Vegetable farmer wins top sustainability award

Mulgowie Farming Company

Mulgowie Farming Company have won the top sustainability accolade at Woolworths’ Annual Supplier Awards.

The awards ceremony, held in Sydney yesterday, saw Mulgowie Farming Company announced as the Sustainable Supplier of the Year from a strong field of finalists and a diverse range of industries.

The Sustainable Supplier award was open to all Woolworths’ suppliers across every category from fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, health and beauty, pantry, frozen and more.

Melanie Chambers, Mulgowie’s CEO, said “to be recognised ahead of thousands of Australian and multinational companies is a phenomenal achievement that we are very proud of.

“This is a massive win for our whole team and recognition of the great efforts the Mulgowie team go to while sustainably delivering consistent supply of quality, fresh and nutritious vegetables.

Woolworths were particularly impressed with Mulgowie’s environmental initiatives and success in:

  • being the first vegetable farmer in Australia to generate carbon credits to GHG ISO 14064 standard. Mulgowie capture 213kg of greenhouse gasses for every ton of vegetables that we produce. Mulgowie deliver carbon sequestration by controlled traffic farming, cover cropping and minimum tillage and are certifiably ‘net Carbon negative’ at the farm gate.
  • removing 50tonnes of plastic in 2019 and 2020 from our supply chain by converting Woolworths Beanettes from trays to a bagged product and by adopting a shallower tray for our Sweet Corn, with plans to remove 35MT of plastic out of circulation and eliminating 5.5 million paper labels in 2022, with more to come.
  • adopting ‘no till’ farming practices as a pillar of our soil health strategy, where we prevent our soil from being compacted and grow cover crops to keep the soil alive year-round with living roots, boosting soil and vegetable nutrition while reducing fuel use.

In an extra nod to the company, Mulgowie were also awarded Woolworth’s Fruit and Veg Supplier of the Year.

A representative for Woolworths commented “They have shown a high level of commitment to customers and collaborative approach to managing through both short and long-term challenges. Their focus and drive towards highly sustainable farming practices complements their customer first view. Congratulations to Mulgowie”

It has been a stellar end of 2021 for the Mulgowie farmers, who two weeks ago found out that they had been successful in winning a Federal Government Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant, which aims to create jobs while also increasing production of world-class products.

Over 250 companies applied for a grant, but only seven companies were successful in obtaining a piece of the $33 million grant funding on offer.

Under the grant, Mulgowie won $5.1 million to invest in their business which the company will use to improve processing capability and capacity which will result in greater supply of Mulgowie Farming’s sustainably grown fresh nutritious vegetables for Australians and international consumers to enjoy.

About Mulgowie Farming Company

Starting as a small family farming venture over 75 years ago in the Lockyer Valley, the Mulgowie team has grown far and wide, with over 5,000 hectares under production across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Mulgowie has a great team who use best practice sustainable farming techniques to be an industry leader in the growing, packing, distribution and marketing of Australian fresh vegetables.

Mulgowie farmers are passionate about cultivating Healthy Soil, growing Healthy Plants and producing delicious and nutritious fresh vegetables for Healthy People. This is achieved through innovation and sustainable farming practices, by farmers who are custodians of the land. Mulgowie are the early-adopters to methods that conserve natural resources, reuse waste and enrich soil, land, plants and the environment for present and future generations.

About Melanie Chambers, CEO

Melanie Chambers was appointed Mulgowie Farming Company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in October 2021. Melanie has over 25 years of progressive experience across several primary industries, and she has expertise vital for leading Mulgowie into their exciting next phase of growth. Mulgowie’s previous CEO, Fabian Carniel, remains as a business owner of Mulgowie.

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