1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
Michael & Jenny Bogicevic began growing a variety of vegetables and herbs on a small 45 acre farm outside Pearcedale on the Mornington Peninsula in the 1980s, selling the produce off the back of a truck in the old Melbourne Wholesale Market at Footscray. Today, with the support of their children and 270 staff, the family farms more than 2,000 acres across various sites in Victoria.
The family have always been at the forefront of innovation in the horticulture industry. Coolibah Herbs was one of the first adopters in the early 1990s, of a new product line to Australia, Mesclun; otherwise known as Salad Mix. With mesclun’s rapid and increasing market appeal, the family decided to pursue large-scale production. Today, due to the family’s foresight, Coolibah Herbs ranks as one of Australia’s leading family growers.
In recognition of his efforts over the last 40 years, Michael was this year recognised by the industry as the Victorian Grower of the Year.
2. Why did you decide you wanted to grow organic?
The family is passionate about growing and providing quality fresh produce for families. Imagining tomorrow’s future eight years ago, the family set about being the first grower in Australia to grow organic baby spinach. Today organic fresh produce is a mega trend across the globe and the family strongly believe that ecologically responsible farming practices and the production of healthy organic vegetables, is the way of the future in horticulture. Consumers have the right to be provided with produce that is healthy, tastes real and has no detrimental effect on the environment.
3. What is a typical day for you like?
Our family is spread across our farm operations, from growing seedlings in the nursery, tending the fields, harvesting, processing and packing our fresh produce for distribution to our customers across Australia and overseas.
No one day is ever the same in farming, as you are faced with the vagaries of the weather and the many other challenges that come your way.
4. What do you wish more people knew about organic?
We can guarantee our customers that all organic produce delivered conforms to Australian Certified Organic (ACO) standards for farming and packing.
Consumers are asking more questions about the environmental impact of the food they eat. They can be assured that since our farming practices adhere to ACO standards, they can trust Coolibah Herbs organic fresh produce is healthy for the family and has been farmed with no detrimental impact on the environment. Certified organic fresh produce is free of synthetic pesticides.
5. Anything else you would like to share with us?
As you drive around the Coolibah Herbs farms you are captured by their uniformity and presentation. Great care and attention is paid to soil management and conservation, drainage lines are well engineered, crops are carefully nurtured and afforded wind protection from line corn plantings, and there is never a weed in sight!
If you would like to add some of the delicious, organic Coolibah Herbs produce to your order this week, shop now.