Queensland organic flour and wholefoods company Kialla Pure Foods has been crowned Brand of the Year at the 2022 Australian Organic Industry Awards, hosted by peak industry body Australian Organic Limited.
In 2022, the Kialla team launched more than 22 items into the big two major retailers, achieving over 5000 new distribution points and resulting in an 80 per cent increase over 2021 retail sales.
These included their new Waffle Mixes and Overnight Oats, which are the first products of their kind to hit supermarket shelves in Australia.
Owner and managing director Quentin Kennedy said their win not only ensures the long-term success of the brand but also underpins the viability of the broader certified organic industry.
"Organics is perfectly positioned to meet the growing consumer interest in healthy food, and their desire for more information about how their food is grown and processed," he said.
A pioneer in the organic industry, Kialla Pure Foods has been operating from their Greenmount mill on the Darling Downs since 1988.
After having worked in the industry for several years, Quentin and Michelle Kennedy purchased the company in 2006, and since then have grown it into an organic icon in Australia as well as in many overseas markets, including Asia and the Middle East.
Mr Kennedy noted that while other larger mills have relocated for economic reasons the company continues to invest in and grow their regional presence, actively developing opportunities for both local people and organic farmers.
"As advocates for organics we value our relationship with our farmers," he said.
" I believe that one of the biggest opportunities for the organic industry is for organic farmers to capitalize on the increased carbon sequestration of their land through organic practices, and to be rewarded for the extra effort involved in farming this way."
However, Mr Kennedy considers that the biggest challenge to the organic industry is the lack of International Equivalence for Organic Standards.
"This has a tremendous opportunity cost on the industry that can only be overcome through the government introducing Australian Domestic Regulations," he said.
The organic industry has been growing year on year and is now valued at over $2 billion.
AOL Chief Executive Officer Niki Ford described the Awards as an opportunity to recognise excellence and diversity within organics saying: "It is clear that the winners are making a significant impact not just on their business but also in the broader industry."
Other winners at the awards included Queensland strawberry farmer Brendon Hoyle who took away Farmer of the Year, while Alistair Ferguson, who established Toowoomba-based Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co, was inducted into the AOL Hall of Fame.
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