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Gubinge Pickers - Australia

Gubinge is the Nyul Nyul language name for the Kimberley version of the Kakadu Plum. Wildharvested from the Dampier Peninsula just north of Broome, it’s the highest natural source of vitamin C on the planet. Bruno Dann is bringing back to his community the ancestral traditional ways of taking care of the land and the Gubinge trees, which is helping restore the amazing bush in this region. All profits from this product are sent to Nyul Nyul people who harvest it.

  • {Gubinge harvest in the Kimberley}

    Gubinge grows in natural wild orchards, three or four trees together throughout the Bush. Each year the fire comes through and destroys everything, so what Bruno and his people began doing is back-burning, clearing the dead wood so that the fire's not coming through any more. They soon noticed that through these traditional ways of taking care of the land, the Gubinge trees started producing more fruit.

    There are now over a hundred of the local community involved in wild harvesting Gubinge. Many of them do so in family groups of three or four generations. They have the option to either have their quotas entered on a ledger and be paid at the end of the season, or to get their money cash-in-hand right away. Every year since we first began sourcing Gubinge we’ve been able to increase our quota, with the most recent crop being eight times that of the original. This represents a serious injection of cash into the local community, which is very significant in a town which swells from 15,000 people to 45,000 people during the tourist season of May to October. The other main source of income is from mining, and outside of the tourist season many people struggle to make ends meet.

    Gubinge pickers

    Each year Bruno coordinates the harvest. The picking season goes from December through March. Depending on the weather, it can be as long as three months or as short as six weeks, and there are designated spots where people can pick from. Most of the harvesters are from Bruno's language group and the surrounding areas and people get paid by the kilo, so come Gubinge season, everyone gets out on the land and picks it. It's a really good project because it's a high-value product and it's something that's growing wildly, so there's a fair bit of it around and it's sustainable. The other thing that Bruno is doing is working with people to show them how to care for the land throughout the rest of the year. It's not just about the Gubinge: it's about the whole environment. If you're taking care of the land, the Gubinge will thrive...but so will everything else. Gubinge is their asset: it's benign, it’s sustainable and it supports the environment. 

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