When husband-and-wife duo Martin and Pam Brook bought a run-down dairy farm in the Byron hinterland, a passion for giving back to the land and creating quality, healthy food was born. Today Brookfarm is a working macadamia farm and the once-barren land is teaming with wildlife again. Here, we chat with Brookfarm’s CEO Will Brook about regenerative agriculture, world-first recycling initiatives and what makes the perfect breakfast.

Will, what inspired your parents Pam and Martin Brook to buy a run-down dairy farm in the Byron hinterland and start Brookfarm?

In 1989, a family dream to move to the country, followed by a passion for quality, healthy food led to the start of the family business Brookfarm in 2000. With advice from locals, my parents (Pam and Martin) transformed a run-down dairy farm in the Byron Bay hinterland into a working native macadamia farm and regenerated an ancient sub-tropical rainforest found on the property.

Regenerative agriculture is at the heart of your brand. Can you tell us more about how you work with the land to create your products?

We’re doing everything in our power to protect our natural environment and, for us, it starts on the family farm. Regenerative agriculture is the key to less carbon pollution, more biodiversity and rebuilding homes for wildlife. We constantly seek out nature-based solutions to improve the taste and quality of our produce with the least impact on the land. Regenerative agriculture allows us to implement a method of farming principles and techniques that pursue land and soil rehabilitation and natural pest management while strengthening the entire ecosystem of the farm and local environment.

How does your passion for sustainability inform the rest of your business?

Our sustainability focus has been there from the start of our business. When we started our farm, it was weed infested, but we wanted to give back to the native environment with macadamia trees and regenerate the ruminants of the big scrub rainforest that was already there. We have now planted more than 45,000 trees and installed 14 wildlife boxes on the farm. There are also 288 solar panels that power the bakehouse. We’re always looking for ways we can do more.

You have recently launched a world-first kerbside recyclable soft packaging solution. Can you tell us how this process works?

Our innovative world-first Roll ‘n’ Recycle packaging allows semi-rigid plastic to be placed in your recycle bin. The award-winning sustainable design, in collaboration with OF Packaging, ensures our packaging is 100 per cent recyclable and given a second life, while saving approximately two million bags from landfill each year. The simple Roll ‘n’ Recycle feature on the back of the pouch enables users to roll the pack and stick the pre-installed adhesive label to firmly secure the package, which avoids issues with flexible packaging disposal through the standard recycling collection. Put simply, it turns “two-dimensional” packaging into a “three-dimensional” shape, allowing it to be sorted correctly at the recycling facility just like a water bottle.

What are the benefits of using locally grown ingredients?

Locally grown produce is fresher and tastier, and we are committed to supporting local Australian farmers in sourcing only the most premium Australian ingredients. It’s a real priority for us to support the local industry so it’s not lost to overseas

What makes the perfect morning routine and the perfect breakfast?

Here at Brookfarm it’s no surprise we consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. However breakfast looks, whether it’s enjoyed leisurely at home reading the paper, with the kids on the fly, or on the go as you’re dashing out the door, starting the day with nutritious and delicious food is something in which we take great pride. With a variety of flavours available, and dietary requirements catered for, we like to think  everyone can kick start their day with Brookfarm.

What’s next for Brookfarm?

Following an unbelievably successful trial with our Roll ‘n’ Recycle pouch for the Toasted Muesli Macadamia & Cranberry (1.5kg), we are ready to invest fully in the new packaging and plan to roll out across the entire range (all 26 pouches) from
April 2022.

Meanwhile, Mum (Pam) is always testing and creating new muesli and nut combinations in the family kitchen, while dad (Martin) concentrates on regenerative agriculture in the Northern Rivers region with new regenerative farming methods, trialling new natural pest management systems and supporting local rainforest and wildlife restoration.

For more, visit brookfarm.com.au and @_brookfarm_ on Instagram.