The First Nations Bushfood & Botanical Alliance Australia was established as a result of the national conversation that took place amongst 120 First Nations attendees at the inaugural Indigenous Native Foods Symposium in Sydney 27-28 November 2019.
Conversation at the Symposium identified that in 2019, Indigenous Australians represent fewer than 2% of the providers across the supply chain and acknowledged that nearly 98% of Aboriginal land owners aspire to be leaders in the native food industry. In 2020, this is not acceptable, given that much of the Industry relies on the supply of unprotected Indigenous knowledge and returns little to our people.
A National Indigenous Bushfood Statement was issued at the end of the Symposium which had a number of actions including forming this national First Nations lead industry body.
Over the past six months, a working group of 24 First Nations people from across Australia worked solidly to form the national body and are committed to their ongoing participation to ensure the development of a thriving Indigenous bush foods and botanicals business sector.
First Nations Bushfood & Botanical Alliance Australia was launched in May as a result of this process.
The Alliance will be working to deliver the key action items coming out of the Symposium which are:
Implementing protocols to set national standards on how to work with First Nations people in the industry:
Provenance and authenticity: to protect First Nation producers, respect our protocols and recognise our custodianship.
Changes to the law: to respect and protect First Nations knowledge in bushfoods and bush products should be protected by the laws of this land and business practice. This includes intellectual property; penalties for misappropriation and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.
Education and Awareness: promote respect for our First Nations Knowledge values and protocols.
Our Core Cultural Objectives
To act as a body representative of First Nations groups and in particular to provide a channel for:
Acknowledging and respecting our Ancestry and ethically maintaining the knowledge that has been passed down to our members as First Nations people that has made the bush foods Industry what it is today.
To work ethically with our Elders/knowledge holders to protect our sacred knowledge, stories, dances and cultural connections to bush foods, science plants and medicines
Using traditional cultural and international protocols (the Nagoya Protocol) to engage with stakeholders on traditional plant use and cultural knowledge