The game changing, earth‑friendly crop

In 2022, Western Australian farmers harvested 895,000 tonnes of Australian Lupin Bean from 275,000 hectares of the Australian Sweet Lupin.

What makes the Australian Sweet Lupin good for the planet?

The Australian Sweet Lupin has been a game changer for agriculture across vast tracts of sandplain soils in Western Australia. An eco-friendly solution to sustainable farming practices, it’s a low input, rain fed crop that plays an important role in enriching soil fertility.

Nitrogen fixation

Australian Lupin beans, like other legumes, are like natural fertilizing machines, fixing atmospheric nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria called rhizobia and enriching the soil without the need for synthetic fertilisers.

Low water requirements​

Australian Sweet Lupins are water-wise crops that use water sparingly. They are well suited to dryland farming in regions with limited rainfall.

Soil superheroes​

Australian Sweet Lupins are water-wise crops that use water sparingly. They are well suited to dryland farming in regions with limited rainfall.

Crop rotation

Australian Sweet Lupins are a good addition to a farm’s crop rotation system combined with other crops like cereals and oilseeds. This is because they help break disease cycles, reduce pest pressure and improve soil health, leading to healthier and more productive farming systems.

Productivity booster

Farmers also value the ability of the Australian Sweet Lupin crop to boost the productivity and reduce inputs to following crops. This is due to the extra soil nitrogen and a reduction in soil-borne and foliar diseases.

Non-GM crop​

Australian Sweet Lupin is a non-GM crop. Plant breeders rely on its extensive genetic diversity to continually improve the Australian Sweet Lupin for farmers and consumers.

Australian Sweet Lupin History

Two distinct lupin beans have a food history that traces back to the ancient Egyptian and Inca civilizations.

The Australian Sweet Lupin (narrow-leafed lupin, Lupinus angustifolius) was domesticated from its wild origin in the Mediterranean region to an agricultural crop by Dr John Gladstones at the University of Western Australia in the early 1960s through traditional, non GMO, plant breeding methods.

During this domestication process, the removal of the bitter alkaloids from the seeds allowed it to be more easily used as a food. By also improving its harvestability, drought tolerance and disease resistance it has become a major dry-land crop in Australia.

Its adaptation to low fertility soils means minimal artificial fertilizer is required. This, together with its water-use efficiency, reduces its carbon footprint compared to many other crops.

Harvested from the pods of the Australian Sweet Lupin, The Australian Lupin Bean is a member of the legume family along with peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils – but with a big difference!

Dr John Gladstone domesticated the Australian Sweet Lupin in the 1960’s

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Lupin is the common name of a genus of plants in the legume family. The genus includes over 200 species which cluster into 2 groups based on their centre of origin – the Mediterranean and African (Old World) species and the American (New World) species. Most species occur in natural landscapes, others grown as ornamental flowering plants or have been utilised for soil remediation. But four species, including the Australian Sweet Lupin, are playing an important role in agriculture.