A well-known fast food restaurant has taken on the concept of Year of the Farmer celebrations by recently announcing its commitment to Australian agriculture.
In the past month KFC has changed the previously imported palm oil used in its restaurants to Australian-produced Monola oil, opening up opportunities for central west farmers.
Monola oil, a specialty canola oil, was developed by Nuseed and has a different fatty acid profile allowing a longer frying life and higher stability.
This substitute oil not only means a healthier meal when dining at KFC but it also means a healthier industry for farmers and processors.
Manildra’s MSM Milling is one of the local businesses reaping the benefits of the scheme.
MSM Milling commercial manager Charles Aldersey said the early indications were that the scheme and the growing season were going very well.
“We process about 100,000 metric tonnes of canola seed per annum,” he said. “And, unless there is a drought or other tough time, this all comes from central west farmers.”
The Monola seed is sent to Manildra where it is processed, packaged and then delivered to distribution centres who then take it to individual restaurants.
“(Monola) pays a premium over and above canola so farmers are happy all round,” Mr Aldersey said.
One of the happy farmers includes Matthew Kerin, ‘Netherwood Park’, Yeoval.
Deciding to integrate canola into his cropping scheme at 2800-acre, leased property ‘Sunset’, also at Yeoval, was made easier when his agronomist suggested sowing the Monola variety.
“We were going to put canola in anyway as a rotation crop but this Monola yields better and pays a premium (over other canola varieties) so we chose to sow it,” Mr Kerin said.
Mr Kerin said the season had been excellent so far for his mixed-enterprise farming operation.
“We have had good rain in the last month so we now have a full soil profile,” he said.
Nufarm Limited, who owns Nuseed, CEO Doug Rathbone said partnerships such as these were important and valuable.
“This decision from KFC is significant for Australian agriculture,” Mr Rathbone said. “It creates more opportunity for our farmers, giving them another option for high value crop production.”