The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | Reaping benefits from homegrown projects

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017

Confirmation of a project likely to add an extra string to the Wimmera’s agricultural bow is an example of how a simple idea can blossom into something worthwhile.
Horsham will soon be the Australian home of a protein-powder manufacturing plant and the region will be exporting yet another fresh and highly valuable product to the world.
Australian Plant Proteins, a subsidiary of Melbourne agribusiness investment company EAT Group, is pumping millions of dollars into the project and expects production to start later this year.
For a company to seize such a concept, generated from brainstorming in our part of the world, is something of which we as a region should be proud.
The nuts and bolts of the idea is pulse crops, regardless of how they look after being ravaged by climatic conditions such as frost, often retain their protein value.
But how the product has looked has represented a critical difference in determining price and value.
Being able to recognise the issue for a start, adapting a powder idea as a value-adding opportunity for farmers, understanding the potential for market demand and then finding an investor willing to seize the concept all represented tantalising challenges for Wimmera Development Association in developing a business case.
Of course much of the process has involved private enterprise moulding the business model to suit its operations and expectations. But foundations of the concept remain homegrown and overall the project is a massive tick for having a pro-active approach to development.
Closely following, reporting and commenting on this project since its inception many years ago has provided fascinating insight into the process.
Yes, it seemed obvious. Protein is a magical element that is often a measure between what is average and high-quality raw plant food.
And what a win in cropping security it would be for producers if a new high-value market line emerged from downgraded lentils.
But attracting the estimated $30-million in investment needed to establish supply lines and create a manufacturing plant in the Wimmera always seemed a big ask.
But here we are. It pays to think big.
Why stop there? The project is proof that we as a region play a large role in controlling our own destiny and look forward to the next idea that we hatch and grow.

Protein blueprint ‘ideal’ for Wimmera development

The entire February 27, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire February 27, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Feb 27 2019

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