The Grain Industry Association of Western Australia Inc (GIWA) is a not-for-profit, incorporated, whole of value chain member industry association. Its purpose is to support an effective and efficient Western Australian grain industry. GIWA facilitates communication, information exchange, capacity building and grain supply chain solutions for Western Australia.
The POP aims to increase the WA production of processed oats, grain yield and hectares sown, and support industry to capture a greater share of growing international demand for oat products.
GIWA, through the GIWA Oat Council, is the lead program partner and advisor, providing a communications portal between stakeholders.
2024 Nuffield Scholar
Growing the case for oats
With one foot in the operations of a grain and livestock farming business, and another in communications and marketing, Shannen Barrett is well placed to study development opportunities for Australian oats as a 2024 Nuffield Scholar.
Shannen sees great potential for oats in Australia, but says many growers perceive milling oats as one of low value in the rotation.
Shannen farms alongside her partner at York and Beverley, WA, growing oats, wheat, barley, canola and lupins. However, the bulk of Shannen's time is spent in her role as a communications manager at plant breeding company InterGrain, where she oversees the company’s national communication portfolio.
Shannen's scholarship is supported by the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia through the Processed Oat Partnership, an industry growth program supported by $10.1m of WA State Government funding.
“Oat uses are expanding with oat milk preference and diversification offering broader market opportunities and increasing demand of high-quality oats,” Shannen says.
"We have a great opportunity to develop a niche health food industry for oats in Australia, although pricing fluctuations, along with genetic gain and agronomy challenges, have impacted confidence and oats have remained a smaller crop.
"To shift perceptions and increase milling oat production, solid and stable oat prices relative to other cereals are required and strong, loyal relationships across the supply chain to ensure we produce a high-quality, sustainable product to meet consumer demands.”
Shannen plans to travel to the US, Canada and Europe – large oat-producing countries – and engage with growers, processors, buyers and retailers across the supply chain to learn about marketing approaches, consumption trends and the local trajectory for oats, identifying parallels and opportunities for Australian growers along the way. The study will assist in developing the Australian oat industry and aligns with the industry's current strategic plan and research priorities.
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