Vegetable farmer wins top sustainability award

Helen Walker
By Helen Walker
Updated December 2 2021 - 10:45pm, first published 1:00am
Miulgowie Farms wins Woolworths sustainability award.

The large Australian owned and operated horticultural business, Mulgowie Farms which specialises in the growing, packing, marketing and distribution of fresh vegetables for domestic and export markets has won the top sustainability accolade at the Woolworths Annual Supplier Awards.

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

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A representative for Woolworths said the farming company had 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," Woolworths said.

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 was a phenomenal achievement that they were 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," she said.

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.

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 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.

Mulgowie started as a small family farming venture over 75 years ago in the Lockyer Valley, and the Mulgowie team has grown far and wide, with over 5000 hectares under production across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.


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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Toowoomba-based Journalist

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