Shaun Martin and Josh Slabb from Yaru Water which is gathered from the base of Mount Warning.
Shaun Martin and Josh Slabb from Yaru Water which is gathered from the base of Mount Warning. Nolan Verheij-full

Sales double for bottled water taken from Mt Warning

YARU Water, Australia's first indigenous-owned bottled water, has doubled its sales over Christmas, following a Coles promotional campaign which focused on the brand's contribution to the indigenous community.

The water is sourced from an aquifer at the base of Mount Warning and bottled by Mount Warning Spring Water.

Plant production will increase from 15,000 to 22,000 litres per week to meet demand.

Its success on supermarket shelves is preceded by its marketing as a premium Aboriginal water, in Sofitel's five-star hotel chain, where an offshoot of the brand, Yaru-Sofitel Spring Water, is sold.

The brand, which now accounts for 71% of Mount Warning Spring Water production, was launched in 2011 by Shaun Martin and his wife Tessa and inspired by Mr Martin's relationship with a Fingal indigenous community.

"My grandmother and great grandfather grew up in Byangum country, Murwillumbah, and spent a lot of time at Fingal with the Bundjalung people.

"I grew up with very positive stories about the local Aboriginal people and I felt like there was something I should do about that.

"We approached the Slabb family and initially thought about giving several cents per bottle, but donating in that sense usually goes nowhere.

"Instead we gave a 51% majority share of the Yaru brand, with Mount Warning Spring Water taking all the financial risk."

Profits from the joint venture are poured back into the community through development programs at the Wollumbin property.

"With co-founder Kyle Slabb we have facilitated indigenous cultural learning between elders and the younger generation, and we have taught skill sets that increase the employability of the youth in traditional fields such as droving, mustering and horsemanship," he said.

In addition to developing indigenous resources, Yaru Water differentiates itself from other bottled water brands on its nutrient profile.

It has been organically filtered, as opposed to chemically filtered, and contains a high volume of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

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