WA Pulses on Trend
“Developing a stronger supply base of pulses out of Western Australia is key to Australia participating in the plant protein story in global markets”, says Pulse Australian Chairman, Ron Storey, in supporting the $6 million announcement by GRDC and DPIRD WA for new projects to expand the area of high value pulses – lentil, faba bean and chickpea – in WA. There are also projects for expanding the sowing window of oats, canola and lupins in WA.
“Pulse Australia is working with industry partners like GRDC to ensure that as the world’s expanding middle classes adopt healthier diets with more plant protein, Australia’s pulse industry is positioned with the right investments to capture this growth”, said Storey.
“The evidence is compelling. Plant protein will play a much greater role in healthier bodies, a healthier planet and at lower food costs; it’s a great story”, he said.
“To fully participate in this diet trend, we want to see a solid human consumption supply base develop in WA. WA’s exports of feed pulse protein (lupins) averages around 300,000 tonnes per annum, while east coast exports of food grade pulses (mainly chick pea, lentils, faba and mung beans) is about 1.5 – 2 million tonnes. A larger and profitable WA supply line of food grade pulses would sit right next to the dynamic pulse demand of the Indian sub-continent markets of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as well as reduce the supply risk of east coast seasonality.
“And that’s only existing markets; the global trend, including throughout Asia, is that what we put in our mouth matters, and consumers and food manufacturers are voting with their wallets. Australia needs to stay ahead of this food, nutrition and health curve because the payoff is not just in supplying commodity; there are regional manufacturing and technology opportunities and regional jobs to be won as well”.
The demand trend is good. The GRDC-DPIRD investment will evaluate how supply can respond with a profitable, sustainable pulse crop for WA farmers. Pulse Australia, representing the pulse value chain, is delighted with this investment where a vision for the future is being activated.