John Foss is the pioneering visionary behind The Chia Co, the world’s largest producer of Chia seeds. Founded in 2003 in Australia’s Kimberley region, the company has now expanded to supply 36 countries globally.
A fourth generation farmer, John grew up on the West Australian wheat belt and began his career growing commodity products. After studying both marketing and business degrees, he was awarded a Nuffield scholarship to research food trends. As illnesses like obesity and diabetes reached epidemic proportions, it became clear to him that the modern diet would need to change, and so would food supply chains.
John’s research led him to believe that plant-based diets and sustainable farming methods held the key to our healthy future. He discovered the nutritional profile of Chia and instantly saw its potential as a food that could make a difference to global health and wellbeing. The richest combined source of Omega 3, fibre and protein, Chia required no processing and could be added directly to food and drinks to increase their nutritional value.
Returning to Western Australia, the entrepreneurial farmer chose the Ord River Valley in the Kimberley due to its ideal latitude and growing conditions and established the Australian Chia industry.
“Taking Chia to Australia and founding The Chia Co took a huge leap of faith,” says John .
“Ten years ago, Chia was relatively unknown, and my vision of turning it into a consumer product was laughed at. No one had successfully created a full Chia supply chain that was reliable and could offer a sustainable long-term commitment” adds John.
In 2010, after years of perfecting the agronomics and producing consistently good nutritional results, The Chia Co launched its first consumer products. John implemented his strategic vision to develop a global market for Chia and demand soon increased.
Not only is Chia now in demand, as a visionary thought leader in the global food industry John is regularly invited to speak at business events around the world. As Founder and Chairman John oversees the strategic direction and global growth of his company from offices in Melbourne, New York and London.