spread the word!

Volunteers

Are you affected by the bushfires as an organic grower or producer?

Please contact us at ORICoop with details of what support you require.


Thank you for your support!

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    Offline donation

Team Members

Carolyn Suggate

Amy Butcher

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