Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award 2018: Waste warrior wins
A QUEENSLAND farmer tackling food waste on the farm has taken out the 2018 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award.Krista Watkins was crowned the national winner at a gala ceremony in Canberra last night for a project that is uncovering another solution to selling fresh produce. Ms Watkins runs Natural Evolution Foods with her husband, Rob, at Walkamin, in far north Queensland, a company that pioneered gluten-free banana flour and skincare products from their produce that would otherwise be discarded. “It’s about applying the same entrepreneurial spirit across other produce,” Ms Watkins said. “In every industry there is waste and there is risk, so it’s about mitigating that risk” Ms Watkins will use her prize money, an additional $10,000 bursary on top of the $10,000 for being the state winner, to expand the technology to other produce industries, starting with gold sweet potatoes. “There was a lot of innovation that was required there to get that right, and now that same foundation can be applied for other farmers.” “Seventy per cent of sweet potatoes are grown in Queensland, so it certainly is an area of concern.” Ms Watkins also hopes to create a dreams factory — a space where farmers can work together to turn their innovative ideas into reality.