Australian food brands should be leaping to leverage the potential of Australian bush foods!
The Kakadu plum could be poised to become Australia’s first large scale Indigenous horticulture product.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCDNA) said Aboriginal corporations and communities will work with university researchers and other organisations in a $2.7 million three-year project to look at the Kakadu plum industry and its potential for the future.
About 15 tonnes of Kakadu plums are currently available within Australia each year from wild harvesting — picking the fruit of trees growing in traditional lands — and those involved say demand is increasing.
“What’s become apparent in recent years is potentially there is a much bigger market,” said Paul Lane of the Kimberley Institute, a not-for-profit organisation in Broome in Western Australia’s north.
The plums are harvested from northern Western Australia, through the Top End, to far north Queensland. They are currently only sold domestically and are not yet exported.
The Thamarrurr Development Corporation, owned by the Wangka, Lirrga and Tjanpa peoples and headquartered at Wadeye in the NT, is one of the main Kakadu plum suppliers and is involved in the new project along with the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in West Arnhem land, Delye Outstation in the NT, and communities in northern WA, the CRCDNA said.