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The story behind the Arnhem Land Syrup Collection

You know our mission… We're on a social crusade to put Aussie natives in bellies worldwide whilst supporting the small farmers, non-for-profits and Indigenous Communities who supply us. But how exactly do we support these groups? One way we do this (one of our latest and favourite ways, in fact) is limited impact releases.
What's that, you might ask? Well, at its core, it's about empowering. Providing a Community with the ability to use the knowledge of their ancestors, pass that knowledge on to the next generation, and strengthen their people as a whole. 
This is done through collaboration! A limited-edition product is designed and created using the native ingredients directly harvested by the Community that has agreed to partner with us and released for a limited run.

100% of the profits made from the release are then returned to this Community, without whom none of these products would exist. This year we partnered with Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, Maningrida Wild Foods and the First Nations People of Maningrida to create the Arnhem Land Syrup collection. To make this unique collection, the Community of Maningrida harvested 78kg of their incredible native fruits for u
s to use; The Marlanggi Cherry, the Djarduk and the White Bush Apple. 

To gain more insight into this important project and how it all came to be, the CEO of Melbourne Bushfood, Hayden Marks and the Head Chef and native recipe extraordinaire, Xuan Peng, were kind enough to answer some burning questions!

"What inspired you to do these limited release products?"
Hayden: "There are over 6,500 native foods in Australia, and I wanted to find some that most people wouldn't have tasted or even had heard of."

“Why Arnhem Land and Maninigrida?”
Hayden: Arnhem Land has been continuously inhabited by Aboriginal people for thousands of years, and it is one of the only places in Australia where Aboriginal people weren't fully taken away from their land. They have retained a strong relationship with their land and food, but despite this, less than 5% of Maningrida are employed. That was something I wanted to help improve.

"What was the process like developing the recipe for these syrups?"
Xuan: "It was rather interesting but very challenging at the same time. There wasn't much information about the fruits themselves to refer to when researching, so we were working in the dark. We had to run many trials to maximize the extraction of flavours, but all in all, it was a lot of fun to develop these products, and we're incredibly proud of how the collection turned out!"

"What are your thoughts when working on an impact product like this syrup collection, knowing how it will directly benefit the Communities that harvested all the native ingredients?"
Xuan: "To be honest, knowing that the products directly benefit the Communities we partner with gives us a lot of motivation during the challenging process of development and production. The feeling of creating and doing something meaningful is very satisfying and ultimately really encourages us to make sure we deliver our product to the highest standard."

"Are you working on any future impact product recipes that you're excited about?"
Xuan: "Honestly, I'm quite excited about all of our products! They all have a great impact as our goal is to bring native ingredients to everyone's pantry. Every single product we design is developed to educate or encourage people to learn and use native ingredients so that we can provide even more support to Aboriginal Communities! That said, keep your eyes peeled for future projects like this..."

There you have it! As a company, this project was extremely important for us, and one that we were super excited to release to you all. We can’t wait to dive into the next project and share it with you all in the not too distant future. Keep your eyes peeled Bushfoodies… stay fresh!