Lupin growers set to tap Indon market

REBECCA TRIGGERThe West Australian
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A new lupin mill could drive the legume's price up and allow WA farmers to tap a growing international market, according to the State's biggest grain handler.

The $4 million CBH facility was launched by the WA Agriculture minister Ken Baston this morning.

The processor is aiming to tap the lucrative tempeh market in Indonesia but will also produce lupin products that can be used in other foods like cakes, salads, and kebabs, Lupin Foods Australia chairman Clancy Michael said.

Lupins have traditionally been sold as stock feed but their high protein and fibre content make them a cheap protein source for developing countries, he said.

The group hope lupins will supplement soya beans in tempeh production in the Indonesian market.

"There are around 186,000 tempeh manufacturers in Indonesia," Mr Michael said. "There have been riots in the streets in Indonesia in the past two years about the price of soybeans, because it's been up around 13 cents to 15 cents per bushel."

Lupin prices have traditionally been volatile as they are affected by competing protein sources such as soy beans, Mr Michael said.

Farmers had indicated they need to fetch about $300 a tonne for lupins for the venture to be profitable, he said.

Lupin Foods Australia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBH, will also look to develop markets in the middle east, CBH chairman Neil Wandel said.

Lupins are used in crop rotation with wheat and barley to introduce nitrogen back into the soil.

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