The tale of provenance on WA shelves is growing stronger with another homegrown Three Farmers product — wheat-free oats — taking the spot of imported goods. The latest product developed by Great Southern growers Ashley Wiese, Megan Gooding and Garren Knell — the trio behind WA-grown quinoa — hit 700 stores last month, replacing Canadian and US offerings. The move was a natural step for the growers, who already had systems in place to ensure other grains did not make their way into their gluten-free quinoa crops. “Oats are well tolerated by most people with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivities,” managing director Mrs Gooding said. “The problem is often not with the oats themselves, but with farming systems, which can sometimes see contamination of oats with other gluten-containing grains such as wheat or barley, potentially causing adverse reactions.” From paddock to packaging, many steps are taken, from walking through the crops inspecting and hand-weeding them, hand-counting grains in samples on-farm and in the final product, cleaning protocols, machinery inspections and gluten-testing of the final product. “We’re growing a dwarf variety which is short, which allows us to (more easily) see any wheat or barley,” Mr Wiese said. With Australia the fourth biggest oat producer in the world at 1.4 million tonnes per annum and oats being the main crop on Mr Wiese’s Highbury farm, they recognised a gap in the market for the niche product. “Considering we grow the best oats in the world in WA ... we should make the most of it,” Mrs Gooding said. “Provenance is a big issue at the moment.” They partnered with health foods brand Red Tractor — through which their quinoa is also sold — with the first instalment of the product hitting Coles stores last month. “It’s a higher beta glucan variety, which is good for your heart health,” Mr Wiese said. While labelled “gluten-free” in other countries, Australia’s labelling laws only allow the term “wheat-free”. Mr Wiese said while oats did not contain the gluten protein and most coeliacs could eat them — given they were free of wheat or barley — they contained a protein called avenin, which some coeliacs may react to. In its first month the product has been selling well, Mr Wiese said, with 200ha planted for this harvest. The venture received a $95,000 State Government grant at the weekend.