FOUNDER AND CEO
In 2003, Australian farmer John Foss made a courageous decision to walk away from his highly successful wheat farm and focus on changing the way the world eats. It was a bold move, founded on a strong vision: to improve the health of the global community by making the nutrition in chia available to everyone, every day.
As a commodity wheat farmer, John had found himself becoming increasingly disenchanted. He watched as his healthy grains were processed and added to highly refined, sugary breakfast foods. Meanwhile, throughout the western world diet related diseases were becoming an epidemic.
In 2001, John was awarded the prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, which gave him the opportunity to travel the world, investigating agriculture and emerging trends in the food industry. During this travel, John came across chia: a little known, tiny seed which offered the world’s highest plant-based levels of omega-3, dietary fibre and protein, alongside a host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
John recognised that chia offered an opportunity for him as a farmer to positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of the world, and set out to make the nutrition of this seed available to everyone on a daily basis.
John launched The Chia Company with a vision to challenge the status quo in the global food industry. He established the world’s largest scale sustainable chia farms, enlisting the help of local farmers in Western Australia who shared his passion for growing nutritious food. He developed a completely transparent supply chain, with fair value farming to ensure each person along the chain is fairly rewarded for their role. The chia grown at The Chia Company farms is the highest quality in the world, and The Chia Company manage the product through every step, like a farmers market but on a global scale.
The quality and increasing market prominence of The Chia Co seeds and products has had a ripple effect on the chia industry worldwide. Chia has gone from being the ‘forgotten’ superfood, to one of the most sought after health foods. The consistent product supply from The Chia Co has risen the global standards and stabilised prices in the market year round.
In just over ten years, The Chia Co has become the world’s largest producer of chia. Recognizing a gap in the market for nutritious ready to eat options, The Chia Co launched Chia Pod in 2013, an innovative product combining the nutrition of chia with real fruit and coconut milk. The success of this product has been followed with the launch of Chia Pod Oats, Oats+Chia and Chia Pod Bircher Muesli, now available on supermarket shelves across the world.
In recent years, John has relocated his wife Kay and their three young children from the Australian outback to New York City in an effort to continue his mission to make the nutrition in chia available to everyone, every day.
John has a bachelor of Business in Agriculture and Post Graduate Honours in Marketing and Organic Farming. He is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership program, is a prestigious Nuffield Scholar and is also a member of numerous agribusiness associations.