Cross-Border Organic Dairy Farmer Joins the Board of Australian Organic as New Director
Jane Campbell, organic dairy farmer, has been newly appointed as director to the Australian Organic board. Ms Campbell will assume the position in an interim capacity from previous Board Director Leo Watling.
With more than 20 years’ organic dairy farming experience, new director, Ms Campbell currently divides her time between the two operations she runs with her husband Ian – Barambah Organics, situated in Goondiwindi, Queensland, and East Coast Sustainable Dairy in Raleigh on the mid north coast of NSW. She also oversees the production facilities in Darra, Brisbane.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Jane as she brings with her a level of dairy industry experience, we have not previously had at board level,” said Australian Organic CEO Niki Ford. “The Australian organic dairy sector is a significant part of the industry, so Jane’s expertise will be invaluable.
“Leo has been a fantastic Board Director over the past year, however as the founder of retailer Apples and Sage, he has had to temporarily step back from the position due to the extra business demands COVID-19 has brought about. He intends to return to the board as soon as he is able to.”
Success for the Campbells in Organics
Since 2012, the Campbells have successfully been exporting their organic products such as milk, cheese, cream and yoghurt, to numerous countries since 2012. The pair have also won many national and international awards for their produce.
Ms Campbell, who recently completed a law degree through the University of New England, specialising in Australian Consumer Law, Environmental Law and Animal Law, said she was looking forward to taking on the role of new Board Director.
“I’ve always been a passionate advocate for farmers rights given how familiar I am with the numerous challenges of organic farming,” she said. “I also believe in upholding the integrity of the organic industry. Ensuring that consumers recognise the certified organic Bud logo and only look for certified organic products is a vital part of that.”
“We have 1060 acres in Raleigh, 15km south of Coffs Harbour, and have really been embraced by the Bellingen community who are very environmentally conscious,” said Ms Campbell. “We’re really excited to be farming in the area. Ian, who is a qualified rural scientist, has been doing a lot of soil tests in the paddocks which have revealed that the soils have a high storage of carbon at 6.5 per cent which is due to zero till and treading gently on the land. Ian is also focused on adding nutrients back into the soil and allowing the soils to regenerate.
“We have also been very careful to not overstock the farm as we are very mindful of animal welfare and are co-existing very well with an oyster farm right on our doorstep. The area is idea for organic farming, and we hope to expand the business over time and employ more locals.”
Sustainability at the forefront
The business holds a great commitment to sustainability, implementing “green packaging” through their bladder boxes made of cardboard which has a thin plastic liner, as opposed to using 210g of plastic, across 2L plastic bottles. As a work in progress, Barambah are looking at other liner bags, also encouraging customers to bring their own glass bottles to their stores for milk refills.
“We have also bought 250,000 1L refillable glass bottles, since we started their Goodwill Glass Return Project in October 2018,” said Ms Campbell. “COVID-19 has caused a disruption to the bottles being returned, but we are hoping these beauties will make their way back sometime soon.”
Recently Bellingen Shire Mayor Dominic King and shire General Manager Liz Jeremy paid a visit to the business at Raleigh, to welcome Barambah Organics to the region and were impressed with the site.
“The council completely embraces both economic development, and smart science-based, organic farming practices,” said Ms Campbell. “As we are also custodians of an 80-hectare stunning, pristine sub-tropical rainforest, which has a highly valuable carbon sink, the council has been re-assured that this unique area will be carefully preserved.”