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COLES Supermarkets

Coles established their Indigenous Food Fund in 2001 to promote native foods and financially support Indigenous enterprise, growing, harvesting and distribution of native foods.


Since this time, the Fund allocated monies to this end and has been a regular contributor to the Foundation and its native bush food supply chain.  Sales in Coles grew from tens of thousands of dollars a year to over 5 million dollars by 2014. Coles sells a number of native food products produced by Outback Spirit.  


The key ethos of the Outback Spirit brand is its affinity and commitment to the Indigenous native bush food supply chain. A commitment that has seen demand-driven outcomes for native foods from a number of remote communities, creating employment, income and a cultural link between those harvesting and those consuming the products – be they Bush Tomatoes, Davidson Plums, Wattle seed or Kakadu Plums to name a few.


Whilst Coles continues to sell the Outback Spirit brand they no longer make regular donations to the Foundation.  However, Outback Spirit as a brand continues to do so - contributing 5 cents per product sold in Coles and other outlets. The Foundation is seeking to extend the cause related marketing of bush foods to broaden the income base beyond the Outback Spirit brand so it can continue supporting the development of Indigenous enterprises supplying native bush foods.  


The Outback Spirit brand and Foundation therefore have similar objectives.  Each promotes and supports the development of native bush foods for the benefit of Indigenous Australians. 


This support has facilitated the agricultural development of native bush foods and helped transform from wild harvest to commercial harvesting of these native ingredients. This has brought new income, skills and access to markets for the Indigenous enterprises supplying Outback Spirit that didn’t exist a decade ago.


Like so many foods brought to Australia from offshore, Australians embrace the authenticity of flavours and the bond between people sharing food together. Native foods also need to be shared and promoted to build on this tradition.


The Outback Spirit Foundation has been able to show practical leadership in developing a model that sees the Indigenous food chain come to life. The commercial planting of wattle, bush tomatoes and a range of herbs in Central Australia and South Australia are case studies in developing supply to meet real demand.


The Foundation has developed similar cultural / economic developments in different communities in Central and South Australia with tropical native foods like Kakadu Plum and Lemon Aspen, in Western Australia, the Top End and Cape York.


This outcome meets our objective of maintaining Indigenous participation in the native food supply chain and is why the Foundation has donated money to further develop this model.



Outback Spirit Australia

Outback Spirit has been a substantial contributor to the Foundation through its previous participation in the Coles Indigenous Food Fund since 2001.  This continues with the new owners of Outback Spirit Australia with financial contribution from the sale of Outback Spirit products to the Foundation.



Ruth Emery & Juieigh Robins

Outback Spirit Foundation
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