31 October 2020
AORA October News
From the National Executive Officer
A big “thank you” to the many AORA members who contributed to our recent national industry survey.

You will recall our industry study, The Economic Contribution of the Australian Organics Recycling Industry, which was launched in March. The report mapped the current economic and environmental contributions of our industry.

In addition, the report also modeled the “what if” scenarios for the industry’s contribution at national organics recycling rates of 70, 80, 90 and 95% (as compared to our current national rate of 51.5%). Needless to say, the potential benefits are huge.

But that still left the question: how ready is our industry to expand to these higher organics recycling rates? The industry’s capacity to increase production is a key component of our national capacity to increase organics recycling rates – and to achieve the benefits this brings.

That’s why AORA committed to delivering a second industry study, in conjunction with the Federal and South Australian Governments: The Productive Capacity of the Australian Organics Recycling Industry. The study will launch a few weeks from now, and the data provided through our industry survey forms an integral part of it.

AORA will be running member webinars to brief you on the study, but in the meantime I am pleased to give you a sneak preview of some key results:
  • Industry satisfaction with its performance is strong, with 3 in 4 businesses indicating they are somewhat, mostly, or very satisfied with their overall performance.
  • The three best areas are:
  • industry leadership
  • business stability
  • high productivity.
  •  Three areas for improvement are:
  • profitability
  • costs of production
  • the opportunity for growth.
  • The four largest obstacles to the growth of the industry are:
  1. Regulatory policy uncertainty
  2. Contamination of input material
  3. Government Policy (such as waste and recycling strategies)
  4. Business licensing and operating permits.
  • Operational issues such as access to technology, labour costs, and logistics are minor obstacles to growth.

The report will provide an independent and robust assessment of the industry’s ability to step up as an economic, employment and environmental provider of benefit. It will also provide a direct link to our final (and arguably most important) piece of work: AORA’s National Industry Policy Document, which we will launch in coming months.

Together, these three works will answer the question: how do we get to 80% recycling of organics by 2025 and 95% by 2030?

As always, don't hesitate to call or email me if you would like to discuss any issues, peter@aora.org.au or 0458 404 898.

Peter Olah
National Executive Officer
Welcome to our newest AORA Members
We would like to welcome our newest AORA member;

  • Great Wrap (VIC).
Upcoming Events
AORA Annual General Meeting
Thursday 19 November
1pm AEDT
Online

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AORA VIC Members Meeting
Thursday 12 November
10am AEDT
Online

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AORA NSW Processors Forum and Luncheon
Friday 11 December
Atura Blacktown
More details to follow

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AORA VIC Update
AORA VIC recently received correspondence from DEWLP in response to the position paper recently distributed.

"Working collaboratively with AORA and our other key stakeholders is a priority for the Victorian
Government in the implementation of the Recycling Victoria policy. As part of continuing a constructive relationship with AORA, my colleagues have set up monthly meetings to address your concerns and develop plans for the future.

I encourage you to continue engaging with the Environment Protection Authority on the
Environment Protection Act and the proposed subordinate legislation. AORA’s detailed knowledge of
the organics sector and its broad member representation are of critical value for the reforms that both DELWP and the EPA are leading."

Following this, the first of a series of monthly meetings with Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has taken place and the AORA Vic team will update members at their upcoming meeting.
AORA Research Awards Open for Nominations
AORA is seeking nominations for the AORA Student Research Awards for Advancing Organics Recycling.

Research considered for an award may apply to any stage of the supply chains of source separated urban derived organic materials, food and fibre processing residues, biosolids, and also agricultural residues such as animal manures and mortalities.

Eligibility Criteria
  1. Postgraduate students at Honours, Masters and PhD level enrolled at an Australian or New Zealand university.
  2. Have carried out postgraduate work that advances organics recycling activities and supply chains.
  3. Have finalised their Honours, Masters or PhD degree between 1 January and 31 December 2020.
Nominations close 8 Jan 2021.
Funding Opportunities

Modern Manufacturing Initiative
The Australian Government has announced a $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) and the National Manufacturing Priorities.

The $1.3 billion MMI will drive lasting change for Australian manufacturers.
It will help Australian manufacturers:
  • scale-up
  • collaborate
  • commercialise
It will unlock private sector investment and support manufacturers to deliver on the world stage.

The MMI will provide co‑funding for large manufacturing projects that have broad sectoral benefits across the National Manufacturing Priorities. It will unlock private sector investment across three targeted streams.
  • Manufacturing Collaboration Stream
  • Manufacturing Translation Stream
  • Manufacturing Integration Stream

National Manufacturing Priorities
To turbo-charge Australian manufacturing the Modern Manufacturing Strategy will focus on areas of comparative advantage and strategic importance.
The National Manufacturing Priorities are:
  1. Resources Technology & Critical Minerals Processing
  2. Food & Beverage
  3. Medical Products
  4. Recycling & Clean Energy
  5. Defence
  6. Space

Next SOIL CRC Investment Round
The Soil CRC brings together scientists, industry and farmers to find practical solutions for Australia’s underperforming soils. Guidelines for Proposals for the next major investment round are now available.

Project proposals are due on 4 February 2021 with anticipated Board approval of successful proposals in late April and contracted projects commencing in August next year.

The Soil CRC have allowed a little over three months to develop and submit proposals. This will allow more time for project development, recognising the time needed to get genuine collaboration and end-user engagement during a period when many partners are occupied with harvest and/or summer holidays.

Four programs deliver the outcomes of the SOIL CRC and projects fall under these programs.
  • Program 1 – Investing in high performance soils
  • Program 2 – Soil performance metrics
  • Program 3 – New products to increase fertility and production
  • Program 4 – Integrated and precision soil management solutions.

Business Events Grants Program
On 11 September 2020 the Australian Government announced it would provide $50 million to create the Business Events Grants Program. This program is part of the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund that is providing assistance to sectors, regions and communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19

The initiative will support business events by providing grants to meet costs for events in Australia during 2021. The upfront grant ($10,000–$250,000) will meet up to 50 per cent of costs incurred in participating at a pre-approved business to business event, such as space hire, design and manufacture, plus travel and accommodation.

It will empower not only the business events sector, where the required cancellation of events due to COVID-19 has seen a near 100 per cent loss of revenue, but also the broader business community by stimulating high value, multi-day business to business events across multiple sectors of the economy.
Opportunity for University Graduate Students
 Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program - 8 positions available
The Queensland Government has engaged with QFF to facilitate the Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program, an internship-style program for up to eight early career extension officers (graduates).
 
Graduates will be employed for 15 months to assist the delivery of extension services through their host organisations, supported by mentoring from experienced advisors and a tailored training program.
 
Graduates interested in participating, please register their interest by email to aewpp@qff.org.au including your name, email, postal address and phone number.
 
Of interest
EU Agriculture Ministers call for special emphasis on soil organic matter to achieve a sustainable food system
The European Compost Network (ECN) welcomes the Council conclusions on the farm to fork strategy that EU Agriculture ministers adopted on 19 October 2020.

Check It! Before You Chuck It
APCO's broad national consumer education campaign launched recently and has been developed to remind Australians to look for the ARL on packaging every time they are at the bin and to follow its instructions to dispose of their packaging correctly.


Research Opportunity: ARC Linkage Project - effects of co-digestion process parameters
Dr Guangming Jiang from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong is seeking industry partners to work on the project.

Webinar: Recycled organics as an alternative to peat in mushroom casing
Catch up on a recent webinar with Adam Goldwater and Dr Jenny Ekman from Applied Horticultural Research where they present the results of the recent trials of commercially viable white mushroom crops cased with blends of composted recycled organics and peat. 

If you have a story, link or news to share with AORA members, please email Alex
AORA - Australian Organics Recycling Association
0434 625 472| admin@aora.org.au