About Ceres Organics
Our Story Ceres was founded by people with common interest in the work of Rudolf Steiner. Our story began in 1982, when a biodynamic and organic fresh produce stand run by Juliet Lamont premiered at the Michael Park School fair in Auckland. As a mother, Juliet wanted to feed her two boys organic food, but it wasn’t readily available in stores at the time. So she took the initiative to find others wanting organic food and called on organic farmers she knew to supply what they produced. The stall was so successful that Juliet began a weekly organic co-op out of her garage in Mt. Wellington. This later became the first urban organic vegetable co-op in New Zealand and included four of the current directors of Ceres: Elaine Beadle, Noel Josephson, David King and Rodnie Whitlock. By 1984, the weekly co-op had grown so much that David King worked with Juliet to transform theco-op into a shop in Ellerslie, Auckland. It was the first organic food store in New Zealand, sparsely stocked, but full of enthusiasm and it made a connection with customers. The store was given the name Ceres, after the Roman goddess of the harvest. Rodnie Whitlock had a business specialising in anthroposophical books including those about biodynamics and in 1986 this became part of Ceres. The demand from other stores and co-ops began to come and our wholesale division was started. Juliet also worked with the organic certification groups in New Zealand representing the trading side of what were mostly grower organisations. A teacher at heart, Juliet returned to her first love in 1990, handing Ceres over to Noel and Rodnie as directors. Through the 1990s, Ceres began to grow rapidly making the transition into an efficiently operating company with standards recognised by our suppliers and customers. In 2001, Ceres became the first BioGro certified organic distributor in New Zealand. Work towards obtaining HACCP Food Safety certification began in 1985 and we received full certification in 2009. That year we also became the first EcoSocial certified company in New Zealand, a certification that recognises an ethical and socially responsible sourcing philosophy based in the company’s operations. EcoSocial is a fair trade certification based on organic principles and social justice headquartered in Brazil alongside the Brazilian biodynamic movement. Beginning early in the 21st century, we began to export our products and from 2007 began especially to concentrate on Australia. Today we are the premier certified organic Australasian distributor with our flagship brand Ceres Organics, our organic food ingredient supply to other companies and with the representation of other brands into the Australasian market. The company has also extended into health and beauty products and into household cleaners. We distribute to organic and health food stores, supermarkets, specially food stores and co-ops as well as food manufacturers. Our journey onwards continues with our 120 co-worker team, a strong guiding philosophy and some new developments on the horizon. In August 2013, we move to our new warehouse, currently being built, it will be the first 5-star plus ecological warehouse in New Zealand.