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Wam bam... Here's 'Jam I Am'
28 Nov 2012
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In what is believed to be a first for the disability sector, Griffith’s Ningana Enterprises this week launched a range of fine food preserves created from its farm in Tharbogang.

Developed from fresh produce grown at the farm, and traditionally sold at local and Melbourne markets, this year, Ningana has branched out and developed a range of five new fine food products – strawberry jam, orange marmalade, spicy pumpkin relish, tomato relish and a unique product, Strawberries on Top.

Following its success in The Westpac Foundation’s Catalyst Funding program, as one of only eight applicants across Australia, Ningana received $50,000 to establish a caper crop and to develop the marketing and branding strategy for this range of gourmet products from the organisation’s farm.

Ningana has subscribed to sustainable organic agriculture practices since its purchase of the 40 acre property in 2009. It is now well on its journey to achieving certified organic status in 2014. The fresh produce and preserves are created free of chemicals. And in the process have provided valued and diverse work opportunities for people with disability in the Riverina.

According to Ningana’s Chief Executive Officer, Fiona Durham, the Westpac funding has given an added exciting and challenging dimension to the farm.

“Ningana supports 27 people with disability at the farm who plant, water and harvest the fruit and vegetables that have created the Jam I am and Wam Bam Man Jam range of products. Last year we started with strawberry jam which sold out very quickly, but with the help of the Westpac funding we have been able to introduce a new crop to the farm as well as create and market this range of jams and chutneys,” Ms Durham said.

The farm was purchased with the support of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) as an Australian Disability Enterprise, which according to Project Manager, Jo Polkinghorne, has created around 32 supported and non-supported employment places in the region.

“Ningana believes there are no other services like ours that have undertaken such an enterprise in a partnership with government, the financial sector and disability services. This project has not only created rewarding work opportunities but has allowed Ningana’s team to venture into the exciting food industry with its uniquely created range of Jam I am and Wam Bam Man Jam products now available to the community,” Mrs Polkinghorne said.

The fine food range was launched this week in time for Christmas gift giving. Orders can be made on sales@ninganafinefoods.com.au or at Ningana’s head office, 1 Kooyoo Street, Griffith.

disability environment mental health education leading to employment financial inclusion life long learning social enterprise
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