Works at: Native Co.

Marlon Motlop works with a company called the Native Co., which specialises in native herbs and native plants. Previously, Marlon played with the Port Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is also heavily involved in the music industry as also a singer, songwriter and musician. Marlon speaks to VegNET – SA Regional Development Officer Yanyu Liang about his role in the horticulture industry.

Can you please give me a brief overview of your business and the produce that you grow?

We specialise in premium native herbs. We grow and sell up to 16 different species of native herbs in the Adelaide region as well as around South Australia and interstate.

What challenges do you face as a vegetable grower?

Primarily, the challenges that we are facing is that the native herbs are quite new. As it’s a new market, the herbs are unfamiliar to the general public. So, we’ve got the challenge of not only growing and selling them but also educating the public on how to use the native products within their everyday meal.

How do you manage these challenges, or try to overcome them?

We are distributing our products into restaurants and getting the customers to sit down and experience the natives in meals. Hopefully, we market that through the restaurant well enough for the public. Eventually, we hope it would be one of the condiments that Australian people can use in their homes every day.

We understand the marketing and branding of all these products is not easy, but we are consistently trying to figure out ways on how we can showcase the native product to the general public. I also want to do a bit of advertising about Native Co. at the upcoming Hort SA Conference. I am interested to showcase our products at the event on 18 May, and let people know about their value.

What can you be found doing when you are not working on the farm?

I enjoy playing football. I played for Port Adelaide in the AFL for five years, and I’ve played in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) for the last eight years. I’m also a singer, songwriter and musician.