Dan and Lana Nicholson had a vision: a vision where food waste was kept out of landfill and turned into organic compost to improve agricultural soils.
When they launched their business Topsoil Organics, they found they were in line with shifting farming practice and State legislation.
Fast forward six years and they've got a business that is growing exponentially: the phone is ringing off the hook with both suppliers of raw material for the Central West Nutrient Return Centre and buyers for their end product.
Now, in an honour for the team, they've been named a finalist in the Western NSW Business Awards and they're looking forward to celebrating at next Friday's awards.
"We've very passionate about our end product and we're very proud," Dan Nicholson said.
It's one year since Topsoil Organics received licensing to take 30,000 tonnes of organic waste per year and turn it into top quality compost and $300,000 in NSW Government Job Creation funding to turn their vision into reality.
You can read more about the origins of their business in the Advocate story from that time.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the floods of last November, today they employ 16 people and see the potential to treble their output again in the next two-and-a-half years.
"Business has taken off," Dan told the Advocate, explaining the reasons for that are multi-faceted.
"There is massive demand for the end product, we can't produce enough.
"There has been a massive shift in the way farmers are thinking, with soil health."
Most recently, the impact of the situation in Russia and Ukraine on access to traditional agricultural fertilisers has increased pressure in the market.
Yes, we are a distance from Sydney and some of their suppliers, but they also have one of only two machines in Australia that can remove the packaging from the food coming out of supermarkets that would otherwise go to landfill.
That means the plastics can be separated for recycling and the food goes on through to become compost.
Quality control manager Siobhan Bermingham explains their drive for sustainability carries through their off-grid operations, with water tanks and solar panels.
They also make a conscious effort to support local business and invest in the local economy wherever possible.
Their innovation has already drawn another new business to Forbes, with Southern Nutrients developing a $10 million plant to turn the compost into pellets on the neighbouring property. The original Topsoil Organics compost is spread like lime or gypsum.
The Western NSW Business Awards, in its 10th year, recognise growth, entrepreneurship, and celebrates business success and resilience.
Forbes has two local business finalists, you can read all about Forbes Automotive Services and Cody Banks here.
Winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner and Award Celebration on Friday 22 July in Dubbo at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Winners of the 2022 Western NSW Business Awards, will then represent the region at the State Business Awards to be held in November.
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