Organic food demand on the rise in central Victoria

DEMAND for organic food boxes is on the rise around central Victoria, with producers attributing the interest to people’s growing awareness of where food comes from.

Sharon Kittson opened Luckwood Organics in Kyneton in February to showcase the amount of organic produce grown in the Macedon region.

“Most of the produce is sent back to the city and redistributed, so I wanted to create a direct link from the farmers to the consumer,” Ms Kittson said.

Her business has 200 people signed up to receive her boxes weekly.

“It’s been really well received. The members are really happy with the boxes and are willing to try new things.”

The produce in Ms Kittson’s boxes is about 80 per cent local, with the fruit normally sourced from other places in Australia. 

The boxes also include recipes to show people how to cook the more unusual vegetables such as Japanese turnips, golden beetroots, green tomatoes and different coloured silverbeets.

Ms Kittson said people were thinking more about the origins of what they ate. 

“People are concerned about eating healthily and limiting the amount of chemicals is a really straightforward way of doing that.”

Graham Cullen said the past two years had seen substantial growth at his organic fruit and vegetable delivery business, The Food Box.

Mr Cullen and wife Caithlin Meave took over the Campbells Creek business six years ago after it had been in operation for six years.

He said demand for organic produce was increasing.

“There are quite a lot of people moving up this way and quite a lot of interest in organic food,” he said.

“People want to get connected back to the food they eat and there’s also a growing awareness of local growers in the area, which people have a vested interest in.”

He said food boxes were a great way to shop. 

“The biggest advantage of food boxes is that we know what’s in season and what’s coming through from the growers. 

“People have confidence in us to choose the right produce, and what you end up getting is the best quality produce when it’s in season, at its best value and best tasting.”

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