New Zealand: Comvita Buys Organic Olive Estate
New Zealand health
products producer Comvita has bought an 85 hectares organic olive estate
in southeast Queensland.
Comvita's products are made from manuka honey and olive leaves. The
purchase of Organic Olives has potential to expand Comvita's production
of olive leaf extracts by 130 per cent, the company says.
The estate comprises some 7000 certified organic olive trees and
is in Coominya, on the shores of Lake Wivenhoe.
The company recently reported clinical trials at Auckland University's
Liggins Institute had found a beneficial impact from its olive leaf
extracts on secretion of insulin and the action of insulin in overweight
men. The research has yet to be peer-reviewed
and published, but is expected to boost global interest in the product.
"We're also scoping the possibility of building on this science, with
additional clinical trials,"' said Comvita chief executive Brett
Comvita has acquired the estate to secure supply of organic olive leaf
extracts. A major limitation to business growth for natural & organic
product companies is raw material supply. By owning olive trees, the
company has greater control of volumes and quality. Although honey is
its main product, Comvita has ventured into the natural personal care
The Global Market for Natural & Organic
The Gold Coast Bulletin / Organic Monitor
Australia: Nestle Makes
Nestlé Australia has announced that every chocolate it sells is now
independently certified to ensure the cocoa is sourced and produced
sustainably on farms with safe working conditions.
More than 3000 tonnes of UTZ Certified cocoa is now being used to
produce iconic favourites such as Kit Kat, Smarties and Club chocolate.
Nestlé is the first major chocolate manufacturer in Australia to source
all the cocoa for its retail confectionery business
from certified and sustainable farms that are operating under the Nestlé
Nestlé Australia Business Executive Manager Confectionery and Snacks,
Martin Brown, said the Nestlé Cocoa Plan is helping farmers to run
profitable farms, eliminate the use of child labour and ensure a
sustainable supply of cocoa.
"Our work with West African cocoa farmers is helping to address the
issues facing the farmers and their communities, while giving Australian
consumers the confidence that the cocoa in them has been produced
sustainably," Mr Brown said.
"It's difficult to guarantee a sustainable supply of cocoa in the
quantities we need in the challenging environment that exists in the
"But the Nestlé Cocoa Plan is starting to make significant progress in
these areas which ultimately improves the social and economic conditions
of farmers and their families," he said.
Sustainable Foods Summit
Sustainable sourcing projects are a regular feature of the Sustainable
Foods Summit. The summit looks at the evolution of food eco-labels, such
as Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified, etc.
next edition of this executive summit will take place in Amsterdam on
6-7th June 2013. More details are on the
Source: News Release
Organic Poultry Producer Targeting Asian Market
Having dominated the domestic organic free-range poultry market, R.M.
Williams Agricultural Holdings (RMWAH) is now turning its attention to
South East Asia.
Following substantial investment in 2012, RMWAH is now the only
Australian company with the capability of exporting organic free-range
poultry. For three months the company has been exporting product to an
online retailer in Hong Kong; however, RMWAH head of corporate
development Bryce Graham said from this month, exports would rapidly
RMWAH will sell Inglewood Farms-branded product and also a new R.M.
Williams Agricultural Holdings-branded product into Hong Kong this year.
Mr Graham said it was working on exclusive contracts with two of the
major retailers in the region to target two different markets with each
of the brands. He said the company would supply about 40 stores with the
Inglewood Farms brand from March, which he hopes to increase to about
200 stores within two years mainly targeting Asian consumers through one
of the retail chains. However, with the other major chain, he hopes to
ride off the back of the recognition of the R.M. Williams brand to
target the huge expatriate community in Hong Kong.
The company also has its sights set on Singapore, China and the Middle
East, and Mr Graham said RMWAH hoped to build on the relationships
established to create an export market for branded organic beef and
"Poultry is not the only thing we're focusing on, we're looking at
establishing relationships with these major groups
beyond organic poultry," he said. "One of the other things we're talking
to the group we're launching with in March is to be able to offer an
end-to-end organic meat solution of Australian product in our brand.
Organic poultry is a very good product that creates a platform for us to
sell other value-added products."
Mr Graham said RMWAH wanted to develop the export market so it made up
about 30 percent of overall yearly volume of Inglewood Farms within 18
months. He said export margins were far higher for certain products such
as darker meats and offal.
One key difference between the domestic and export markets is the fact
that Australia prefers fresh produce, while it will be mainly frozen in
Hong Kong. "Ninety percent of what we sell will be frozen and we will
have to adjust our packaging and portion sizes," he said.
A challenge of meeting export standards for countries such as Hong Kong
has been developing an amino acid-free feed ration. Mr Graham said
initially they suffered production losses and mortalities as a result of
the different ration, but spent the past 18 months refining it. "We've
now got two separate feed rations one for the domestic market and one of
the export and mortalities are now essentially the same," he said.
Should the export market boom as anticipated, Mr Graham said RMWAH had
capacity to increase its Inglewood Farms operation even further. "If we
maximise production, we have a number of options. In terms of the brood
sheds and the processing plant there is ample capacity we would just
need more growing sheds."
Asian Market for Organic Food &
North Queensland Register