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Grow the Growers Project

Now accepting tax deductible donations!

Our Grow the Growers Project identifies emerging and established farmers that are at a point of readiness to sell produce commercially at a small to medium scale and who see the benefit (both commercially and environmentally) in transitioning their farms to certified organic. The project also aims to support these new organic (or organic in-conversion) farms by providing a market to sell their fresh produce within the Northern Rivers. Our vision is to make broader connections throughout the region to provide growers with greater access to local markets for ongoing financial sustainability and regional food security.

Santos Organics is proud to provide clean, fresh and organic produce to our customers. We continue to believe that certification is essential in ensuring that the produce we sell has been grown in accordance with organic principles and our values.

We support existing Certified Organic farmers while also encouraging local farmers on the journey to full certification through our Tiered system:

  • Tier 1 - Certified Organic - first preference
  • Tier 2 - Certified Organic In-conversion - second preference and introduced only if Tier 1 produce is unavailable or availability is limited (not meeting demand)

In line with our aim to increase the number of organic farmers in the region overall, we support in-conversion farms and those who wish to initiate the in-conversion process but who face obstacles in doing so.

Of $25,000 total funding, over half has been allocated to the recipients, and the remaining funds will be given in the subsequent stages of their conversion:

  • Pepe Fassos of Five Sixty Farms in Lismore: Pepe produces microgreens and a range of annual vegetables.
  • Dave Warne of Green Cauldron Farm in Tyalgum: Dave offers a fantastic range of annual vegetables.
  • Tom and Nicole of Misty Creek Agroforestry in Booyong: Tom and Nicole farm with syntropic agroforestry to mimic the natural structure of the rainforest for food production.
  • Andrew Cameron of Fig Rock Farm in Burringbar: Andrew is currently regenerating a large avocado orchard.
  • Karen Gross of The Paddock in Mullumbimby: Karen uses syntropic farming, has market gardens, and offers NDIS programs on her inclusive farm.
  • John Quayle of Mariefields Organic Farmstay: John has mango and pomegranate plantations, as well as Manuka honey.
  • Simon Schaffer of Macaco Agroforestry in Wollongbar: Simon uses successional agroforestry to grow taro, cassava, bananas and pumpkin.
  • Margi Carter in Mullumbimby: Margi has a fantastic range of fruit trees in her large orchard.

In our effort to maximise supply from Northern Rivers farmers and to increase food security in our region, we will continue to work with farmers and key stakeholders to find the best solutions to increase our supply of local produce grown using certified organic practices that will become sustainable not only for Santos Organics, but for the whole community! See an overview of the project in this Echo article.

Now accepting tax deductible donations!