Flowerdale Farm Announces Collaboration with Red Centre

flowerdale collaborationFlowerdale Farm is proud to announce a new collaboration with the Indigenous community group Red Centre Enterprises to help sustainably commercialise the production of several Australian Native bush foods.

Red Centre Enterprises was established by Nadia and Paul Keily (Yuandamarra is his Tribal Name) as an agribusiness business that works to give Indigenous communities access to commercial markets for native produce and to generate employment. Red Centre Enterprises is based upon an ethical business model that benefits Indigenous communities across Australia. "With Red Centre we are developing a unique custodial experience for native foods. Red Centre wants to sustain the industry with authenticity as an Indigenous company. We aim to sustain culture, knowledge and support community whilst bringing these products to a greater market" says Nadia.

Flowerdale Farm is a leading fresh produce grower and wholesaler which continually works with niche growers and chefs to help bring innovative food ideas to market. Flowerdale Farm has been growing and sourcing native food from around Australia for almost a decade. Australian native bush foods are commonly wild harvested by Indigenous communities; however, this approach has made it difficult to meet the consistency, food safety and product quality required by chefs and the food service industry. "Flowerdale has been supplying Australian native produce to chefs for nearly 10 years now, however we've found it's been difficult to gain traction on innovative produce lines if we can't get consistent supply and consistent quality" says Lily Rattray of Flowerdale Farm. "Chefs like to know a product is going to be available every day if they put it on their menu, and they need a food safety certificate too. It's difficult to achieve these things without a commercial setup."

To address this Flowerdale Farm has collaborated with Red Centre and South Australian herb grower Holla-Fresh to commence commercially growing Australian native herbs. Ian Lines of Holla-Fresh is an experienced herb grower who specialises in efficiency, automation and climate controlled growing. "We have been trialling the production of native Australian herbs over the last year and believe that they have a big future", says Ian. "It's an honour to be working with Red Centre and the Indigenous communities, and we look forward to growing the market for Australian native products in collaboration with Flowerdale Farm."

The South Australian farm is currently producing 5 Australian native bush herbs including Native Lemongrass, Native Celery, Round Leaf Mint, Rivermint, and Cut Leaf Thyme. These lines will be launched at the start of December as co-branded Flowerdale Farm and Red Centre products and will be distributed by Flowerdale Farm through its stores at the Melbourne and Sydney Wholesale Markets and its national network of agencies.

The collaboration with Red Centre enterprises means that Flowerdale Farm will be able to share the knowledge and heritage of Indigenous communities at the heart of the product offering, whilst ensuring a portion of the profits from every product sold, return to the community. "Previously there's been problems with no fair trade between companies and the Indigenous communities who supply the products", says Nadia. "This collaboration allows us to shine a light on the Indigenous communities as the custodians of the food. We need to be working in collaboration with government departments, industry leaders and communities to create a share economy. Shared economy and shared future, that's what we're looking for, a win:win for all involved".

With growing national and international demand for Australian native foods, the commercial growing of these products will help meet the real need for consistency, food safety and freshness in the bush food industry, whilst providing a sustainable future for Indigenous communities. "Australian native foods are exciting because of all the new flavour profiles they offer, it's probably the biggest single repository of largely unknown flavour profiles left in the world", says Lily Rattray. "I believe we're going to see an explosion of Australian fusion in the next couple of years, not just here, but worldwide."

The new co-branded products will extend Flowerdale Farm's existing range of Australian Native Produce which currently includes Native Succulents such as Samphire, Sea Spray and Karkalla; the Native Leaves Warrigal Greens, Ice Plant and Geralton Wax; and Native Fruits and Berries including Finger Limes, Davidson Plums and Muntries.