Sonya Begg

 Sonya Begg ― Australia’s ‘original snail lady’ since 1986

Sonya Picture of SonyaBegg I wish to pass on the experience of 25 years of dedicated, active research, development and practical snail farming with people who are genuinely interested in being an integral part of free-range snail production in Australia.
Snail farming practices that once may have been considered appropriate have been reassessed in the light of new knowledge and changing attitudes to understanding the needs of the physiology, growth, reproduction, nutrition and safe, hygienic and humane processing of snails for human consumption.

Having tried different snail farming systems and various types of enclosures over the years, I can without hesitation, recommend free-range snail farming as the most efficient, viable and ethical method of snail production.

I have great faith in free-range snail farming as a solid, sustainable, agricultural industry and it spurs me on to continue to champion this untapped area of the snail farming industry in Australia.

I’m keen to inspire and help people to become established in this fascinating industry and encourage you to take advantage of the information available on this website. I hope it will convince you to choose free-range snail farming as the preferred method of growing snails.

Serious snail farming is not collecting snails from gardens and growing them out in small areas. Free-range snail farming allows you to be in control of your snails, business and destiny. It is not a ‘get rich quick’ industry. It requires ‘putting in the hard yards’ ― with patience, enthusiasm and a generous dash of passion you will reap the rewards.

I have produced an e-book ― Australian Free-range Snail Production to whet your interest in sustainable snail production ― and, to influence the move forward from intensive backyard and small enclosure snail farming activities to an on-going significant commercial snail farming industry in Australia.

Sonya Begg

Postscript: Sonya lost a long battle with lung cancer in 2012.


  • Recipient of the coveted ‘Silver Snail‘ Award Cherasco, Italy, 2003
  • Produce Award – Vogue Entertaining and Travel 2007
  • Listed in inaugural edition of Who’s Who in New South Wales
  • Who’s Who of Australian Women 2008
  • Who’s Who of Australian Women 2010

Sonya Begg is Australia’s entrepreneurial pioneer of snail farming, Australia’s leading snail farming expert and recognised internationally as a Helicicultural Consultant.

Who's Who 2010

Her biography outlining her endeavours are documented in the publications Who’s Who in New South Wales and Who’s Who of Australian Women.

She discovered the silver trail of edible snails in 1985 and started Australia’s first commercial snail farm in Gunnedah NSW in 1987.

Sonya has been committed and devoted to snail farming activities since she became a Charter Member of the Snail Club of America in 1986. In addition to a study and fact-finding trip to USA, Sonya has conducted extensive research on commercial snail farming both in Australia, France and Italy.

Sonya was made an Honorary Associate of the Associazione Nazionale Elicicoltori and received the highly-acclaimed, meritorious award of the ‘Silver Snail’ at the International Snail Farming Conference in Cherasco, Italy in September 2003 for her dedicated years of interest and commitment to the industry.

Her snails were given an award at the Vogue Entertaining and Travel Produce Awards. They were judged by some of Australia’s most respected food professionals, including Matt Moran, Phillip Johnson, Cheong Lew and Alla Wolf-Tasker.

This prestigious award is the culmination of many years of passion and dedication to the development of a sustainable Australian snail farming industry by Sonya and attention to detail and hard work to maintain high standards of production and presentation.