We met in Inglewood Qld when we were seventeen, then reconnected again thirty years later to find we both had a love of, and strong connection to, the bush and animals within it. Pete is a proud descendant of the Awabakal tribe from the Hunter Valley Region and grew up in Quilpie and Inglewood Qld. Cate was born in South Australia and lived in various places – her teen years were spent on farms in NSW and Qld. We both wanted to get back to the land and farming, so we decided to combine farming with our passion for, and knowledge of native plants. After much research, we were disappointed to find that the same problems that faced the native fruit industry in the 1990’s still hadn’t been solved, with limited stock and few Indigenous growers and Indigenous business owners in the industry. We set ourselves a goal to use the native fruits to create products that everyone can enjoy and also to increase people’s awareness of the health benefits of these amazing fruits. In doing so, we will stimulate demand for native fruits so that the industry continues to grow and more Indigenous families and communities will become involved in the industry and benefit from it.
- Where possible we source organic fruit to use in our products. We are endeavouring to bring more organic options into our range.
- All our fruit is grown, processed and packed in Australia and where possible sourced locally so that our products have fewer food miles.
- Rather than putting our product in a bigger bag to try and make it look like there is more product, we package our food in the smallest pack possible to reduce waste.
Working with Community
We work with communities that wild harvest fruits sustainably, (making sure a percentage is left for native animals and natural regeneration of the plants). We also source cultivated fruit. Our goal is to be able to mentor indigenous people to be successful growers of native fruits.
Caring for Country
We are working towards being a zero waste business. We use recyclable containers in our food processing and re-use these containers, gloves and bags in our nursery and orchard. All our fruit waste (peel, stones etc) is composted and re-used in our orchard.
In our office, we use recycled paper. We use solar energy in our manufacturing process to reduce the use of fossil fuels and decrease our greenhouse gas emissions. We plant native trees in our orchard to create habitat for birds and other animals and to contribute to biodiversity in our area. We have also established and continue to maintain a revegetation project that is creating habitat for the endangered Regent Parrot in Loxton South Australia.
Freeze Dried Australian Native Foods maintain almost 100% of their nutrient content. This is because a lot less heat is used to dry the foods. Foods are also frozen quickly to conserve nutrients. Methods such as dehydration can also result in loss of nutrients.
The Freeze Drying Process
We place our fruit on trays in the freeze dryer. The fruit is frozen to -40℃ (about 9 hours). A vacuum is created in the freeze dryer chamber and the surrounding pressure is gradually reduced. Once the pressure is at the right level, a small amount of heat is added. The water (ice) in the fruit turns from a solid stage (ice) straight to a gas stage (sublimation). It takes around 30 hours to freeze dry 4kg of fruit. Although, freeze drying does use a bit more energy initially, once freeze-dried, no more energy is needed to store the food, unlike storing food in a freezer.