The new business partnership will see Gunner’s Adelaide Central Market store Something Wild become what is believed to be Australia’s first part-Indigenous-owned provider of native greens, game and traditional meat.
The Motlop family will become part-owners of Something Wild, with Daniel appointed general manager in charge of sales and business development. Gunner and his wife Liz will continue with their involvement.
Over the past 12 months, Something Wild has worked with Indigenous communities to create the opportunity to sell native produce including paperbark, green ants, magpie geese and native greens such as boobialla, muntries and sheoak nuts. Paper bark is used to wrap fish or meat in while cooking to keep it moist and add flavour.
Gunner also recently secured Australia’s first commercial permit to harvest magpie geese, which he says taste like a cross between venison and goose but without the fattiness.
“Together we supplied Noma and Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck when they were in Australia,” says Gunner, whose company Richard Gunner Fine Meats is a vertically integrated business that includes the production, wholesale and retail of paddock-to-butcher meat products.
“We’ve been operating with the Something Wild brand for two-and-a-half years and as we’ve travelled along we’ve always wanted to get back to the source of the products with the traditional owners and set up a successful supply chain.
“This new style of ownership works a lot better. Indigenous people have a collective approach to business; culturally, it’s a more correct way to make it work.”
Gunner says Something Wild will focus on using Indigenous harvesters and employees throughout the business, and has a strong commitment to fostering positive relationships with Indigenous communities to create economic opportunities for Aboriginal people.
“Building close relationships within the Indigenous community has given Something Wild the privilege to promote and supply unique produce from one of the world’s oldest cultures,” he says.
“Not only does this provide our customers with the opportunity to experience these products that celebrate Indigenous culture, but it also provides positive opportunities and outcomes for many rural Indigenous communities.
“The flipside of all this is having a family like the Motlops, which has a relatively high profile, assist with the marketing of the business and open up opportunities with some proactive sources of native foods.”
Gunner says the new partnership has already begun talking with Indigenous Business Australia and Supply Nation (a non-profit organisation that aims to grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business sector through the promotion of supplier diversity) and is keen to further explore opportunities with other businesses.
He says the partnership will also enable Something Wild to make further inroads into supplying high-end restaurants and major business events venues across Australia.
For Adelaide cooks, Something Wild will continue to offer an increasing range of native ingredients. Currently in season and available are green ants, boobialla and muntries.
“Green ants are used as a spice or a garnish,” says Gunner. “The taste like kaffir lime with a hint of coriander.
“The native foods market is one of the fastest-growing industries in Australia. Something Wild is the only stall in Australia of this ilk and we think it’s a natural fit for the Central Market.
“We would like to think that the space that we’re in is a growing concept that we can continue to develop Australia-wide.”
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