The Riverina region lies in southwest NSW and is abundant with a diverse range of organic produce. Covering over 80,500 square kilometres, this agricultural region provides ideal growing conditions for a range of products, from fresh produce and wine to cotton and textiles. A major tributary of the Murray River, the Murrumbidgee River is the third-longest river in Australia and supports the growth of one-quarter of all fruit and vegetables produced in the state.
The region supports a thriving community, largely employed in agribusiness and service industries, with a range of business opportunities sprouting from the Riverina’s developing food culture.
This Australian Organic Awareness Month, Australian Organic Limited (AOL) is encouraging Aussies to ‘swap’ in one certified organic product to support local organic producers.
Learn more about the inspiring producers in your backyard, and plan yourself a trip to the Riverina to taste the best certified organic produce the region has to offer.
While most organic farms do not allow visitors, some businesses have an onsite farm shop, cafe or wine cellar allowing you to try fresh organic produce first hand. Always check on the company’s website before you plan your visit.
Perched atop the western hills surrounding Batlow, NSW, Bonza Organics produce delicious certified organic apples and olives. The family-owned business is managed by Stephenie Bailey and her daughter Shaya, accompanied by an array of organically managed livestock including horses, sheep and goats who all play their part in keeping the farm weed and pest free.
After being heavily affected by the Black Summer Bushfires, Bonza Organics hopes to continue working on the regeneration of the fruit trees on the property, aiming to diversify their current offerings, and provide training and experience for those looking to gain experience in sustainable horticulture.
Family-owned Buronga Organics stretches across 4,000 acres of lush pastureland, rolling hills and native bushland, just 10 minutes outside of Cootamundra, NSW. Owned and operated by David and Mary Booth, Buronga Organics places its passion for farming and organic philosophy at the centre of its farm management.
The extensive property includes Angus cattle, Dorper sheep, Boer and Bush goats and spelt. Buronga Organics are committed to sustainability and soil management, with around a third of the property dedicated to native bushland to maintain and improve biodiversity in the area.
De Bortoli Wines
With over 90 years of winemaking heritage, De Bortoli Wines encompasses the best of the best when it comes to producing exceptional wines. With a vision for a healthier future for the environment, De Bortoli Wines are in the early stages of converting some of their vineyards to organic. In 2020, 6.2% of the De Bortoli Riverina vineyards were certified organic. In addition, the winemakers have adopted a range of innovative programs and practices including water management, and packaging and waste management, with a view to become a ‘Zero Waste Wine Company’.
Experience the best in country hospitality at the Bilbul Cellar Door where you can sample some of the best Italian heritage wines and enjoy a picnic in the lush winery gardens.
The Dowling family began farming and caring for the environment in the picturesque hilltops region of Southern New South Wales in the 1840s. Enviroganic Farm is Australia’s longest established certified organic poultry producer. Founders Angus and Sonya Dowling and their children are proud to carry on this commitment to the land. They are committed to organic, holistic and sustainable management of their natural resources, while continually striving to improve their management, production and customer service systems. Enviroganic Farm chicken and turkey are free from artificial and synthetic chemicals, and the birds are free to roam and behave as nature intended, leading to more nutritious, delicious tasting meat.
Certified organic Enviroganic Farm products can be found at independent retailers across NSW, VIC, ACT and WA.
Green Grove Organics
Owners of the famous Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, Green Grove Organics is a multi-generational family business, located in the pristine Riverina region in NSW. Owned by the Druce family since 1918, Green Grove’s organic journey began in 1962 when Alan Druce took steps to reduce the use of synthetic chemicals on the farm. In the 1990s, the family purchased an abandoned flour mill in Junee, using their organic wheat flour to create licorice and other confectionary. Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory is the only organic factory of its kind in the Southern hemisphere and Green Grove Organics is considered one of the pioneers of organic farming in Australia.
Pop into the iconic Junee and Licorice Chocolate Factory and sample some of the delicious organic confectionary on offer in the onsite café and chocolate shop. You can also purchase Green Grove Organics products online via their website.
20km west of Wagga Wagga, Parafield Olives is a family owned and operated organic olive grove in the Riverina region of NSW. Established by Maggie Carter in the 1990s, Parafield not only grows its own olives, but also provides trees from its nursery to supply Australia’s growing olive industry. Helped by the ideal Mediterranean climate, Parafield Olives are grown using organic principles with ecology and sustainability in mind. The olives are naturally ripened on the tree, before being handpicked and placed in a salt brine for 15 months. This method helps to retain the natural flavours and health benefits of the olives, with no added synthetic chemicals used in the process. Parafield Olives proudly offers a variety of award-winning table olives to suit your individual taste buds.
Quarisa Wines was established by husband and wife team John and Josephine Quarisa in 2005. With over 30 years of experience producing wines for some of Australia’s best wine companies, John Quarisa’s winemaking has been awarded some of Australia’s greatest accolades. John’s experience as a national and international wine judge led him to develop a range of wines that reflected what he loved most and his own winemaking style. With several hand-crafted wine ranges on offer, including wines developed for Australian and overseas audiences, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Roma Pizza Restaurant
Arriving from Italy in 1983, the Russo family brought their passion for soulful Italian food and the gioge della tavola (“the joys of the table”) with them to Australia. The Russo’s philosophy to celebrate simple ingredients and create delicious, flavourful food has made them a popular choice with local food lovers. Located in South Hurstville and Kensington, NSW, each Roma restaurant uses traditional recipes and the freshest local and organic ingredients to create a range of pizzas, pastas and desserts, including their very own organic pasta sauces. During lockdown, the restaurant is offering ‘Roma at Home’ pizza and pasta packs so you can recreate that authentic Italian taste at home.
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*Locations not open to visitors. Check individual company websites for more information.