Bush Food Trials To Explore A New Agricultural Industry

Some of Victoria’s oldest flavours will soon be accessible to dining tables across the world, thanks to an Andrews Labor Government grant to expand the bush food industry on the Great South Coast.

Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced the $30,000 Food Source Victoria grant, which will allow WG Enterprises to start supply chain mapping, field trials and kitchen trials to expand the emerging industry.

WG Enterprises provides economic opportunities to Aboriginal people by assisting individuals into employment and creating sustainable, Aboriginal-operated commercial enterprises.

The demand for bush foods is currently exceeding supply, with several key crops being exported to overseas markets. The grant will identify where the opportunities lie for Great South Coast producers, processors, distributors and retailers, and demonstrate a model to commercialise the businesses.

The field trials will assess the capability of several species, with viable plants then taken to large scale production testing. With most bush food research currently focused on northern or central Australia, this work will break new ground and test species that have never been researched before.

The trials will test Apium Prostratum (Sea Celery), Tasmania Lanceolata (Mountain Pepper), Kunzea Pomifera (Muntries), Prostranthera Rotundifolia (Round Leaf Mint Bush), Mentha Australias (River Mint), Carpobrotus Rossii (Pigface), Arthropodium Strictum (Chocolate Lily), Arthropodium Milleflorum (Vanilla Lily), Billardiera cymosa (Sweet Apple Berry) and Trachymene Incisia (Wild Parsnip).

The Labor Government’s Food Source Victoria program supports producers and businesses working in partnership to develop products that take the state’s best produce to the world, creating new jobs and growing exports.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

“We’re proud to support WG Enterprises to expand the emerging native bush foods industry and create more jobs for Aboriginal Victorians.”

“This exciting project has the potential to bring some of Australia’s oldest flavours to dining tables right across the world.”