Our Story So Far…

About Us

When you think Organic Times, think certified organic and delicious! 

 

A variety of Organic Times products

Organic Times is an ethically driven, food loving, Australian-owned family business based in Melbourne, Victoria, in operation since 1999.  We provide an extensive selection of only the best certified organic products available including:

  • Fair trade couverture chocolate
  • Artisan cookies
  • Feel good confectionary
  • Ethically sourced pantry staples
  • Grass-fed butter, ghee and milk powder

Being certified organic means all our products are grown and produced without using synthetic chemicals (such as pesticides and artificial fertilisers), no GMOS, no exposure to irradiation and where animal welfare and environmental sustainability are also priorities.

Being Organic Times means all our products are also of the highest quality, free from palm-oil, fair-trade where applicable and packaged in locally produced and printed recycled cardboard when possible.

Our brand is for the ethically and environmentally conscious consumer, family and business who seek great tasting wholesome food products that doesn’t compromise their health or our planet.

We source Australian and international organic ingredients from ethical farmers and partners who share the same standards and beliefs as us.  These strong and established relationships have been built over time with hard-work, respect and loyalty.     

Supported by our team and family of dedicated and customer focused staff, our operations include manufacturing, contract manufacturing, ingredient sourcing, wholesale distribution and an information rich website and online store.

Our History

Organic Times was established in 1999 by two close-knit cousins, Lawrence and KC, back in a time when organic products were only found in health-food stores or the health-food aisle of the supermarket. 

 

Historical images of Organic Times owners, logo and packaging

Growing up in the inner city of Melbourne, they spent most of their youth at the Queen Victoria Market and their family speciality grocery stores, where they both developed a strong sense of family and love of quality food. 

In adulthood, focused on ethical business and sustainability, they worked in senior positions for a leading Australia Health Food company, which gained them insight into the health industry and the benefits and necessity of eating organic foods. 

With this knowledge and their passion for tasty food, it only seemed natural for them to venture out on their own and create a trusted household brand known for making organic products for everyday people just like us, for foodies who are mindful of the environment and good health, but also see food as one of life’s greatest pleasure,
where taste and flavour are also paramount.

 

Our Mission

We dreamt of bringing a more natural, organic alternative to the confectionary market. With just enough capital and loads of passion, that dream came true.

 

A handful of Organic Times Little Gems

That was back in ’99 and ever since it has been our mission to provide you a high-quality, better-for-you version of your favourite staples and indulgent goodies. We all enjoy a sweet treat from time-to-time, and we want you to enjoy the simple pleasures of food without harmful chemicals, GMOs and artificial preservatives and additives. 

We believe in building lasting relationships whilst engaging in environmentally sustainable practices. The farmers we work with, both locally and our international fair-trade partners, care about natural cycles and use true, sustainable farming methods to work in harmony with nature.

Organic agriculture and production is not just healthy for you, it’s vital and environmentally beneficial to the natural eco-system of our planet. 

 

Conservation

WWF-Australia and The Orangutan Project Logos

We provide support to numerous conservation organisations dedicated to helping our environment and animal welfare, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF – Australia) and The Orangutan Project (TOP). 

 

Supporting WWF – Australia.

yellow fish swimming in Great Barrier Reef coral

As members of the WWF Australia since 1999, we have been providing a monthly donation for more than 19 years, to support WWF’s global mission to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment.  Our money goes to helping WWF achieve the following:

  • Prevent dangerous climate change by reducing our ecological footprint
  • Protecting Australian threatened species and their habitats
  • Build national network of marine life sanctuaries and parks
  • Saving iconic creatures like the orangutan, tiger and giant panda.

According to WWF Australia, the demand for palm oil plantation has destroyed vast swathes of rich, green rainforest, threatening the habitats of endangered species like orangutans, elephants, rhinos and tigers and robbing Indigenous people of their land and livelihoods.  Other environmental fall-out attributing to palm oil include: air, soil and water pollution, soil erosion and climate change.

     

    The Orangutan Project (TOP)

      Jojo the orangutan being rescued by The Orangutan ProjectOrganic Times currently supports 2 programs run by The Orangutan Project: 

              • Adopt an Orangutan
              • Save Forest

      We have proudly added two members to our OT family by adopting 2 orangutans within TOP’s Adopt an Orangutan Program.  Our guardianship supports jungle school training, food and medical costs and intensive post- release monitoring to ensure they are both free, safe and thriving in their jungle home.

        By donating to the Save Forest Program we are helping to save the orangutan species by saving their remaining forest habitat. The program provides Wildlife Protection Units, Orangutan Rescue Units and Wardens who patrol the forest and keep it protected from illegal loggers and poachers.
        For every single ranger employed, over 20 orangutans can be protected each year.
        Our monthly donations help to protect 4km² and six orangutans’ habitat.

           

          Orangutan and her baby hanging in a treeAccording to The Orangutan Project, every hour 300 football fields of precious remaining forest is being ploughed to the ground across South East Asia to make way for palm oil plantations.   In the last 20 years, over 3.5 million hectares of Indonesian and Malaysian forest have been destroyed to make way for palm oil. Due to this, almost 80% of orangutan habitat has disappeared in the last 20 years.  We are losing over 6,000 orangutans a year and there are now only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world.

            Read our blog article to discover more about why Organic Times products are Palm-oil free and POI approved.

              Please take the time to check out the great work done by WWF Australia and The Orangutan Project.

                   

                   

                  About Sam & Cupcake

                  Organic Times' adopted oragutans Sam and CupcakeIn 2013, female orangutan Sam was rescued from appalling conditions in a Malaysian zoo. After initial care at the SOCP Orangutan Quarantine Centre in North Sumatra, she was soon transferred to the Bukit Tigapuluh (BTP) rehabilitation and release program in Jambi.

                  Despite her tough start in life, we wanted to give Sam every chance to live in the jungle. We knew this would be a long journey since she had spent her whole life in captivity. Sam was housed in a pre-release enclosure and began her rehabilitation journey. This included being given forest foods such as fruits, leaves and termites to eat and foliage to learn how to build a nest. She could also watch and learn from other orangutans nearby climbing in the canopy and foraging as they participated in forest school outings.

                  Then, in 2015, we were surprised and excited to discover that Sam was pregnant to a released and now wild orangutan named Rocky. However, Sam’s pregnancy changed everything. Despite her progress and plans to release her in the near future, Sam would be too vulnerable to return to the wild while pregnant and for some time after the baby’s birth.

                  Little Cupcake was born in June 2015 and Sam has been a devoted and attentive mother. She has successfully nursed baby Cupcake and introduced him to solid food by first chewing it and then passing it to Cupcake to eat. Cupcake is an active, cheeky and adventurous little boy! The pair have been working towards freedom and a new life, by learning the skills they’ll need for independence and survival in the wild.

                  This information is courtesy of The Orangutan Project.

                    Palm-Oil Free & Approved

                    Orangtuan image on POI logo

                    Palm Oil Investigations Certification LogoOrganic Times products have always been palm-oil free, and we are proud to say we are now POI approved.

                    We aim to bring you only the best sustainable and ethical products, so it is no surprise that Wildlife Conservation is important to us. With our high ethical standards and our love for the welfare of animals comes the promise that we never use palm oil. The palm-oil industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights.

                    Being POI approved means:

                    • We have passed POI’s stringent ingredient checks for our products to be verified as completely palm oil free.
                    • POI monitor our products to ensure our products remain completely palm oil free.
                    • We support the initiatives of POI and in partnership work to provide ethical, palm-oil free products.

                    The effects and usage of Palm Oil

                    Indonesia is being deforested faster than any other country in the world, and it has everything to do with one product: palm oil. Large areas of tropical forests and other ecosystems with high conservation values have been cleared to make room for oil palm plantations, essentially killing the biodiversity of the ecosystems that they replace.

                    Palm Oil is used in around 50% of products consumers purchase and used daily. The derivatives of palm oil otherwise known as fractions of the oil are used in the manufacture of pre-packaged food, cosmetics, cleaning products, hair care, soaps and personal care items. Palm Wax is used in the manufacture of candles.

                    The food industry is responsible for 72% worldwide usage of palm oil.

                    Clearing rainforests to make way for plantations has taken a heavy toll on local communities, destroyed natural habitats for endangered species, and become a critical factor in climate change. Replacing natural forests with palm oil plantations vastly diminishes the ability of vegetation to capture and store carbon dioxide. It’s estimated that deforestation contributes up to 20 percent of global warming.

                    About Palm Oil Investigations (POI)

                    Baby orangutanFounded in 2013, POI is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation focused on raising awareness and educating us on the impacts of unregulated Palm Oil production and how often it is used in every day household products. The aim of the organisation is to educate consumers on how to identify palm oil content in products and inform consumers about the certification status used in such products. By finding, investigating and exposing products that hide palm oil as an ingredient to consumers, POI is helping us to make better choices.

                    To find out more about POI and the amazing work they do, go to their website.

                    Fair Trade

                    Two hands shaking in fair-trade logo

                    Hand in Hand fair trade logo

                    Fair Trade is a partnership based on transparency and respect that seeks justness in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions and rights to producers and workers. Backing fair-trade means you make a difference through your choices. Your demand for fair-trade will extend the reach to marginalised producers in earning a fair and sustainable livelihood.

                    Fair trade is a way to buy and sell produce, from ‘developing’ countries, that allows farmers to earn what they deserve for their labour, under suitable working conditions. When chocolate companies pay fair prices for cacao/cocoa, this helps eliminate child labour. Workers are treated well, so children aren’t forced to work and can go to school.

                    Fair trade is about:

                    • Better Prices
                    • Decent working conditions
                    • Enriching communities
                    • Local sustainability
                    • And fair terms of trade for farmers and workers

                    Our chocolate, rapadura sugar, and any relative products are fair-trade. The Hand in Hand fair-trade programme works collaboratively with local, fair-trade partners, looking after farm workers’ rights and well-being through education and support; creating economic self-sufficiency, while protecting the natural ecosystem and encouraging biodiversity. Organic production and fair-trade are inextricably linked: what’s better for the planet has to be better for the people living and working on it.

                    To read more on our products and our commitment to Fair-trade, go to our blog page – Choose An Ethical Easter.

                    If you’re interested in further reading about fair trade, the World Fair Trade Organisation (WTFOhas developed 10 fair trade principles that must be followed to ensure accountability.

                    Certified Organic

                    The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia's logo

                    The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia's logo

                    “We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” Lester Brown

                    Since establishing our business in 1999, we have been committed to producing products that are organic, high quality, tasty, sustainable and ethical. Being certified organic allows our practices and processes to be checked and scrutinized by an independent body. Our certification gives us the confidence that we are providing organic products to world with integrity. Putting the NASAA certification mark on our packaging enables consumers to buy with the knowledge that Organic Times complies with strict Organic Standards. Certification is also important to us because we believe it adds another step in the chain, to have a third party authority sign-off and provide extra assurance and peace of mind that our organic ingredients are produced and grown without the use of nasties, such as herbicides, pesticides, artificial fertilizers, chemicals, hormones, genetically modified organisms and frighteningly more……

                    Basically NASAA has a set of rules and regulations, which is called Organic Standards, This is a handbook for operating under certification. It includes labelling requirements, list of prohibited products etc.

                    Annually we are required to complete an Operational Handling Plan (OHP), which outlines our processes and activities ensuring we adhere to the NASAA Organic Standards. This also includes a physical inspection of the operations and products and an audit on ongoing records on inputs vs outputs of all certified ingredients. As well, there is ongoing record keeping and compliance data to provide throughout the year. Any new ingredients introduced must be pre-approved by NASAA, any new recipes and packaging using the NASAA  logo also needs to be approved. NASAA periodically runs test product on the retail shelves.

                    NASAA certification also provides its operators with other resources to help with our business. Such as keeping us informed with relevant issues etc. Refer to their website for more info.

                    Organic Farming

                    Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land, year after year, with the same crop. This practice leaves the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients, as there is no natural diversity of plant life. To make up for this, chemical fertilisers are used. Ironically, crops are also more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides. These chemicals are ingested by you, the consumer, and also the farmers who mange the crops, not to mention the hazardous environmental effects they’re instrumental in.

                    In fact, cacao trees grown in open crops are known to be one of the most highly sprayed crops, as they’re highly susceptible to pests. However, organic cacao trees are grown using no chemicals, within their natural ecosystem. Organic farming begins with the nourishing of the soil which then leads to the nourishment of the plant and ultimately the flavour and goodness of the food. Natural growing conditions promotes biodiversity and decreases the incidence of disease.

                    Food choices you make now will impact on future generations’ health.