From ideas to budding businesses with Farmers2Founders

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Leisa and Tony Sams from Hum Honey, participants on the Farmers2Founders Ideas Program

Two Australian primary producers looking to transform their businesses through cutting edge technology are being sponsored by AgriFutures Australia to take part in the 2020 Farmer2Founders Ideas Program.

Innovative food producers Leisa and Tony Sams from Hum Honey in Queensland and Michelle Edwards from DaisyYam Seasoning in Victoria have started the Farmers2Founders Ideas Program this month. They are looking forward to taking their ideas and businesses to the next level with the expertise of Farmers2Founders.

Jennifer Medway, Senior Manager Rural Futures, AgriFutures Australia explained that AgriFutures’ partnership with Farmers2Founders aims to support primary producer-led innovation and develop new products and markets that would otherwise be unexplored.

“It gives people access to business advice and the tools and technologies to develop their entrepreneurial capacity. AgriFutures Australia working with Farmers2Founders means producers in levied and emerging industries have the chance to step outside their everyday businesses and work towards commercialising new products, ideas and technology,” said Ms Medway.

As well as the Ideas Program, AgriFutures Australia provides sponsorship for producers in levied or emerging industries who want to participate in the Farmers2Founders Bootcamp Accelerator and applications are now open for businesses with an existing product ready for growth.

AgriFutures Australia supports two primary producers with unique business ideas

Hum Honey are organic, pure, raw honey producers based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Founders Tony and Leisa Sams applied for the Farmers2Founders Ideas Program with the objective of developing a food technology that can convert pure liquid honey to a unique format suitable for broad industry application.

“AgriFutures is always looking for new opportunities and approaches that will help our rural industries become more productive and profitable. Hum Honey’s innovative idea for this new food technology excited us because it is an innovative approach, has the potential to scale and we can see alignment with the AgriFutures Honey Bee & Pollination Program’s objectives to support honey bee industry development,” said Ms Medway.

Through its Emerging Industries Program, AgriFutures seeks to identify and support new rural industries, including Indigenous crops, that have the potential to make a valuable economic or social contribution to Australia.

In her application to the Farmers2Founders Ideas Program, Michelle Edwards outlined her project that is underway to utilise the Australian Indigenous plant Myrnong (commonly known as Yam Daisy) in combination with food fermentation to produce a new food product with health benefits. With sponsorship from AgriFutures Australia to participate in the project, DaisyYam Seasoning has the chance to scale up from a pilot project with support from food tech and business experts.

Hum Honey seeks food tech to bring a unique product to life

Mrs Leisa Sams, co-founder of Hum Honey said, “We wanted to apply for the Ideas Program to help us find the expertise we need to bring to life a new food technology that can convert pure liquid honey into a format suitable for broad industry application. We are also looking for support with understanding our market and how distribution and networks can work on a large scale. We want to strengthen our business, diversify and move forward.

Honey jars from Hum Honey

“Our aim is to have a honey product that can replace some of the refined sugar in peoples’ pantries. At Hum Honey our brand philosophy is pure, raw and never heated, and we want to expand our range to other honey formats. That’s where Farmers2Founders comes in.”

“We’re so excited about what’s ahead of us in the Ideas Program. We’re building an amazing network of producers each with unique talents and skills, while also connecting with a great team of business and technology experts that can guide us. I’m pumped for the next 12 weeks,” said Mrs Sams.

Applying the science of fermentation to an Indigenous Australian crop 

Michelle Edwards is a winemaker who has worked all over the world, but she has another passion too, food fermentation. She applied for the Farmers2Founders Ideas Program as a way to take her pilot program for a fermented product that incorporates the Australian Indigenous food Myrnong to the next level.

“With DaisyYam Seasoning we’re aiming to bring together the health benefits of fermentation and the social good of using Indigenous foods. I want to shed light on the uses and benefits of the Myrnong tuber, which is local and endemic to Victoria, and potentially create a market for larger scale cropping by Indigenous businesses,” said Ms Edwards.

Myrnong plant - Michelle Edwards

 

Speaking about the first sessions of the Ideas Program, Ms Edwards said, “It’s a great feeling being part of the group – we’re all in this together and we get to be 100 per cent honest with each other. Farmers2Founders really know how to work with us as producers so we can get the most out of the program.

“We’re being exposed to a totally different perspective to how we normally work in our businesses. I’m looking forward to learning more about evidence-based entrepreneurship and getting knowledge about the viability and desirability of the product.”

Producers are now invited to apply for the Farmers2Founders Bootcamp Accelerator

Applications are now open for the Farmers2Founders Bootcamp Accelerator, a six-month business program for producer-led businesses with an existing product and customers who are seeking support and resources to grow outside their local area. Applications from AgriFutures Australia levied and emerging industries are strongly encouraged.

Applications close on 21 October 2020.

For more information and to apply visit: www.farmers2founders.com/bootcamp-program

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