Brookfarm win excellence award
PASSION is what it is all about for macadamia farmers Pam and Martin Brook at their Brookfarm agribusiness.
That passion has been rewarded with an award for excellence from Monash University and the National Australia Bank.
“We are passionate about every element of what we do. Passionate about the products, the way we farm, the environment and about staff development,” sales and marketing manager Caroline Crooks said.
Brookfarm produces a range of macadamia products – muesli, oil, nut bars – from nuts grown on its own plantation of 4500 trees.
The business was commended by the judges for its chemical-free approach to pest management and commitment to sustainable farming practices.
Brookfarm stopped using baits to control rats, which feed on fallen nuts, and were consuming about eight per cent of the yield several years ago.
Since then, several pairs of breeding owls have moved into the plantation and taken over the role of pest control; it is estimated the owls consume as many as 1500 rats and mice each year
In 2009, Brookfarm commenced its three-year transition toward becoming a certified organic farm.
In presenting Brookfarm with the award, the bank said the business had experienced growth at more than 20 per cent each year.
Brookfarm sells its products into independent supermarkets, health food stores, restaurants and cafes.
It now has major corporate clients such as domestic and international airlines and exports to more than 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Germany.
About 30 people are employed in the business.