Australian researchers transforming bush tucker

The Government this week announced funding to establish a new research training centre to develop selected native Australian crops, food and ingredients.

On Thursday, Member for Groom John McVeigh launched the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Uniquely Australian Foods at The University of Queensland’s Coopers Plains campus.

Research at the
training centre will focus on seven promising native plant groups including
Native Herbs and Spices, Native Fruits, Native Nuts, Kakadu Plum, Wattle Seeds,
Native Honey and Native Seaweed, all oof which have the potential to become
branded food products.

Minister for
Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government was funding research to
commercialise native food which will help boost Austala’s already thriving
agriculture business.

“This research will
give Australians a better understanding of our unique native foods and their
health benefits, leading to new products, new uses, new business opportunities
and new jobs,” Mr Tehan said.

“The training
centre will equip early career researchers with skills in sensory, nutritional
and toxicological studies.

Dr McVeigh said the
training centre would have a heavy focus on Indigenous participation.

“The centre will have Indigenous partner organisations and an Indigenous governance group to help create sustainable business models and to oversee how we apply traditional knowledge to branded products,” Dr McVeigh said.

“By unlocking the
potential of unique Australian native foods we will create new opportunities in
the food, tourism and health sectors.”

The University of
Queensland will administer the training centre in collaboration with five
participating organisations across two countries that will contribute a total
of $5.8 million in cash and in-kind support.

participating organisations include: Australian Native Food and Botanicals; The
trustee for Kindred Spirits Foundation; Karen Shelldon Catering; Beeinventive
Pty Ltd; and Venus Shell Systems Pty Ltd.

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