Australia is getting ready for pulses to take centre stage in 2016 in the United Nations declared International Year of Pulses (IYOP16), with ambitious and innovative ideas to draw attention to an industry that has recently come of age in our country.
The Australian Steering Committee, established in 2014, has been formulating plans and directing activities under each of the four internationally-agreed themes. The focus will be on raising Australia’s profile as a producer of quality pulses while increasing the domestic consumption of pulses to meet the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council’s recommendation for all Australians to "eat legumes at least 2–3 times a week".
Planning is underway for a national competition to choose the Australian Signature Dish, to reflect the national cuisine and highlight the innovative capacity of pulses as an ingredient. The winning iconic meal will be showcased on the national stage as part of the 2015 Australian Grains Industry Conference, before progressing to the global stage along with other national signature dishes from around the world.
Other exciting initiatives in Australia planned for 2016 include the appointment of a well-known and respected chef to champion the nutritional benefits and versatility of pulses, an Australian provenance online pulse cookbook, a blue-sky scoping workshop with Australian plant breeders, industry sessions at the 2016 Pulse Breeding Australia Conference and an Australian Pulse Health, Nutrition and Food Innovation Symposium.
Australia is well-represented in the global IYOP16 theme committees, including Ms Georgie Aley who chairs the international ‘Creating Awareness’ theme as well as being chair of the Australian Steering Committee. Ms Aley is the Managing Director of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council and Non-Executive Director of Pulse Australia.
Pulse Australia CEO, Tim Edgecombe is a member of both the global 'Market Access and Stability’ and ‘Productivity and Environmental Sustainability’ theme committees and Michelle Broom, Nutrition Program Manager at the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, is a member of the global ‘Food and Nutrition Security and Innovation’ theme.
The Australian Steering Committee will continue to hold industry workshops and engage with stakeholders throughout 2015 to capitalise on the opportunities available to the Australian pulse and food industry through the IYOP16.
Cindy Benjamin, Pulse Australia communications consultant
T: 07 4155 6155