History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (1770-2010)
William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-27-7
Publication Date: 2010 March 28
Number of References in Bibliography: 1713
Earliest Reference: 1770
Brief Chronology of Soy in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
1770 – Australia: Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, on Captain Cook’s first voyage around the world in H.M.S. Endeavour, find two species of wild perennial soybeans (Glycine tabacina and Glycine tomentosa) growing, first at Botany Bay (April, in today’s New South Wales), then, as Cook sailed northward, at Bustard Bay, Bay of Inlets, and Endeavour’s River (June, in today’s Queensland) (Banks & Solander 1900, Vol. 1, p. 22).
1804 – Australia: “Fine India Soy” [sauce] is sold in Sydney, the first soy product sold in Australia or in Oceania (Driver 1804).
1837 – Australia: Bentham describes three wild perennial soybeans found in Australia, incl. Glycine clandestina.
1842 Feb. – New Zealand: India soy [sauce] is sold in Wellington, the first soy product sold in New Zealand (New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator 1842).
1846 May 9 – New Zealand: Worcestershire Sauce (of which soy sauce is a major ingredient) is sold in New Zealand, the 2nd soy product sold in New Zealand and the first Worcestershire Sauce sold in Oceania (Lea and Perrins 1846).
1855 – Australia: The gold rush, which began in 1851 in New South Wales, had by 1855 attracted an estimated 17,000 Chinese to the goldfields. They almost certainly brought soybeans with them for food, and perhaps for cultivation. By 1861 there were 40,000 Chinese in Australia. Unfortunately no one has yet studied existing records from this and subsequent gold rushes from this viewpoint (A Land of Immigrants 1985).
1858 April 24 – Australia: B. Towns and Co. (Melbourne) advertises that the following Chinese goods are for sale, imported from Hong Kong: “Beanstick” [probably dried yuba], “white beans curd” [tofu], and “pickle beans curd” [probably fermented tofu]. This is the first time any of these three soyfoods have been mentioned in Australia or Oceania. They will probably consumed by Chinese who came to Australia as part of the gold rush (The Argus, Melbourne 1858).
1859 April – Australia: A letter to the editor states that the soybean (soja hispida), the most important pulse crop grown in the Southern Hemisphere, “might either be successfully cultivated here or profitably imported” (The Courier, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia).
1864 – Australia: Six wild perennial soybeans growing in Australia are described by Bentham and Mueller.
1868 – Hawaiian Islands: Soyfoods appear in Hawaii in the form of miso and shoyu brought by the first group of Japanese emigrants from Yokohama, Japan (Diary of Yonekichi Sakuma).
1875 – Australia: Shih (1918) says that soy beans were “introduced into Australia in 1875.” Unfortunately he cites no source.
1879 April – Australia: Soybeans (including black soybeans) first arrive in Australia, a gift from the Minister of the Interior Department, Japan. By 19 May 1879 they are available for distribution to farmers (Brisbane Courier, Queensland, 1879).
1879 – Australia: Japan: A classified and descriptive catalogue of a collection of agricultural products exhibited in the Sydney international exhibition by the Imperial College of Agriculture, Tokio, Japan, by Edward Kinch (65 p.) discusses soybeans and most traditional Japanese soyfoods, including tofu, frozen tofu, miso.
1881 April 28 – Australia: Wm. Filmer of West Maitland, NSW, advertises that his 2nd shipment of autumn seeds has arrived by mail steamer; it includes “Soya Bean” (Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, New South Wales, Australia 1881).
1882 Jan. 14 – Australia: Palmer encourages production of soybeans in Australia and suggests that he may even have tried to cultivate them there (Gardener’s Chronicle).
1882 Jan. 21 – New Zealand: M. Roman, a French engineer, notes the many food uses of “the soja or soya” – for miso soup, tofu, and a coffee alternative. He adds that “the cultivation of the interesting plant… has been largely developed in Hungary and various parts of France” (Otago Witness 1882).
1882 Dec. – New Zealand: The Japannese [sic, Japanese] “Soja bean” is now in New Zealand and being sold in a seed catalogue by Robt. Gardner & Co. (Evening Post, Wellington, New Zealand 1882).
1883 Oct. – New Zealand: Soybeans are first clearly cultivated by Mr. James Laird in Wanganui (Wanganui Chronicle 1883).
1889 May – New Zealand: Gawne’s Worcestershire sauce is now being made in Dunedin, New Zealand, and advertised as “Equal to imported at half the price.” It is not known whether (like Lea & Perrins’) this Worcestershire sauce uses soy sauce as its main ingredient. If it does, it would be the earliest soyfood product made in New Zealand or (perhaps) all of Oceania (Southland Times, Otago, New Zealand 1889).
1891 – Australia: The soy bean is first clearly cultivated in Australia, and all of the early experiments are described in the Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales (Turner 1891).
1910 – New Zealand: Soybeans are first cultivated at Tauranga (Clifton 1911).
1920 – Guam: Soybeans are first cultivated (Briggs 1922).
1926 – Fiji: Soy beans are first cultivated (Parham 1949).
1928 – New Caledonia and Dependencies (Territory of): Soybeans are first cultivated (Kaltenbach 1936).
1936 – Papua New Guinea: Soybeans are first cultivated (Sampson 1936).
1936 – Australia: The first commercial soyfood product is manufactured in Australia by soy pioneer F.G. Roberts – Roberts Soy-Wheat Macaroni.
1945 – Micronesia, Federated States of: Soybeans are first cultivated (Bascom 1946).
1957 – Solomon Islands: Soybeans are first cultivated (British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Dep. of Agriculture).
1960 – Marshall Islands, and Vanuatu: Soyfoods first appear in the form of Multi-Purpose Food (Meals for Millions 1963).
1971 – Tonga: Soybeans are first cultivated (Anders 1976).
1975 – Tahiti: Soybeans are first cultivated in French Polynesia (Lambert 1976; Whigham 1978).
1976 – Vanuatu: Soybeans first cultivated (Judy 1978).
1978 – Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvlau: Soy first appears in the form of soy sauce (Wood 1982).
1979 – Samoa: Soybeans first cultivated (Fernando 1980).
1980 – New Zealand: Soyfoods are first made by Harvest Whole Foods, in the form of tofu.
2010 - Current Status of Soybean Production in Oceania: Australia is the only country in Oceania that has ever produced significant amounts of soybeans. Yet they are a small producer, ranking about 30th worldwide in total annual production. In the year 2000 they produced about 175,000 metric tons (tonnes), yet by 2002 their production had fallen dramatically to 55,000 tonnes, dropping to 45,000 in 2004 and 2006 (in large part because of severe drought since 2003) then rising to about 70,000 by 2008. As of 2009 the worst drought on record in Australia continues.
This Book is About:
History of Soy in Oceania
History of Soy in Australia
History of Soy in Fiji
History of Soy in French Polynesia (incl. Tahiti)
History of Soy in Guam
History of Soy in Kiribati
History of Soy in Marshall Islands
History of Soy in Micronesia
History of Soy in Nauru
History of Soy in New Zealand
History of Soy in Palau Islands
History of Soy in New Caledonia
History of Soy in Samoa (American)
History of Soy in American Samoa
History of Soy in Samoa
History of Soy in Wallis and Futuna
History of Soybeans in Oceania
History of Soybeans in Australia
History of Soybeans in Fiji
History of Soybeans in French Polynesia (incl. Tahiti)
History of Soybeans in Guam
History of Soybeans in Kiribati
History of Soybeans in Marshall Islands
History of Soybeans in Micronesia
History of Soybeans in Nauru
History of Soybeans in New Zealand
History of Soybeans in Palau Islands
History of Soybeans in New Caledonia
History of Soybeans in Samoa (American)
History of Soybeans in American Samoa
History of Soybeans in Samoa
History of Soybeans in Wallis and Futuna