Support for the Northern Australia Aboriginal Kakadu Plum Alliance

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3 November 2020

The National Measurement Institute (NMI), through its collaboration with the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC), is assisting with the Kakadu Plum Project.

This project supports Aboriginal community harvesting and processing enterprises. It also aids access to Kakadu plum and its extracts by large-scale markets.

Kakadu plum is a native fruit that grows almost exclusively on Aboriginal-held land. It grows across northern Australia, from the Kimberley to Arnhem Land.

NMI has been working with the Northern Australia Aboriginal Kakadu Plum Alliance (NAAKPA) since the 2019 harvest.

NAAKPA seeks to have a greater level of influence and control in the market. This will maximise the flow of benefits from Kakadu Plum sales back to Aboriginal producers/growers and communities.  

Prior to the 2020 harvest earlier this year, NAAKPA and NMI worked collaboratively in testing enterprise Kakadu plum fruit powder for a range of qualities. NMI also analysed other native foods such as bush apples, hairy plums and bush currants.

NMI is now testing Kakadu Plum fruit samples for vitamin C content and polyphenols. It is also testing for microbials to ensure food safety.

Testing of fruit and fruit powders are important indicators of quality. Buyers often require this before purchasing Kakadu plums and other bushfoods.

This regular testing conducted by NMI plays a critical role in better understanding Kakadu Plum and its qualities for Aboriginal enterprises within a commercial context. NMI has also contributed in-kind support to ILSC and NAAKPA. It provides guidance on the relevant nutritional parameters and on food metrology principles and practices.

NMI and NAAKPA are discussing other in-kind support. One idea being considered is work-based training placements within NMI for NAAKPA staff. Staff would be engaged with quality control and food safety testing at new processing facilities presently in planning.

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