Busch Organics are one of our suppliers of Certified Organic produce. They are located on the Mitchell River Flats in Hillside, Victoria.
Are you from a farming background?
Yes, I was always helping out on the family farm during school holidays feeding cattle and driving tractors when shifting irrigation. I became officially employed in 2009 when I took over marketing and sales.
What brought you into farming?
I had always been interested in the farm and the opportunity to join coincided with leaving my previous job. The appeal of working within our family business was the main attraction with a passion for producing chemical free food to follow.
What would you say have been the biggest changes you’ve implemented on your own farm since you’ve been farming there? Do they correspond with what you think the biggest changes have been in the industry during that time?
The biggest change was gaining organic certification in the year 2000. My grandfather had always been a lover of the soil and I believe now more than ever the industry as a whole is putting greater importance on soil health. Second to that it would be implementing specialised equipment to reduce labour costs. Lastly, cold storage capacity to enable production twelve months of the year.
Has it been viewed as more of a business for you, a lifestyle choice or a combination of both?
Working with family lends itself to combining business with lifestyle. With that comes a shared responsibility to create a productive team environment where one person isn’t overloaded with tasks.
As the divide between large and small farms has grown, how has your operation adjusted?
Here at Busch Organics we have slowly increased our certified land holding to keep up with the demands of a growing market, as well as searching for gains in efficiency to keep cost of production down.
How do you see your role in the community?
We have a responsibility as an employer to provide a safe place to work, which begins with machinery and extends to the types of inputs we use to grow vegetables.
What crops do you grow and do you choose them based on profitability?
We grow broccoli, beetroot, beans and parsnip. These lines suit our growing region. Every crop has a role to play in overall profitability and providing cash flow for twelve months of the year.
How do you deal with weeds and with insect pests?
We use flame weeding, mechanical weeding and hand weeding to control unwanted species of weeds in the field. There are a range of approved biological products to assist in suppressing insects, which are rotated between to minimise resistance to any particular control.
Have you taken any steps to make your farm even more environmentally friendly?
We have areas of our properties set aside for biodiversity made up of creeks and river frontage which are full of fish and wildlife.
How do you feel about the local / organic food movement?
The organic food movement is creating the demand for every business in the organic supply chain, from seed to plate, so I see it critically important to nurture it and promote it as a way of life to ensure demand increases annually.
What advice could you give to any young greenhorns interested in getting into farming?
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, show enthusiasm and a willingness to listen and perform duties as instructed. Opportunities are given to capable young people given the difficulty agriculture has in attracting and retaining them. Entry through a traineeship is a fantastic way to gain exposure to the diverse roles agriculture offers and can be a vehicle to move higher in an organisation.
Thank you for your time Kane,
The team at Absolute Organic.