Emerging Business Models for the Kakadu Plum Industry

PwCs Indigenous Consulting Pty Ltd

  • Project code: PRJ-010343

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, February 15, 2016

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

  • National Priority: NEPI-Incubate new and emerging plant industries, support breakthrough projects


Kakadu Plum is an Australian native plant that contains the worlds richest natural source of Vitamin C and has been used for tens of thousands of years by Indigenous people for medicine and as a food source. Australia holds a unique competitive advantage with the potential of its native foods industry, however the industry has struggled to find a sustainable commercial model, despite numerous attempts.
In order to recognise the true potential of this industry and to improve bargaining positioning across the globe, research into emerging business models is pivotal. This investigation will also provide a guide for:
– the strengthening of the business orientation of farmers, particularly for Kakadu Plum and native food producers,
– a potential increase in production volume, and,
– farmers to operate at a larger scale2 (potentially along with Traditional Owners).
By conducting in-depth research into emerging business models and assisting native food industry farmers to understand alternate options, the agricultural sector has the potential to:
– Boost employment, particularly for regional Australians
– Increase local income and the the GDP of our Country
– Strengthen cultural ties and respect
– Increase incomes for those in productive regions (and therefore reduce the cost of social services in these areas); and
– Through assisting in improving social determinants, improve the health of people benefitting from higher incomes.
RIRDC is a body ideally positioned and designed, to provide this market with a more robust foundation, ensure the longevity of the industry and the best outcomes for all stakeholders and Australian agricultural production at large. PIC has strong Indigenous community connections in northern Australia and is in a position to incorporate these links with their business and agricultural expertise to create innovative business models for the future of Australian Native Foods.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

PwCs Indigenous Consulting Pty Ltd

Objective Summary

This project will:
– take learnings to date, using Kakadu Plum in particular as a case in point;
– combine these learnings with known (and some unexplored) strengths and weaknesses in the Australian context (such as traditional land/plant knowledge);
– research cooperatives and similar operating models to seek to ensure a level of certainty and scale of supply to support more commercial outcomes, including evaluating suitability of existing business/research structures for progressing & incorporation; and
– then turn to more emerging and innovative business to seek to identify more efficient and effective approaches to getting these products to the market.