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WA farmers use their noodle

NOODLES from WA are now being slurped up around the world thanks to Noodles Australia.

The company, owned by two WA wheat farmers, was set up to make frozen noodles for the Japanese market and now exports fresh and frozen noodles to restaurants and supermarkets in the US, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and across Australia.

Local wheat has proved ideal for udon noodles and the company has since expanded to make fresh organic stir fry noodles under the Eight Dragons supermarket brand.

Thanks to a 100 per cent organic certification from the National Association of Sustainable Agri-culture Australia, the company’s popularity is taking off in Europe where there are many concerns about genetically modified food.

However, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses for the company.

Noodles Australia general manager Lorne Gibson said the 1995 Kobe earthquake brought its Japanese noodle operation to a halt.

“We started from scratch again in 1997. All the Japanese business had been lost and we had to start afresh,” Mr Gibson said.

“We are not currently exporting to Japan but we plan to get back in there with our organic noodles.”

Noodles Australia is highly popular in the US and Canada where there is a large demand for udon noodles in Asian supermarkets and restaurants.

“Our product is better quality than local product and it is cheaper,” Mr Gibson said.

“US customers also specified early on they wanted our noodles to be a little different to those made in Japan.

“The Australian noodle market is growing at between 20 per cent and 40 per cent a year because noodles are seen as a healthy product and easy to prepare.”

Mr Gibson said Noodles Australia was keen to get into the UK market, given it was the largest Japanese food market in Europe.

The recent successful trade promotion in two of UK Selfridges’ outlets was one way to promote the product to the UK market.

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