Kylie Martin has won the agribusiness category of this year’s The Downs Women in Business Awards for her business GF Oats Australia. Martin said that the award is proof that “a decade of hard work and resilience learned in the bush has paid off.”

Martin said there had been many challenges to pioneer the importing of GF oats to Australia from the US. Oats were unable to be labelled gluten-free due to outdated labelling restrictions.

Martin has worked hard to change this so that Australian growers can eventually be sourced. “We would love nothing more than to support Aussie farmers to meet the growing demand for this product.” To do so will require scientists, consultants and the CSIRO to assist with processes, compliance and genetics to ensure that the product is commercially viable.Additionally, the product needs to extend appeal throughout the whole year rather than as a winter staple. Martin has created demand through producing ANZAC and chocolate chip biscuits as well as muesli and traditional rolled oats. All products are gluten free, vegan, organic and free of refined sugar to further increase demand.

GF Oats Australia has a strong local focus, using Toowoomba-based businesses as much as possible to get the oats and subsidiary products into the consumer market. “We engage local companies to assist with packaging design and supply and employ locals from bookkeepers to accountants…” This includes having Endeavour Industries supported workers to pack the oats into various retail sizes to meet our market requirements, so we are proud to support this local social enterprise.

Ms Martin was also one of three finalists in the Downs Woman in Business of the Year Award 2019.

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