Following on from last weeks blog Organic farming: where is it going in Australia?, this week we thought we’d present some information from the Australian Organic Market Report, 2012. It makes interesting reading because it shows just how far we’ve come as a society in embracing organic food in Australia.
First, the size of the organic food business is now over $1.15bn in retail value. That represents a doubling since 2008. Australian exports of organic food are estimated to be about 10% of this value at some $126m.
Organic Farming in Australia
Australia still has the largest surface area of certified organic land in the world. Australian Bureau of Statistics data for 2011 noted that 11,199,577 ha is certified organic in Australia. Data from certification agencies suggests the area is actually much larger at 16.9m ha
In addition to that over 250,000ha is in “pre-certification” meaning that it is undergoing its period of transformation from conventional to organic.
Obviously not all of this land is arable. Much of the area is given over to grazing country. But then it would not surprise you to learn that 25% of all beef sold in Australia is organic meat.
Where Can I Buy Organic Foods?
Over one million Australians regularly purchase organic products. 65% of consumers reported that they purchased organic food occasionally. Beef, fruit, and vegetables/herbs make up the top three categories of fresh produce purchased, with dairy being fourth.
Showing just how mainstream organic is in this country, three in every four organic purchases are made at a major retailer. With availability increasing and pricing reducing, organic food is set to grow strongly over coming years.
Why Organic Farming?
The environmental benefits of organic farming practices are numerous – it protects the soils, improves water quality, conserves water and lowers greenhouse gases from agriculture. In fact, it is estimated that if 1,000 medium sized farms converted to organic it would be the same as taking 117,000 cars off the road every year. If it’s possible to farm successfully without chemicals, then that’s the way we should do it because we believe the whole community benefits from it.
Food Safety Issues
In Australia we’re very lucky that we have good fresh foods that are clean and healthy. And let’s be clear, our conventional food stream is closely tested and regulated, so it’s not just about organic foods.
But such controls are hard to police in some countries. China is one of these. Even Certified Organic growers in China flout the rules and there are exposures of these unscrupulous people every week.
That’s one of the reasons why Bellamy’s Organic baby formula is so highly sought after in China. Australia, and Bellamy’s Organic, have a very high reputation for organic quality and more importantly, safety.
Sadly though, the very reason why Chinese mothers buy Bellamy’s Organic is the reason why we don’t buy any Chinese ingredients that go into our formulas or indeed any of our other food ranges. We are committed to buying only the best quality, verified ingredients. That may make us more expensive sometimes, but it arguably does make us the best you can get.
Organic Food and Health
Naturally, we believe that certified organic baby foods are best. Quite simply it’s because of what is not in them. It seems that, increasingly, mothers who want to give their babies A Pure Start to Life are switching to organic baby food and it’s easy to understand why. Conventional farming practices continue to use pesticides, insecticides and hormones that are potentially harmful. Many are untested.
The problem is that some of these chemicals are found in maternal blood, placental tissue, and breast milk samples from pregnant women and mothers who recently gave birth. A 2013 study by a UN & WHO Panel[i] indicated that chemical contaminants are being passed on to the next generation, both prenatally and during breastfeeding. Some chemicals indirectly increase cancer risk by contributing to immune and endocrine dysfunction that can influence the effect of carcinogens.
The report noted that children are at special risk due to their smaller body mass and rapid physical development, both of which magnify their vulnerability to known or suspected carcinogens, including radiation. Numerous environmental contaminants can cross the placental barrier; to a disturbing extent, babies are born “pre-polluted.”
The UN & WHO Panel[ii] reported that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade. Specifically, the panel noted “Fetuses, babies and young children “are not just little adults” and are the most vulnerable to hormone-altering chemicals since their bodies are still developing, the authors wrote.
“We seem to be accepting as a society that it’s acceptable to load up our next generation with chemicals in an unregulated manner and hope they’re not bad. We need to change that entire culture.”
We would agree.
If you’d like to read more of what the WHO had to say, go to the link below
Shopping lists, check lists, mental to-do lists, busy Mums are forever making lists – we thought we might make a list of our own! One of our key objectives at Bellamy’s Organic is to be available for contact to those who want to get in touch, whether it be by phone, e-mail, Facebook or comments on this blog! Through this contact we have been very grateful to receive some wonderful feedback about why Mums are choosing Bellamy’s Organic, so we’d like to take an opportunity to share some of their motives – in a list of course!
No surprises here, it’s in our name and it makes up 100% of our product range. How can you be sure it’s organic? We clearly and proudly display the NASAA certification logo across the packaging to show that our products are indeed certified organic. Why do we choose NASAA as the certifying body of our products? Amanda, Bellamy’s Organic Quality & Compliance Specialist says, “We choose NASAA certified organic as not only were they the first organic certifying body in Australia but NASAA’s integrity and ethical interpretation in applying various standards, is held in the highest regard”. Learn more about why we choose organic ingredients here!
2. Australian Made (and Owned)
This is important to Mums for different reasons, some say it’s mainly because they know that our products must comply to our strict Australian manufacturing standards, others because they believe Australian food products are among the highest quality in the world, and some Mums simply like the comfort that they are supporting an Australian business and jobs.
3. The Bellamy’s Organic Brand
Whether it be our recipes, our communication or the contents of our products itself, we strive to stay true to our brand promise of providing ‘a pure start to life’. More importantly though is what the Bellamy’s name means to Mums. With the release of our Ready to Serve baby food range, there is now a Bellamy’s product represented across the complete baby and toddler food and drink categories that are typically found in an Australian supermarket. So if Mums are happy with one of our products they may be more likely to try another product in the Bellamy’s Organic range as well. We’ve previously quoted Laura McBain our CEO (and mother!) as saying “for the first time, 100% Australian made organic formula AND organic baby food are available for Mums under the same trusted Australian brand” see what else is in our full range here!
Bellamy’s Organic is committed to wholesome, nutritious food for babies and children, that’s how we ensure your baby’s food is naturally of the highest quality (and tastes great)! Our interest in diet doesn’t stop at babies and young children; we believe that starting children on a pathway to ‘mindful eating’ will set a foundation of good eating habits leading to greater health benefits later on in life, many of our customers seem to agree. Click here to find more about ‘mindful eating’.
5. Environmentally Responsible
At Bellamy’s Organic we recognise our Mums want the best for their kids, so in this spirit we take measures to ensure we aren’t unnecessarily hurting the environment for kids in the future. Not only are our ingredients organic but they are sustainably sourced too, and we always choose BPA-free packaging that doesn’t compromise on protecting its contents! This is one of our frequently asked questions to which we are happy to give a positive response! Learn about our three tiered commitment to sustainability here.
6. Started by a Mum for Mums
They say necessity is the mother of all invention, but it was the necessity of a mother that led to the creation of Bellamy’s Organic when it was found to be difficult to source quality organic products for her kids! Now we have grown we hold true to the value of providing your child ‘a pure start to life’, and to this day we draw on the inspiration of Mums needs and what’s best for their children when creating our Bellamy’s Organic products!
We acknowledge that Mums are among the busiest people on earth, furthermore one of the biggest obstacles to feeding children healthy food is convenience. That’s why we always have Mum in mind when creating our products to make it easy to prepare and place in packaging that is easiest to serve. And, with our new partnership with Chemist Warehouse and our existing presence in Coles and Woolworth and independents Australia-wide; there are now more places to find our products than ever before – don’t forget you can always purchase our products from our online store here as many Mums continue to do!
Safety is taken very seriously by Bellamy’s Organic, we recognise without an absolute commitment to safety, we can’t absolutely be the best! This is our foremost consideration and can be demonstrated in our quality assurances. Use of choke-free caps on our Ready to Serve baby food or clearly communicated best serving practices on our labeling are examples of this and much, much more!
So, there you have it, 8 reasons we have heard that Mums (and Dads) are choosing Bellamy’s Organic through our feedback. If you agree or have another reason why you choose Bellamy’s Organic products it would be wonderful to hear from you in the comments below or on our Facebook page! Thanks for your continued support.
Chemist Warehouse has just come on board as a Bellamy’s Organic stockist! Which is fantastic, but the best news is that they are stocking our range nationally. Yes! That means almost all of our products are stocked in every one of their Chemist Warehouse stores Australia-wide!
Chemist Warehouse is now stocking the following Bellamy’s Organic products:
Formula & Milk Drinks: Infant Formula, Follow-On Formula and Toddler Milk
Cereals: Baby Rice, Baby Porridge and Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
Toothiepeg Teething Rusks
Pastas: Brown Rice Pasta Stars, Baby Macaroni, Vegie Pasta Alphabets and Vegie Macaroni
Snacks: Apple Snacks, Banana & Apple Snacks and Pear & Apple Snacks
Recipes EXCLUSIVE to Chemist Warehouse
Bellamy’s Organic range also includes our NEW Ready to Eat Meals. It’s a new wet food range, with six yummy fruit based recipes and six delicious savoury based recipes to complete the range. 100% certified organic ingredients, no added sugar or salt and 100% Australian made. Our new range is packaged in BPA free pouches with a spout and a choke safe cap for Mindful Eating on the go.
So, along with our Formula & Milk Drinks, Cereals, Toothiepegs, Pasta and Snacks; Chemist Warehouse is also stocking our NEW Ready to Eat Meals and they have a couple of recipes from our new range that are exclusive just to their stores!
Our recipes for our NEW Ready to Eat Meals are designed to let your little one explore a simple yet slightly more sophisticated range of flavour combinations.
The range has six fruit-based recipes:
apple & fig oatmeal
banana apple porridge
peach & apple
mango, blueberry & apple
berries, cinnamon & apple
apple cinnamon – exclusive to Chemist Warehouse
And we have six savoury recipes:
pumpkin & tomato risotto
spring vegetable macaroni
chicken, sweet potato & cous cous
broccoli, beef & brown rice – exclusive to Chemist Warehouse
cauliflower cheese, potato & corn – exclusive to Chemist Warehouse
chicken, chickpea & sweet red pepper – exclusive to Chemist Warehouse
100% Australian Made 100% Certified Organic
As always, all of our products are 100% Australian made and are 100% certified organic by NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture in Australia), which is Australia’s principal certifying body for organic and biodynamic produce, ensuring the entire organic supply chain maintains its integrity from paddock to plate. We are the only certified organic brand, made in Australia, that offers a babies’ and children’s range from birth. We believe in Mindful Eating for a Pure Start to Life.
So, you’re wondering where your nearest Chemist Warehouse is so you can stock up on some Bellamy’s Organic goodness? Click on this link to find a Chemist Warehouse store near you!
Following on from last week’s video clip, How to Prepare Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula, I’m sharing some Formula Hints & Tips with you on getting the best from our formula products and answering some questions we’re frequently asked by our customers.
What if I don’t use a whole tin within 4 weeks of opening it?
If your baby is solely formula fed, one tin of our formulas should last approximately 1 week. But may last longer or less time depending on just how hungry your baby is.
But what if I’m breast feeding and supplementing with formula and I may not use a whole tin within 4 weeks of opening, I here you ask… Well then, you’ll be happy to know that our formula can be frozen for up to 3 months – in powder form, not made-up. Have a look at this video clip to find out how to freeze our formula correctly.
Can I take made up formula out with me?
No, you can’t. If you’re going out for the day and you want to feed your baby formula while you’re out, you need to take the milk powder and water separately. Don’t take made up formula. Find out why and how to prepare formula on the go in this video clip.
My baby’s poos have changed colour, is this normal?
In short, yes. Any changes in diet will cause changes at the other end, just like adults. Babies that are transitioning from breast milk to formula will show changes in the frequency and colour of their poos. I’ll tell you why in this video clip.
We hope you find this video useful. If you have any questions please call us on 1800 010 460, visit our website or speak with your health professional. Or feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.
In next week’s video clip, I’ll be talking about baby’s First Solid Food: Baby Rice.
Following on from last week’s video clip, Infant and Follow-On Formulas, I’ll be showing you How to Prepare Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula.
At Bellamy’s Organic we believe that breastfeeding is best for babies and we voluntarily comply with the World Health Organisation’s code of practice. However, we also recognise that breastfeeding isn’t always possible for many reasons.
To help your baby along the path to a Pure Start to Life, our formulas are made from 100% certified organic cow’s milk and are 100% Australian made.
How to prepare a bottle of formula
When you’re preparing formula for your baby you should always follow the instructions on the tin that you are using exactly.
You should never change the proportions of powder unless advised by your health professional, because changing the proportions can make your baby quite ill.
We provide a feeding table on our tin for your reference. This table is a good guide, but your baby may be more or less hungry so you may need to adjust the total amount of formula to suit your baby.
Remember, the ratio of Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula is always 1 level scoop of formula to 60mls of cooled, boiled potable water.
We hope you find this video useful. If you have any questions please call us on 1800 010 460 visit our website or speak with your health professional.
In next week’s video clip, I’ll be talking about Hints and Tips on getting the best from our formula products and answering some of your frequently asked questions.