Charting Australia’s Farming Future

On Friday June 16  Professor Snow Barlow FTSE, FAIAST and Winsome McCaughey AO will convene a Roundtable of 25 Australian national experts from biodiversity, soils, water and agriculture to discuss Integrating Biodiversity and Profitable Farming at their vineyard near Baddaginnie in North East Victoria. This is the first cross-sectional, cross-discipline gathering to engage in charting the future of productive, biodiverse Australian landscapes. Australian farmers are experiencing an unprecedented demand for safe, quality food of known provenance, largely from a rapidly expanding Asian middleclass. Responding to this opportunity will place increasing pressure on Australia’s already stretched agricultural natural resource base.  It also creates great opportunities for innovation, profitability and strong positioning of Australian food. Professor Barlow said that “Australia must find a balance within our Farming Systems that’s productive and sustainable if we are to defend and strengthen Australia’s reputation as a clean and green food supplier. We need to focus on value rather than volume farming – and build platforms of trusted provenance that enable us to demand price premiums in Asian and global markets” Professor Kate Auty, former Victorian and current ACT Commissioner for the Environment will facilitate the Roundtable. Participants include: Professor Saul Cunningham, Director, Fenner School of the Environment and Society, ANU Professor Richard Echard, Director, Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre Melbourne University Dr John Williams, formerly Chief CSIRO Land and Water and NSW Environment Commissioner Professor Ary Hoffman, Professor of Pest Control and Environmental Stress Adaptation Melbourne University Dr Pauline Mele, Principal Scientist, Soil Health, Agriculture Victoria Mark Wooton, Director, Jigsaw Farms, Hamilton Victoria Colin Seis, Winona Merino Stud; Pasture Cropping Processes; Winner of National...

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Biodiversity Wine Initiative South Africa and porcupine tracking!

BRANDS TELLING THE CONSERVATION STORY Porcupine Quest © The Porcupine Quest THE PORCUPINE QUEST Ever wondered what porcupines get up to? Where they go, where they feed, shelter, mate and socialize? The owners of Boekenhoutskloof wine farm in the Franschhoek valley are so interested in the elusive little creature that features on their wine label that they established the Porcupine Quest to help sponsor porcupine research. Sixteen porcupines have been fitted with GPS collars that send information over the cellphone network to PhD student Cindy Bragg. She is doing a four-year study on porcupines through the University of Cape Town to better understand their role in widely differing Cape ecosystems – from Franschhoek to Nieuwoudtville to the Kalahari.To track the porcupines see:...

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Jamie Goode’s post on Terrior

Sunday, July 26, 2009 Terroir: one of the most interesting wine concepts I love the topic of terroir: the idea that the specific soils and local climate of a vineyard area can impart distinctive local character to the wines it produces. I love the fact that it is still quite mysterious. We know that some sites are very special, and are capable of making great wines, yet we don’t know exactly why, despite extensive scientific investigation. I’ve been re-reading James Wilson’s book on Terroir (Mitchell Beazley), but as much as I find his descriptions of the geology of the various French wine regions interesting, I’m frustrated by his inability to link specific soil types to wine flavours. I have my own theories – but that’s all they are. On one level, it’s just a wonderful mystery that the partnership of specific sites and grape varieties yields great wines in ways we can’t predict, and that there aren’t that many places on earth that are capable of this. On another level, I’d love it if we could find ways of prospecting new ‘great’ vineyard sites more accurately, and of making great wines more available and...

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Pope’s encyclical on the environment

Key excerpts from the Pope’s encyclical on the environment Posted 19 Jun 2015, 9:01amFri 19 Jun 2015, 9:01am Related Story: Pope calls for climate change action ‘here and now’ Map: Holy See (Vatican City State) Pope Francis has issued a major encyclical on the environment, called Laudato Si (Praise Be), On the Care of Our Common Home. Here are some key excerpts from the official English version: On climate change and its causes In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the Earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. Concentrated in the atmosphere, these gases do not allow the warmth of the sun’s rays reflected by the Earth to be dispersed in space. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy...

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Join us

We are on a journey and we’d love you to come with us. There is much to be done! An easy way to help is to purchase and enjoy our wines with friends. We’d also love you to share our story. Tim Jones depicts this in his beautiful engravings – which is that:

  • Replacing native bio-corridors restores healthy ecosystems
  • Healthy ecosystems enable wines to express distinctive terroir flavours
  • Reinvesting returns from quality wines enables more land restoration

If you'd like to assist in other ways, contact us or subscribe for updates.