The challenge to provide, high quality produce and other core staple foods into the APY Lands at more affordable prices is now well on the way to being solved by Mai Wiru, an Anangu owned and controlled organisation that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the people on the APY Lands through the provision of healthy food and other essential items.
Those who live in The Lands know that access to affordable fresh produce and healthy foods is a great challenge that has not had a satisfactory solution until now.
In 2012 FACHSIA state director saw the opportunity to create a joint project between Mai Wiru and FoodbankSA bringing together solid Anangu management with respected and well established relationships with communities in the APY Lands with the logistics and food procurement expertise necessary to reinvent the entire supply chain.
Further support from State Government (DCSI) along with IBA provided the financial support required to implement the new model.
Since September, the Mai Wiru has been sending a weekly road train – operated by transport company Toll - from Adelaide to the APY Lands carrying fresh produce direct from South Australian growers. “Fruit and vegetables are being picked up at the Pooraka Markets on Tuesday and delivered into the Lands on Wednesday, delivering freshness and high quality and at the same time reducing costs by around 25%”, says David Schomburgk, Mai Wiru’s General Manager.
Mai Wiru is now fully self-funded through this new operation.
The result has been fresher food delivered to APY community stores, lower prices for healthy food, a secure and sustainable transport service to all major APY communities, and job and training opportunities for Anangu people.
Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister Kyam Maher said after initial funding support from the State Government ($100,000) and the Commonwealth ($300,000), Mai Wiru was now fully self-funded.
“This innovative partnership with such different organisations has finally enabled us to see real benefit back to the community”, says David. Mai Wiru now is now fulfilling its mission of ensuring continuous access to healthy foods and other essential items at affordable prices. After all, Mai Wiru means Good Food.
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Richard Pagliaro – Mai Wiru Board Director
Mai Wiru is the first Indigenous policy of its kind dealing in Food Security.
Mai Wiru works at a regional level through consultation, monitoring and new initiatives, including offering healthy alternatives. Mai Wiru has been instrumental in broaching the ongoing issue of Food Security on the APY Lands.
There has been a significant improvement in food security, the range and quality of fresh fruit and vegetables, and healthy alternatives in community stores, since 2003. However there is still much work to be done to ensure that Aboriginal people on the APY Lands are able to access healthy affordable food in their local store every day.
M: 0412 855 599