Cobbitty agtech farming group Green Camel has become the first New South Wales beneficiary of Woolworths' $30 million Organic Growth Fund.
Through a range of biological processes, Green Camel produces organically certified leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and barramundi in a symbiotic manner.
Green Camel’s proprietary system operates as a semi-closed biosphere - inside a state-of-the-art glasshouse - where waste from fish production is captured and transformed into nutrition for the horticulture. The system addresses the issues of waste from aquaculture, increases water utilisation, and decreases input costs and environmental burdens of horticultural production.
With the $250,000 grant from the Woolworths Organic Growth Fund, Green Camel will expand production capabilities and build a protected cropping area to grow organic raspberries and blueberries using their unique growing system.
Green Camel Founder and Chairman Adam Steel said: “In an environment where water is becoming an increasingly precious commodity, our farming model is thriving.
“We use our water reservoirs to grow fish, and every single drop used in aquaculture is then used to grow crops. It means every drop of water and every joule of sunshine is accountable.
“We are striving to deliver consistent organic produce within an industry that has traditionally been subject to substantial production variability.
"We are grateful to Woolies for their support and look forward to meeting the evolving demands of consumers seeking high quality, organic produce at a good price.”
Woolworths has seen demand for organic produce grow at a rate of 20 percent year-on-year for the past five years. The $30 million Organic Growth Fund has been established to help Australian farmers boost production and consistency of supply to meet the growing consumer demand.
Woolworths Head of Produce Paul Turner said: “We’re seeing incredible growth in customer demand for organic fruit and vegetables, and the trend is only set to continue in the years ahead.
“We’re delighted to be working with local organic farmers like Green Camel to build the capacity that will allow us to meet the growing demand for organic produce.
“Green Camel has invested in a highly sustainable and innovative system to grow organic tomatoes and leafy greens, and it’s fantastic to see them expand into berry production. We’re excited to see what this Organic Growth Fund grant will unlock for Green Camel and our mutual customers.”
Woolworths has opened the second grant round of the Organic Growth Fund. Organic growers can read more about the fund and apply at www.woolworths.com.au/organicgrowthfund