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Banyar Jagun's crafty and courageous move to get its products on Woolworths shelves

Brendan Foster -

When proud Wiradjuri man Nathan Dureau spruiked his business idea to a major retailer at an industry event, he never expected to see his products on their shelves 18 months later.

The chief executive and co-founder of the eco-friendly cleaning products company Banyar Jagun was at a Supply Nation event a couple of years ago when he spied a rep from Woolworths.

"We had no booths because we couldn't even afford a booth - so we just put the shirts on and told Woolworths our story," he told National Indigenous Times.

"I told them what we were doing, and the guy loved it.

"One thing led to another, and they pretty much became our first decent client to make some inroads with."

Mr Dureau, whose products are made from plant-based ingredients and are biodegradable and pollutant-free, said before he knew it his products were in 144 Woolworths stores around Australia.

The 35-year-old said Woolies then asked him if he could produce a new range of eco-friendly cleaning products, which would go into 977 stores Australia-wide.

"We got in with the room sprays and linen sprays which is a different category to what our normal products are so when the opportunity come up with a spot, we had a crack at making some," he said.

"So, we are partnering with Woolies to use one of the room sprays and another fruiter one as well, so we've got two products there now."

The former coal miner, who co-founded the business with his wife Jules in 2021, said the company was just starting to take off when COVID-19 struck.

Despite the initial setback, he learnt some valuable lessons.

"COVID taught me everything," he said. "It taught me about who every supplier in the country making bottles was - who makes this and who makes that.

"That was the best learning curve, but it was super tough because everyone ran out of bottles and the whole country just stopped.

"So, we navigated the hard way through that and learning who people were and what people were about."

Mr Dureau said his NSW-based company was also looking at expanding its range of products in the future.

He's always a lot wiser when it comes to shifting his stock off the shelves.

"We are working on some cool face serums, using some native oil for face moisturizers and sunscreen later on down the track," he said.

"It's one thing to get into their (Woolworths) but the learning curve is to get it off the shelf, which is the important part of why people are going to pick you over the big brands that are spending a million bucks a month on marketing."

Mr Dureau said the feedback from customers had been great.

"Once people use it, they love it," he said. "A lot of people have families these days, so it gives them confidence to spray it around their kids.

"We've done the testing, we've proven it's safe, so it's been good feedback."

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