A RIVERLAND winery has been rewarded, taking out the title of Business of the Year at the sixth annual Australian Organic Industry Awards.
The Angove Family Winemakers, who were also up for two other awards including export market leader, and certified organic alcohol product of the year for their organic shiraz cabernet, has been producing wine for more than 100 years across five generations.
The business ensures that all 500 hectares of their vineyards are managed organically, making them one of the largest and most successful certified organic winemakers in Australia.
Their weeds are controlled without herbicides, instead using native pasture grasses, tillage and slashing. Fungal diseases are controlled using natural products, and pests are managed by encouraging natural predators.
This year judges say entrants exceeded expectations.
"With so many innovative new products, successful business stories and extraordinary individuals, this year's finalists are a true credit to our industry which has quickly become one of the most dynamic markets in Australia," Australian Organic chief executive Niki Ford said.
The other SA winner was Gemtree Wines, McLaren Flat, awarded for its 2019 Luna temprana tempranillo, which won certified organic alcoholic product of the year.
Third generation egg farmer Petar Pirovic, Llandilo, NSW, won Farmer of the Year.
Australian Organic chair Martin Meek said seeing the organic industry expand exponentially was a testament to its many quality producers.
"Australian Organic is 32 years old this year and, along with many of our members, we have seen organics grow from a fringe cottage industry to one of the fastest growing mainstream categories and a significant export earner," he said.
"This rapid growth, whilst exciting for industry, comes with challenges. It's the role of Australian Organic to help members navigate these challenges."
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