RedQuinoaAs a whole grain gaining international acclaim quinoa is already being developed by farmers in Western Australia and Tasmania since 2014.

In 2015, British farmers began growing Quinoa as demand soared for the one-time health food and demand is still outstripping supply here in Australia.

Originating in South America as a healthy alternative to rice, world quinoa prices have increased sharply in recent years in response to strong demand, despite increasing world quinoa production and exports. Quinoa is considered a gourmet product which attracts high premium.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that in 2012, Australia imported 934 tonnes of quinoa with a value of AU$3.1 million but in the same year Australia exported 2 tonnes of quinoa for the year at a value of AU$18,840.

As Australians become more health conscious, in 20-50 years, plant based superfoods might be more in demand than meat and dairy based foods.

When it comes to developing Northern Australia should we be considering such trends making the most of current opportunities?

In a past ABC rural news report, Steve Timmis, Director of Australian Quinoa talks about the role Australian farmers could play in supplying an export market with the whole grain.

Mr Timmis suggests Australian farms could be the key to doubling world quinoa production in the next five years and addressing a shortfall in global supply.

“The world produces just over 100,000 tonnes of quinoa and we see ourselves in Australia matching that production in the two to five year timeframe.”

Mr Timmis hopes to see up to 200 farmers growing quinoa in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

“We’re developing a firm expansion strategy into the eastern seaboard,” Mr Timmis said.

“Right at the moment we are actively seeking to fulfil the domestic market with Australian quinoa – so all the large retailers and all of the large ingredient suppliers,” Mr Timmis said.

“But it hasn’t been on the market as a commercial product until now, so we’ve allowed ourselves 12 months to become active in that space, and then the international market is also where we’d like to play next year.” Click here to read the article in full.

The Developing Northern Australia Conference Above the Line – unleashing the north’s potential continues the dialogue started in 2015 following the release of the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

Underpinned by the Government’s Top Actions Summary identified in the White Paper the Conference will explore how industry, business, Government and agribusiness are embracing the opportunities for sustainable growth into the next decade. The Conference will be held 20-22 June 2016 at Darwin Convention Centre. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

There is also the opportunity to speak at the conference, take to the platform and have your say. If you would like to apply to speak CLICK HERE.