Farming Together helps meet native produce demand

Australia’s unique native produce will take centre stage in Adelaide next week.

Growers, aspiring producers, chefs, retailers and Australia’s first peoples will hear how demand and potential is growing for the country’s native bounty.

The event will be officially launched by Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Senator Anne Ruston.

More than 80 people are expected to attend the November 20 event, a joint initiative is supported by the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund and forms part of a roadshow being delivered as part of the Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program (Farming Together)

It is being organised by Australian Native Foods & Botanicals (ANFAB) whose chair is Amanda Garner.

She said there are about 6000 types of native foods documented as edible, and around 40 of those used commercially in Australia, with that figure tipped to rise.

“As the extraordinary health benefits and medicinal properties of unique Australian plants are being discovered the market demand is sky-high, especially from the national and international pharma and nutraceutical companies,” she said. “Demand is far outstripping supply”.

Ms Garner said integration of Indigenous cultural knowledge was key to industry growth.

Forum topics include:

  • The current state of the native food industry, domestic and global
  • Grower tips on diversifying into the native produce industry
  • News on potential emerging overseas markets
  • Consumer feedback on taste, texture and how likely people are to buy little grown and marketed native food varieties
  • Effective business models, value chain collaboration, quality assurance and logistics measures.

The free event will take place on Monday, November 20 at Carclew House in North Adelaide. Chef-created native produce breakfast samples and networking from 8.30am, with proceedings from 9am sharp to 5pm. More? Marianne Stewart 0407 332 889 or OR Sarah Robins 0437 214 849 or

Hort Innovation has partnered with ANFAB to share research and cultural learnings on behalf of the Australian vegetable sector and recently commissioned a comprehensive study into consumer preferences relating to native produce rarely seen in stores.

The organisation’s chief executive John Lloyd said produce such as youlk (like carrot), kulyu (like sweet potato), Warrigal greens (Australian spinach) and samphire (sea asparagus) is not widely produced, sold or marketed, but has shown strong consumer appeal.

“Our overall broad findings were that consumers liked to buy produce that is Australian, has a good shelf life, versatility in cooking options and has a high nutritional value. A lot of the native vegetables we tested ticked those boxes,” he said. “Australian horticulture growers are often on the look-out for opportunities to diversify their product offerings and are also keen to keep up with trends in consumer demand, so we expect they will get a lot out of the forum.”

 ANFAB gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support it has received from The Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program (Farming Together Program) which is supported by a grant auspiced to Southern Cross University to administer the Program by the Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

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