Ngooka Honey

06/02/20 09:05 AM Comment(s) By FIAL

Ngooka, the Next Manuka?

Formed by the Noongar people of Western Australia, the Noongar Land Enterprise Group (NLE) is Australia’s first Aboriginal grower group. By creating and successfully managing Noongar land-based business enterprises, the NLE is developing a model that benefits Aboriginal people, as well as the wider community.

One of the NLE’s key business aspirations is honey. Given the focus of Noongar landholders to protect remnant vegetation and rehabilitate areas of native flora suitable for honey bee populations, honey is a natural fit. The timing is also perfect to capitalise on a growing demand in new Asian markets for high-quality, Western Australian honey.

After three years of hard work, the NLE’s inaugural batch of freshly extracted honey is now market-ready. The product has been named Ngooka, the Ballardong Noongar word for ‘honey’. With this initial micro batch being extremely well received, the NLE is now aiming to develop a completely Indigenous commercial enterprise for honey grown from native flora and fauna. To help with achieving this aim, the NLE applied for FIAL’s Enterprise Solutions Centre Program (ESCP).

The ESCP supports businesses to solve technical challenges by providing matched funding and connecting them with researchers. The $50,000 of matched funding will be used for set up, as well as training the group in apiary skills, honey manufacturing, and how to successfully produce and collect honey for a commercial food business. FIAL has also connected the NLE with researchers from the CRC for Honey Bee Products and the University of Western Australia. Research will be undertaken on the qualities of the specific honeys produced from the native flora and fauna of the Noongar region. Reminiscent of Manuka honey, honey sourced from Western Australian Jarrah, among other plant species, has been shown to have antimicrobial and health-promoting properties. This research has the potential to see the NLE commanding a premium price for its Ngooka.

Follow the NLE  for the launch of their e-store where you can purchase your own delicious jar.


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