THE FOUNDATION'S SUPPORTERS
COLES INDIGENOUS FOOD FUND
It was established in 2001 to promote native foods and financially support Indigenous enterprise, growing, harvesting and distribution of native foods.
Since this time, the Fund has allocated monies to this end and has been a regular contributor to the Foundation and its native bush food supply chain. Sales in Coles have grown from tens of thousands of dollars a year to over 5 million dollars in 2014. Coles sells over 20 native food products from two suppliers. Outback Spirit and Yaru Waters.
The key ethos of the Outback Spirit brand is its affinity and commitment to the Indigenous native bush food supply chain. A commitment that has seen demand-driven outcomes for native foods from a number of remote communities, creating employment, income and a cultural link between those harvesting and those consuming the products – be they Bush Tomatoes, Davidson Plums, Wattle seed or Kakadu Plums to name a few.
Outback Spirit and Coles each contribute 5 cents per product sold in Coles to the Fund which in turn promotes consumer demand for the products in its business and directly and indirectly, through the Foundation, supports the development of Indigenous enterprises supplying native bush foods. Coles is the largest purchaser and distributor of processed bush food products in Australia.
Coles, the Outback Spirit brand and the Outback Spirit Foundation therefore have similar objectives. Each promotes and supports the development of native bush foods for the benefit of Indigenous Australians.
This support has facilitated the agricultural development of native bush foods and helped transform the harvesting from wild harvest to commercial harvesting of these native ingredients. This has brought new income, skills and access to markets for the Indigenous enterprises supplying Outback Spirit that didn’t exist a decade ago.
Like so many foods brought to Australia from offshore, Australians embrace the authenticity of flavours and the bond between people sharing food together. Native foods also need to be shared and promoted to build on this tradition.
The Outback Spirit Foundation has been able to show practical leadership in developing a model that sees the Indigenous food chain come to life. The commercial planting of bush tomatoes at Rainbow Valley is a case study in developing supply to meet real demand.
The Foundation is developing similar cultural / economic developments in different communities in Central and South Australia with tropical native foods like Kakadu Plum and Lemon Aspen, in Western Australia, the Top End and Cape York.
This outcome meets Coles objective of maintaining Indigenous participation in the native food supply chain and is why the Fund has donated money to the Foundation to help further develop this model.
ROBINS FOODS PTY LTD
Robins is a substantial contributor to the Foundation through its participation in the Coles Indigenous Food Fund and the financial contribution from the sale of Outback Spirit products to the fund. Robins Foods also commit volumes and contract to buy native produce from Indigenous enterprises so there is demand and a market for their harvest. The company's Managing Director, Juleigh Robins is a founding Director of the Foundation’s Board.
Additionally it is Juleigh and Ian's work with Indigenous Communities over the past 25 years that has inspired the creation of the Outback Spirit Foundation and the networks they have developed that have allowed the Foundation to begin its work in supporting the Indigenous bush food supply chain.
Napperby Station, a cattle station run by Roy and Janet Chisholm, is the site on which the Laramba Bush Tomato Plantation is located. Roy and Janet have made the land and irrigation infrastructure required for the plantation to grow and be harvested at no cost to the Laramba Community or the Foundation. Roy is a former President of the Northern Territory Cattleman’s association and he and Janet continue to support the bush food plantation.