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Wairarapa grown durum wheat for NZ pasta I Ivan Lawrie, FAR

The global lockdown of 2020 brought consumers closer to the source of their food and gave confidence to a NZ arable sector project that will see local chefs and pasta producers able to source the key durum wheat ingredient from their backyard.


“We have found that the taste profile of Wairarapa grown durum wheat presents a really interesting provenance story, as the wine industry tells. NZ pasta producers want to source all their ingredients locally - eggs, sunflower oil and durum wheat to tell their own provenance story too,” explains Ivan.

One of this week’s Sarah’s Country’s Change Maker, Foundation for Arable Research General Manager of Business Operations, Ivan Lawrie explains:


  • Semolina the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat is mainly used in making couscous and Italian pastas and currently is all imported, but there is demand for NZ product by NZ chefs and food producers.

  • MPI’s Sustainable Food & Fibre Future’s funding is enabling a project to create niche markets for the highly sought after durum wheat and providing a shining light for Wairarapa arable growers following the devastating biosecurity eradication of pea weevil eradication costing the industry close to $130 million.

  • This is the beginning of many more specialty pulses and grain value chains which ultimately fill our New Zealand wheat mills operating at full capacity.

For more information on the MPI funded durum wheat project




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