Celebrating our Australian Made Products
We are super excited to be celebrating Australian-made week here at GF Oats Australia, from the 24th – 30th May. It has taken a pandemic to make us realise that supporting Aussie based businesses and Aussie made products is a key to sustainability here on this island for us now and future generations.
We are proud to be Australian-based here on the Darling Downs, Toowoomba, Qld. We strive to source, make, and create everything we can from Australian suppliers, however it is not always possible. Let’s pull this apart and share with you where we are at.
Where the dream started to grow Australian Gluten-Free Oats (which we can’t call gluten-free)
In 2009 Kylie bought in her very first pallet of oats that had been certified gluten-free oats in the US. Little did she realise that here in Australia we have a sub-clause in our labelling laws that prevents us from claiming gluten-free oats as it was thought that oats contained gluten when tests were done on oats in the early 2000’s. We know now that oats are naturally gluten-free, however they get contaminated throughout the supply chain. To achieve gluten-free oats, you need a very high level of compliance. Exclusion zones around crops, intense eliminating and managing of gluten grains in the crops from seed to harvest and a dedicated gluten-free steaming and rolling facility. This does not come easily or cheaply. Growers, producers, processors, and re-sellers like ourselves must be very committed to every step in this supply chain to ensure that we have a nil gluten reading each time we put oats into a packet to sell to our consumers. To attract farmers here in Australia to grow these oats, Kylie had to show them that there was a demand.
Kylie thought that she would trial selling this product because it had literally taken the gluten-free community in the US & UK by storm and customers here in Australia were coming back from overseas travels asking her whether she had heard of it and could they get some? As she was already selling flour blends in the retail market, she thought, well she loved oats and had not eaten any for a while, so why not. It took another 12 months to sell that initial pallet as she struggled to work out how she was going to be able to communicate to customers the benefits of this product without the ability to call them gluten-free oats. She was not allowed to take the oats to any Gluten-Free Shows and encountered much resistance and abuse over this humble ingredient. To her she thought it was an absolute game changer, as we were all eating, and still are, lots of gluten free-foods based on GMO corn, soy and sugar which is not ideal for our health.
Choosing as much Australian content as we can
During this process we also realised that bringing American-style printed packaging did not fit with our core values. Now, be aware that until this year (yep the secret is out stay tuned), we have not been able to source gluten-free oats or uncontaminated oats here in Australia at all. So, we decided that we would bring in the largest quantities we could from our farmers in the US, that being 22.67kg bags and down pack it utilising all the Australian suppliers we could. We partnered with Endeavour Industries and have continued to work and grow with them each year. It’s a fabulous partnership and they are now packing in excess of 150 tonne for us at the moment to distribute around Australia and New Zealand.
Our supplies include packaging companies, marketing teams, consultants and now manufacturers are all based here in Australia and some here in Toowoomba. Our biscuits are baked and packed here on the Downs. Unfortunately, with regards to the ingredients in the biscuits, it is a struggle, nahhh, actually impossible to source commercial quantities of the ingredients we use to achieve the benefits we know our customers need to manage their dietary and lifestyle choices, aka – Gluten Friendly, Dairy Free, Vegan and Refined Sugar Free.
Aussie made products in our range:
Kylie has partnered with several other local companies that are making a variety of products that she sells right here on the GF Oats Online Shop.
From beautiful moisturising gluten-free soap lines using oat milk, to sustainable bags for storing the delicious biscuits, our biscuit lines (of course), muesli, spurtles, honey and soon to launch a small line of skincare, we are always looking for opportunities to introduce to our brand as much Aussie content as we can.
This year we are very proud to announce that we are launching the very first Aussie Gluten Free Oats. We will be sharing this product nationally as Gluten Friendly and internationally as Aussie Gluten Free Oats. We have launched our new website – aussieglutenfreeoats.com – seeking expressions of interest from overseas buyers.
These are the very first oats in Australia that meet the strict nil gluten detected guidelines set out by Food Stands Australia.
We encourage you all to look carefully at the products you are purchasing, reach out to the companies and inquire about their Aussie Made policy. Understand that many ingredients and products can only be sourced from overseas. But we are proud to be doing the best we can to be conscious of supporting Australia businesses wherever we can.
We thank our customers for supporting an Australian owned company.