With the grain

From grain to fine foods

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Some­times all it takes is a bit of think­ing out­side the square. That’s ex­actly what fifth-gen­er­a­tion Clare Val­ley farmer Jim Mait­land did in 2011 when he value-added his fam­ily’s du­rum wheat by launch­ing a line of whole­grain pasta.

The Pangkarra Foods brand in­cluded a stone-milled whole­grain flour and lavosh, giv­ing the fam­ily from the Clare Val­ley a chance at bring­ing in a sec­ondary in­come and launch­ing them into the world of fine foods.

But the length of the bou­tique en­ter­prise didn’t stop there. In 2016, Pangkarra re­leased a pad­dock-to-plate range of ready-toeat snacks that are now sold Aus­tralia-wide.

The line in­cludes an Aus­tralian first in cooked and ready-to-eat chick­peas, as well as a trio of snack packs fea­tur­ing roasted chick­peas, faba beans and broad beans.

Man­ag­ing Pangkarra Foods is Kather­ine Mait­land, Jim’s wife, who also has a back­ground in me­dia, mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions.

She says the range of snack pulses now make up to 50-60 per cent of Pangkarra’s to­tal sales, while a small por­tion of the range is ex­ported to Asia.

“Pad­dock to plate-style, healthy snack ranges are re­ally grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, es­pe­cially with the nut-free and glutenfree (move­ments),” Kather­ine says.

“With the snack range there is less com­pe­ti­tion and a grow­ing mar­ket – it’s been very suc­cess­ful.”

While Jim and Kather­ine are at the helm of Pangkarra Foods, Jim’s par­ents David and Mar­got head the fam­ily’s farm, called Anama Park.

The farm, which also ex­ports hay, has been in the Mait­land fam­ily since 1866 and is the unit’s core busi­ness.

“We’re only start­ing to break even and make a small profit

[from Pangkarra Foods], but the idea is that we’re build­ing some­thing for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” Kather­ine says.

“It’s about not be­ing a one-trick pony, hav­ing an­other means to the end and con­trol­ling the sup­ply chain a bit more.”

The name Pangkarra is an Abo­rig­i­nal word which holds great sig­nif­i­cance to the Kau­rna peo­ple and means a small piece of land that has been sus­tained for gen­er­a­tions. Pangkarra prod­ucts are now sold in 150 stores Aus­tralia-wide and on­line.

Jim’s de­ci­sion to branch out from a re­liance on tra­di­tional farm­ing has also ben­e­fited two other South Aus­tralian busi­nesses.

Once har­vested, the grain for the Pangkarra prod­ucts are milled at long­stand­ing es­tab­lish­ment Laucke Flour Mills in Strathal­byn.

Laucke uses tra­di­tional stone milling meth­ods to grind the grain into flour. The grain is crushed, not cut, which means that more than 80 per cent of the nu­tri­ents are kept, and which re­sults in a stronger, nutty flavour and a more-whole­some prod­uct.

The flour is then made into pasta by L’Abruzzese in Glynde in Ade­laide’s north-east us­ing tra­di­tional Ital­ian meth­ods.

While the Clare Val­ley is mostly recog­nised as the home of Aus­tralian ries­ling, Kather­ine says it’s also emerg­ing as a val­ued food bowl.

“We’re very lucky to live here in Clare, which is very well known for food, wine and tourism, and is emerg­ing as food des­ti­na­tion,” she says. “We’re work­ing with our cool cli­mate … which is good for grow­ing crops and wine grapes.”

It’s about not be­ing a one-trick pony, hav­ing an­other means to the end and con­trol­ling the sup­ply chain a bit more

This story was orig­i­nally pub­lished on brand­sanews.com.au

Fifth-gen­er­a­tion farmer Jim and wife Kather­ine Mait­land on the Clare Val­ley prop­erty. Pho­tos: Pangkarra The Pangkarra roasted pulses range has been a hit The Mait­land’s Clare Val­ley farm has been in the fam­ily since the 1800s

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