Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Business on country – Demonstrating feasibility of developing high value products from low value herds on Indigenous land

Business on country – Demonstrating feasibility of developing high value products from low value herds on Indigenous land
  • Reference # AT.4.2021030
  • Timeframe 3 years
  • Project Status Current
  • Location Coen, Cooktown, Cairns, Townsville
  • Total project value $1,044,000.00
  • Project manager Ian Biggs
  • Research Programs 4. Building industry and capacity in Northern Australia
  • Beef
  • First Nations led business development
  • Supply chain development


There are currently thousands of unmanaged stocks in Northern Australia which are not economically viable to muster and sell through traditional markets due to accessibility constraints, lack of transport infrastructure, because they are in dense vegetation, or they are in consistently poor condition.

These animals are difficult to muster as they are usually located in areas where damage to vehicles is common and are associated with significant health and safety concerns for on-ground activities on horseback or all terrain vehicles. Current markets are in regional centres (e.g., for Cape York the closest sale yard is in Mareeba) so cattle enterprises in remote areas focus on working with larger managed herds that can be quickly processed through fixed or portable yards ensuring transport costs are minimised.

As a means to resolving these challenges and creating new Indigenous-led business models, this project will conduct research which will underpin the development of new processing methods and systems to build an alternative marketplace for unutilised stock and feral animals through the development and feasibility testing of two businesses:

1.    Local production of soil bio-stimulant (feraliser)
2.    Local processing of cattle to produce ethical meat products for Cape York Peninsula (QLD) townships and for direct sales to consumers.


Expected outcomes

The project outputs will establish operational standards for Indigenous led business operating on country.  Kalan Enterprises’ partnership with Feraliser Ltd establishes a pathway for scaling the impact through growing the social enterprise across Australia.  The benchmarking processes we will develop will be directly applicable to Indigenous organisations across Northern Australia and the partnership with NAILSMA will establish a pathway for scaling the impact with other Indigenous organisations.