Kaiyu Superfoods, owned by Pete and Cate Cahill, is an NT-based native food manufacturer and retailer with a mission to get native foods into the daily diet habits of Australians.
Pete and Cate come from diverse backgrounds, Pete is an Aircraft Engineer and Cate is a Teacher with a Master’s in Counselling and a degree in Ecology and Conservation. They share a passion for Australia’s rich and diverse environment, and are working to ensure they are protecting, educating, and improving its biodiversity through their business activities.
Kaiyu utilises Australian Native Foods to create products that increase awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of our Indigenous foods. In addition, they are showcasing sustainable ways to grow native foods and aim to mentor Indigenous people to be successful food producers.
By working closely with the Indigenous communities that harvest wild fruits sustainably, Kaiyu can ensure a percentage is left for native animals and the natural regeneration of the plants. An idea that is vital to the survival of various birds, including the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.
History of Kaiyu
Pete is a proud descendant of the Awabakal tribe from the Hunter Valley Region and grew up in Quilpie and Inglewood Queensland. Cate was born in South Australia and lived in various places – her teen years were spent on farms in New South Wales and Queensland.
They first met in Inglewood Queensland when they were seventeen and reconnected again thirty years later.
With a strong passion and connection to the native flora and fauna, Cate and Pete decided to combine their environmental knowledge of native plants with their passion and farming skills.
“Throughout our research, we were disappointed to find that the same problems that faced the native fruit industry in the 1990s still hadn’t been solved, with a limited amount of stock and very few Indigenous growers or Indigenous business owners,” Cate said.
In 2016 Cate and Pete became aware that the native foods industry provided little inclusion for Indigenous communities. At the time they were already growing Quandong and Muntries in South Australia but wanted to help build Indigenous participation in the industry more broadly.
Through their research, Pete and Cate created a goal to use the native foods to generate products that everyone can enjoy while also increasing knowledge and awareness of the health benefits of these native foods.
“We hope to stimulate demand for native foods so that the industry continues to grow, and more Indigenous families and communities will become involved in the industry and benefit from it,” Cate said.
Creating a better world
Kaiyu has been slowly planting native trees in their orchard, as well as protecting every native plant that creates a habitat for birds and other animals and contributes to biodiversity in the area.
“We are painstakingly mowing around every little native plant that comes up in our orchard,” Cate said. “We’re regenerating the bush – it’s regenerative agriculture. We are trying to show that there are different ways that you can grow food, but you can also care for the wildlife and their habitat at the same time.”
Kaiyu has also established a revegetation project that is creating habitat for the endangered Regent Parrot in Loxton South Australia.
They also aim to become a zero-waste business. They do this by using recyclable containers in their food processing, and reuse items such as gloves and bags in the nursery and orchard. All their fruit waste is composted and distributed throughout the orchard. Pete has created a water system in the freeze-drying process that creates water and the water can then be used to wash fruit and trays.
In the office, they use recycled paper, as well as looking into using solar energy in the manufacturing process to reduce the use of fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. All fruit waste is composted, and they scatter all Kakadu Plum seeds back into the orchard for the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo to feed on.
You can view and purchase native superfoods products from Kaiyu on their website: Kaiyu Superfoods – Native Foods for your health and wellness journey