Mi Marrarl (Kakadu plum) is a unique fruit endemic to the Thamarrurr region and other parts of Northern Australia.
Traditional Owners have worked with the Thamarrurr Rangers, TDC, Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation (PWAC) and the Wadeye community for over ten years to develop a local bush food enterprise. This has included trials, community harvests, value-adding, training, employment, research and marketing.
Traditional Owners have thousands of years of experience harvesting Mi Marrarl. They have known its medicinal and healing properties for centuries. Their knowledge plays an important part in the plum business by knowing the right times and areas to harvest and how to ensure the sustainability of this important bush food/medicine.
The community has developed an effective system for the harvest process, including:
- Harvest registration and permission to access Country from traditional owners
- a training/induction process
- a collection point and payment system
- monitoring, quality control and HACCP certification (health and safety standards)
All profits are put back into the business to assist with purchasing more equipment, upgrading existing equipment, investing in transport support to clan areas that are further away, making local products including soap and jams, research and development, and professional development for staff.
The infrastructure and knowledge around the harvest are well established and improvements are made each harvest season as required. In 2021 the Thamarrurr Plum project was recognised with an NT export and industry award for outstanding achievement in business.
“If we keep working in the Plum business, we can make money to help Wadeye. We can lift things up.” – Warra Paula Jongmin.