Australian Enterprise Awards 2023

Jan23796 Natural Evolution is the pioneering Australian company that brought commercial green banana flour to the world. Now, several years and product lines later, the family-run firm is thriving! We speak to one of the company’s founders to find out more in the wake of it being recognised in the Australian Enterprise Awards 2023. Green banana flour was the founding product line for Natural Evolution and, ever since, it has gone on to make significant scientific discoveries such as the richest natural source of resistant starch. The revolutionary green banana flour can replace any plain flour or self-raising flour and is easy to use. As this product is very high in dietary fibre and is milled from Natural Evolution’s incredible tasting bananas grown on the Atherton Tablelands, it is 100% natural and 100% Australian. Natural Evolution started out by seeking to reduce the amount of produce that is thrown away on farms due to shape, size, or oversupply in the market. This transformation process was developed by company founders and dynamic husband and wife team, Rob and Krista Watkins, and has enabled the business to transform any fresh produce into a shelf-stable powder with a natural shelf life of more than two years. This is a quantum leap for fresh produce which generally only has a few weeks to a few months of shelf life. The process maintains the nutrition potential of the product, which has allowed Natural Evolution to create products that are functional foods and can be used in food or medicine. These products, when used, allow people and animals to live healthier lives by nourishing their bodies and have been listed as complementary medicines in some instances. Natural Evolution founders have solid roots in agriculture and have, for generations before Rob and Krista, farmed land throughout Northern Australia. “We know the land, the produce, and the practices it takes to create healthy food from plants; we know the growing, we created the processing, and we know what people want,” states Krista, speaking of what differentiates Natural Evolution from its competitors. “Our deep-rooted knowledge and passion for farming, our openness, and willingness to connect gives us the ability to create products for people from the paddock to the plate.” Natural Evolution utilises an innovative multi-award-winning technology, called NutroLock, which allows the company to take any organic produce and turn it into powder in under 10 minutes. The process captures 20-50% higher nutritional values, and the firm is able to produce large quantities easily with its streamlined set up, taking on as much as 50 metric tonnes of raw material per day. This unique and technological solution to food waste, combined with Natural Evolution’s business model, is the only one of its kind in the world. Krista tells us a little more about the current trends in the industry, and what this means for Natural Evolution. “Producers, whether corporate or family-owned, are continuing to search for options for reducing farm waste of excess produce,” she says. “There have been many attempts to divert excess produce to alternative markets, however none have stood the test of time like us.” Natural Evolution’s model is simple in that it works with farmers to purchase their excess produce, giving an alternative industry to fresh produce, and transforming the produce into shelf-stable products. The company then works with research institutions, universities, and hospitals to uncover the natural superpower of the product and ensures those products are readily available to people and animals, so they can easily use them to help live healthier lives. “We have created and continue to operate a fully vertically integrated circular economy model,” Krista continues. “We are sustainable in thoughts and vision but thanks to our technology, we are sustainable economically and environmentally. That’s why 13 years since ideation we are still going and growing stronger every year, creating more products and taking in more produce.” It’s not simply humans who are reaping the benefits of green banana and its superfood-like properties, however, as a handful of these unique products are geared towards the animal kingdom, in particular, horses. Its hero equine food product, Alpha Equus, captures the pure true essence and nutritional benefit of green bananas using Natural Evolution’s patented NutroLockTM process technology, as previously mentioned. This process ensures that Alpha Equus is packed with vitamins, minerals, gut-powered resistant starch, and powerful plant phytonutrient antioxidants to promote gut health, aid in alleviating symptoms associated with gastric ulcers, and boost a horse’s health with the natural super source of green bananas. “Forget other expensive fibre additives and gain 10-times better results with the highest tested and graded product on earth,” enthuses Krista. “Our product is scientifically-proven to give fast and instant results naturally. We are very proud to present this reduced dust granule formula and have seen massive gains in the racehorse industry in calmness and reassurance to the animals, as well as the horses gaining incredible coat health and muscle structure.” Likewise, the Alpha Equus PLUS complementary feed is a synbiotic blend of prebiotics and probiotics that supports, promotes, and enhances equine gut health. Premium quality and scientifically developed, this natural product consists of a unique synergy of the three fibre groups, vitamins, and minerals naturally derived from green banana and sweet potato, to deliver optimum health and wellness. The green banana ‘superfood’ is not just powerful when eaten, however, it can also work wonders on the skin, too, as a natural healer. Natural Evolution Banana Ointment is an amazing antioxidant rich, natural ointment which is friendly to use on humans and animals. The ointment aids in healing arthritic pains, burns, cuts, skin abrasions, skin rashes, irritations, nappy rash, and cold sores, and can also be used to rejuvenate skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles. But it’s not all about products either. Within the company, culture plays a huge role and shapes the way the team works. Passionate abut teamwork and uncovering hidden talent, Best Equine Natural Health Supplements Brand 2023