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Our family farm, "Overton" is located in the Wimmera Region, at Rupanyup about 3.5 hours drive from Melbourne.

Our grandfather, Albert James Matthews moved to Rupanyup some 85 years ago.

Travelling by horse and cart with three small children and a heavily pregnant wife, they purchased an outer property of the then Warranooke station to become the site of their new home, "Overton".

Today many of the descendants and relatives of Albert James Matthews still farm in the area and collectively they farm 18,000 acres of those fertile plains.

The Wimmera Region in North Western Victoria is recognised as being one of Australia’s most diverse cropping regions.

Traditionally an area known for its wool production and wheat, barley and oat crops, the introduction of field peas into the cropping rotations in the early 1980’s heralded a new era for crop production in the region.

Growers quickly realised the rotational benefits of pulses and also the capacity of Wimmera soils to grow high yielding pulse crops. Soon field peas, chick peas, lentils, faba beans and broad beans were included in many farms cropping programs.

Whilst the wheat and barley industry had regulated marketing organisations in place, the pulse industry had no similar structures, allowing entrepreneurial growers and grower co-operatives to participate directly in the ex-farmgate functions of the pulse industry.  The Wimmera Grain Company is one such business and had it's beginnings in the early 1990's when Rupanyup farmers, David and Samantha Matthews, began bagging chickpeas on their farm and supplying them to hommus manufacturers in Melbourne.

In April 1993, they ventured into the world of export when they accepted an order for 5 shipping containers (110 tonnes) of kabuli chick peas for export into Sri Lanka and The Wimmera Grain Company was born. Using a hired grain cleaner, a 5 tonne tip truck to hold the grain and the farm wool scales to weigh the bags, it took 5 weeks of back breaking work to complete that order.

Today The Wimmera Grain Company, with a modern cleaning plant, an automated container loader and over 35,000 tonnes of storage, can complete that same task in a morning.

In 2013 Australian Grain Export purchased the main operating assets of The Wimmera Grain Company. Australian Grain Export has  strong consumer relationships in major overseas destinations.

The domestic consumption of pulses has grown significantly since 1993, with products like hommus being one of the few pulse products seen in mainstream supermarkets. Today though, pulses are widely recognised as a healthy, nutritious food and are found in almost all sectors of Australian food businesses, from supermarkets to high end restaurants.

So in 2011 The Wimmera Grain Store was founded  by David’s sister Jenny, to focus on supplying pulses in smaller parcels, namely by the metric ton, 25 kg bag and retail size bags, direct into the Australian Domestic Market.

 

 

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