It’s a perfect climate for living, producing and growing. The environment hasn’t been changed and that gives us total involvement in the natural system. This is heaven on earth
Richard Trethewey, Farmer & Chair, Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board

Once you become familiar with the stunning environments of Kangaroo Island’s landscapes and coasts, its success in primary production makes a lot of sense. 

Unprecedented investment in physical and social infrastructure and promotion is opening up new markets and growing employment in value-added products, services and experiences for those who cannot get enough of Kangaroo Island’s primary produce. Entrepreneurs are seeing the opportunity to create new businesses, partnerships and products. Farmers and those in the seafood industry are discovering new export pathways to explore.

Agriculture began on the Island in 1836, with sheep from the First Fleet landing only days after the first settlers landed at Kangaroo Island. Woolgrowers and other young farmers are coming back to the Island, following in the footsteps of family and bringing new technical and business skills to the second largest industry sector on the Island.

Kangaroo Island produces some of Australia’s best wool and lamb; we grow wheat, canola and other staples, we farm olives and oils, cheeses, beef, wine and spirits, marron, fish and shellfish, and produce cosmetics. We are also home to the world’s only pure strain of Ligurian honeybees, with the Island declared a bee sanctuary since 1885.

You certainly won’t go far on the Island without seeing sheep, with two-thirds of Island farmers growing wool and lamb. This includes one wool company whose successful gate-to-garment partnerships in Europe and Asia build on a dedication to sustainable agriculture and quality management that is a hallmark of many primary producers on the Island.

The GM-free environment and a dedication to excellence are also the foundation of producers who have secured an export premium for bulk grains and legumes, demonstrating the benefits of traceability though the ‘value chain’, including shipping and delivery (and the job creation that comes with it).

Since the first sheep and crops were farmed here in the 1830s, we have worked hard and looked out for one another in our farming communities. Success here is thanks to steady leadership, innovative approaches to land management and robust business models. We make the most of and support strong connections with communities here and on the mainland, helped by our peak agricultural association, Agriculture KI, the marketing support of the Authentic KI brand and alliances with the Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Association, which actively share our produce with the world. We have large and small stock agencies on the Island, critical partners for any farming enterprise.

The continued growth of online retailing is dramatically increasing global export opportunities for value-added products and fresh produce and the expansion of our airport to take larger jets is projected to magnify this growth.

If you’re looking for a change and see the future as we do in primary production on Kangaroo Island, we welcome you to help build our premium brands – and build our international reputation for excellence.