Demand for bush foods continues to increase.
Demand for bush foods continues to increase. Contributed

Focus on bush foods as demand grows

BUSH foods will be the centre of attention in a two-day workshop in Ballina this month at the launch of a major national roadshow.

Australian Native Food & Botanicals (ANFAB) forum will be held on August 24-25, starting a national tour supported by the Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration pilot program, known as Farming Together.

ANFAB represents 200 growers/harvesters from all across Australia.

It has secured $169,900 in Australian Government funding through Farming Together to deliver 10 roadshows nationally.

ANFAB chair Amanda Garner said: "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.

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.

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

"There is unprecedented demand for items produced from Australian native species and the industry needs to expand to fulfil this demand.” Ms Garner said.

The roadshows 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,” Ms Garner said.

"And we will be integrating indigenous cultural knowledge.”

The forum's first day, at the Jingi Wahla Rooms, Ballina Surf Club, will comprise presentations by experts in the industry as well as a networking native food lunch by Harvest Cafe in Newrybar.

The second day features workshops and a farm tour of Boon Luck Farm in Tyagarah.

There is a cost of $45 (incl GST) for the two days to cover food/refreshments.

You can book for the event via Eventbrite by searching 'growing the growers farm co operatives ANFAB'

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