Infuse Issue 13 May 2021 - Page 36

Can you tell us about the work you do with Indigenous communities ?
We work with Indigenous communities and local farmers throughout Australia . Our sourcing policy stipulates that all produce is first and foremost sourced from Indigenous suppliers . We source Kakadu Plum from Northern Territory and Western Australia ; Wattleseed , Quandong and Muntries from South Australia ; Mountain Pepper Leaf and Strawberry Gum from Victoria and Tasmania ; Davidson Plum , Finger Lime and Lemon Myrtle from New South Wales and Queensland . There ' s really a great spread .
When we launched , we wanted to source as many of these ingredients from Indigenous communities … but we found that most of these ingredients weren ’ t linked to community anymore . Now we ' re working with more and more Indigenous farmers that are purposely planting native crops .
Kakadu Plum , for example , is wild harvested by Indigenous communities . The women come to work to pick and they ' re paid per kilo of fruit that they bring in – but for them to come to work , their kids have to be in school . There ' s this whole follow-on effect within the community . Because they ' re paid for the amount of fruit that they bring in , on the weekends the whole family goes out on country and it ' s an educational piece between the elders and the youth of the community … I think more and more of the communities are trying to up-skill the community members so that they have a purpose .

" The women come to paid per kilo of

Can you tell us the about the products you have at The Australian Superfood Co ?
When we launched five years ago , we launched with a range of snack bars that incorporated Australian native ingredients . We thought we were on to something , as the interest from retailers and distributors was high . Unfortunately the sell through rate was really poor . We realised that the interest lay in the ingredients themselves .
We went back to the drawing board , spoke to our customers and gained an understanding of where the demand lay and what challenges our customers were facing . There was a demand for native produce from chefs , bartenders and food and beverage manufacturers . They had experimented with these ingredients in the past but had been unable to secure the produce due to lack of consistent supply and quality . We identified that in order to address this , we could perform minimal processing techniques , like freeze drying or liquid extraction , to preserve the produce when it is in season and guarantee our customers a premium , highly nutritious and delicious product all year round .
It sounds like there ' s more research happening around these foods . Is that right ?
People are identifying the health benefits of native produce and can see there are unique and exceptional nutrient and antioxidant profiles . After all , these foods have had to adapt to extreme weather conditions over tens of thousands of years . The government , universities and independent labs are performing ongoing research into the
© Dietitian Connection 36 Infuse | May 2021