Indigenous communities benefit from new native fruit yoghurt range

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By Melissa Keogh

Two South Australian food producers have partnered to create a new yoghurt range incorporating native Australian produce, providing jobs and support for an indigenous community involved in the fruit picking.

Fleurieu Milk Company and Something Wild have joined forces to launch a range of native Australian fruit yoghurts featuring Kakadu plum, muntrie, Davidson plum and quandong – bush fruits that have been eaten for thousands of years.

Owned by the Motlop family, brothers Steven and Daniel, and fellow former AFL player Danyle Pearce, Something Wild supplies indigenous ingredients to restaurants and consumers, often engaging Aboriginal communities to help supply the produce.

The Kakadu plum yoghurt, made with Fleurieu Milk’s fresh milk and cream sourced from the Myponga area, was the first tub to launch in the range.

The native fruit yoghurt range is available at independent supermarkets, the Adelaide Central Market and selected farmer’s markets. Photo by Myles Quist.

The Kakadu plums – which have the highest vitamin C content of any fruit in the world – are picked by Aboriginal women in the Northern Territory community of Wadeye.

Something Wild director Danyle Pearce says the women receive an income from harvesting the wild fruit, which can be found growing in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

“The Wadeye ladies up there have an absolute abundance of Kakadu plum. The Kakadu plum is the most well known native fruit in Australia but there’s not really many resources going around about what to use it for,” he says.

“We have a sustainable ecosystem here in Australia … but I don’t think we’ve tapped into what we have here in our own backyard. You just have to have a look for it and you can find it. What we’ve done, the story behind it, it’s a great product and we hope people really get behind it.”

Once the plums are picked by the Wadeye women they are pureed and sent to Fleurieu Milk’s Myponga factory to be made into the 125g yoghurt tubs.

“We flew all the (Wadeye) ladies down here and we took them on a tour of Fleurieu Milk and showed them everything we’re doing with their fruit,” Danyle says. “They absolutely love the produce and love the final outcome.”

The other native fruits in the range – muntrie, quandong and Davidson plum – are also harvested by Something Wild from their native areas.

The muntries (small red and green berries) and the peach-like quandongs are gathered in SA, while the Davidson plums are sourced from Queensland where the fruit is grown.

Fleurieu Milk sales and marketing manager Clay Sampson says the native fruit yoghurt range is first of its kind in Australia and was born from a desire to incorporate bush food into an everyday product.

“We were looking at different yoghurt flavours … and obviously the yoghurt market is saturated. We wanted to do something totally different,” he says.

“We think it’s a great story in terms of cross promotion and the harvesting of the fruit with the indigenous community.”

The native fruit yoghurts are available in independent supermarkets in SA, the Fleurieu Milk and Something Wild stalls at the Adelaide Central Market, and farmer’s markets at the Adelaide Showground and Willunga.

The yoghurts are also distributed in the NT, with plans to take the product to other states such as WA in the future. Part of the proceeds of sales go to the Little Heroes Foundation.

Header image features Fleurieu Milk Company sales and business relations manager, Kym Koster, left, former AFL footballer and Little Heroes Foundation ambassador Tony Modra, Something Wild director Danyle Pearce, and Fleurieu Milk sales and marketing manager Clay Sampson at Something Wild’s Adelaide Central Market stall.

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