Planted in the 1940s, the Mount Zero olive grove is one of oldest olive groves in Australia. When it was purchased in the 1990s by Jane & Neil Seymour, the family set about converting the dilapidated grove into a functioning farm using bio-dynamic principles - sustainable farming practices have been core to the Mount Zero Olives business from the very start.
Today, a total of 6000 Spanish Manzanilla and Gordal Olive trees line the base of Mount Zero. The grove is self-sustaining - the trees feed directly from the soil humus rather than chemical inputs and energy is sourced from off-grid wind and solar generators.
The old farm house on the property is also self-sufficient and runs predominantly off rainwater and solar power. (Take a further look around the grove via this video tour - watch video)
Close by we work with the traditional land owners of the Wimmera region, the Barengi Gadjin Land Council, to harvest the Pink Lake in Dimboola, Closely following their advice of we collaboratively hand harvest the lake for just two weeks each year to maintain its natural resources, beauty and the unique surrounds.
The move to our own warehouse in Sunshine West mid-2018, opened the door to new options for us to implement sustainability projects that we've been dreaming of for years. Solar power was one of the first measures that we implemented and it has been a fantastic investment. We installed a 16kW system and most days it covers all of our electricity requirements for our warehousing and packaging needs.
Another current focus is to limit our packaging waste and to find 'greener' options for all of our products. We have purchased a machine that perforates cardboard eliminating the need for bubble wrap packing for mail orders! We now can wrap individual items for post with a recycled, non-plastic alternative. This also means that our cardboard recycling bin is often empty and we have very little need for plastics in our post packages.
We are currently testing biodegradable and compostable options for our pulse and grain range and we are confident that we will find a durable, sustainable option in the coming months. Stay tuned!
What's better than biodegradable and compostable packaging? No packaging at all! At our monthly Warehouse Market Day customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to fill with delicious produce. We provide a Warehouse Market Day discount due to the lack of handling and packaging required and our range of pulses and grains, olives, salt and olive are available in self serve bulk. To find out more about our market day, please join our WAREHOUSE MARKET FACEBOOK GROUP or follow us on social media for event posts.
But, the latest buzz around the warehouse has been the introduction of bees! The warehouse has a front and backyard so in addition to planting olives (of course) we thought we'd give a humble apiary a go. We've kicked off the project with one 'box' as a test, and to ensure the environment is right and that the bees are happy and productive. If so, we will add a few more. We have no plans to sell Mount Zero honey in wholesale markets but we would love to sell some 'liquid gold' to our loyal Warehouse Market Day customers.
So not only does a commitment to flavour, sustainable farming and a passion for quality ingredients define our approach to we grow and gather, it also defines our choices in our production and distribution methods.
We are proud of our continuous work to make our business as sustainable as it can be, and encourage you to celebrate sustainable practices in your homes and offices where possible too. Thanks for reading about our sustainability journey. We hope to see you soon!