New roadshow for our oldest food crops

A national roadshow will throw new light on Australia’s oldest food crops, thanks to support from the Farming Together program

The roadshow is being organised by Australian Native Food & Botanicals (ANFAB), representing 200 growers/harvesters from all across Australia.

It has secured Australian Government support through the national Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program, known as Farming Together.

The $169,900 grant will see 10 roadshows across Australia, starting in northern NSW next week and finishing next February in Melbourne. In-between are sessions in Tasmania, NT, Queensland, SA and WA.(see below).

ANFAB chair Amanda Garner explained: “We’re going coast to coast to deliver the message of the marketplace. Australian native food is on the cusp of major growth. Supply and marketing are the elements we must address now.”

She added that the industry comprises not only growers but processors, retailers, tourism operators and other groups.

Plantation and wild harvest produce provides food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products from every Australian state and many new species are being investigated.

Over the last 10 years ANFAB, in partnership with CSIRO, RIRDC and other research institutions, has worked to boost production, consumption and use of 14 priority native species, such as Kakadu Plum, Lemon and Anise myrtle, Mountain Pepper, Riberries, Quandong, Bush Tomato, Finger Limes and native citrus, Davidson Plum, Wattleseed and Muntries.

Their work has included nutritional analysis; indicating the health benefits, registering as traditional foods, flavour profiles and species fact sheets.

Amanda said: “There is unprecedented demand for items produced from Australian native species and the industry needs to expand to fulfil this demand.”

The 10 roadshows are being delivered nationally in regions identified as hot-spots of activity.

They aim to develop farmer interest and participation and support existing producers. “We will be offering the latest industry information: business models, value chain collaboration, quality assurance and logistical optimisation elements,” Amanda said. “And we will be integrating indigenous cultural knowledge.”

The national Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the Australian Government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.

Program director Lorraine Gordon said: “ANFAB is a good example of the way Farming Together supports agriculture from the group upwards. The program is farmer-driven and has attracted unprecedented levels of engagement. In barely 10 months we have had interaction with 16,000 farmers, fishers and foresters across the country and across many commodity groups.”

The national Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program is being delivered by Southern Cross University on behalf of the Australian Government. It comprises a highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW. More?

Other confirmed roadshow places and dates

  • Adelaide SA 1- 2 September
  • Malanda (Atherton Tablelands) QLD 3-4 September
  • Broome WA 7-8 October
  • Port Hedland WA October TBA
  • Alice Springs NT 19 October
  • Perth WA November TBA
  • Darwin NT 21-23 November (in conjunction with the NT NRM Conference)
  • New Norfolk TAS 27-28 November
  • Melbourne VIC February 2018

About ANFAB: Australian Native Food & Botanicals (ANFAB) is the peak industry body and its objectives are to act as a body representative of the industry. Visit: / facebook ANFABau / Instagram ANFABAUS

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