Our farmers need you this summer!
Organic and biodynamic farmers are in the direct line of bushfires across Southern Australia. Many have been living with the anxiety of ever present fire danger for months. It’s taking 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 been facing here.
Help keep farm businesses alive and producing our food
Funds raised from this appeal will go directly to fire-affected organic and biodynamic farmers, and will help to:
- replace essential farming equipment
- fund new season’s plantings
- replace burnt fruit & nut trees
- fund new plantings to restore native vegetation
- buy certified organic fodder
- provide livestock transport to alternative organic farmland until fire danger passes
- facilitate farm volunteer projects
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.
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
You can register to volunteer HERE across the fire affected regions over the coming months.
UPDATE 23/12/19: When we launched this appeal, 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.
Now, 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.
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
- 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!
- Consider donating a load (or part of) of hay/fodder to fire affected farmers.
- Consider offering temporary agistment until the fire risk passes - register your interest here.
- Contribute your ideas for land rejuvenation - contact ORICoop here
- Spread the word!
- Lend a hand to farmers in southern Australia - register your interest here.
- Consider WWOOFing or volunteer with BlazeAid.
- Join us on Instagram and spread the word through your networks!
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!