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Native Foods & Botanicals
The growth of the Native Foods and Botanicals industry is based on Traditional Owners’ knowledge. It is essential that it is a culturally safe and appropriate industry that benefits custodians and their communities socially, culturally, and economically.

Traditional Owner Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy

To realise the ambitions of Traditional Owners to play a leading role in the emerging Native Foods and Botanicals industry, the Traditional Owner Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy and Djakitjuk Djanga: Native Foods and Botanicals Industry Development program were developed. These policy and industry development programs underpin economic development of Traditional Owners.

The Strategy will contribute to cultural, and economic, strengthening and sustainability of First Nations in Victoria.

The vision of the Strategy is to:

“Establish an authentic, vibrant and growing industry that respects and recognises the inherent interests and rights of Traditional Owners – and enables and strengthens the social, cultural and economic connections with the lands and resources.”

A Traditional Owner-led native foods and botanicals industry will strengthen the Victorian economy, Traditional Owner cultural identity, and help to sustain the health of Country. The Strategy will embed and apply Traditional Owner cultural frameworks in the industry.

Culturally, economically and environmentally, this is a complex space. The Strategy identifies necessary reform of legislation, regulation and current standards of industry best practice to ensure greater  investment and co-capacity building in partnership with Traditional Owners which is critical to enabling the development of a Traditional Owner led industry. With strategic planning, investment and collaborative action, there is enormous potential for cultural, economic and environmental gain.

Development of the Strategy, and its initial implementation, has been facilitated by the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations strengthen cultural practice and enable Traditional Owners’ rights and interests, regarding biocultural species and their associated knowledge and practices, to be properly considered by government, researchers and the commercial industry. The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) through Agriculture Victoria, provided funding to support the project.

Download the Traditional Owner Native Foods and Botanicals Strategy.

As part of implementation of the Strategy, a Traditional Knowledge Group was established. The Group is made up of Victorian Traditional Owners and provides input into the implementation decision making process. See below for meeting communiques.

Any, and all, Victorian Traditional Owners are welcome. If you’re interested in joining the Group, please contact Reece O’Brien.

To support Traditional Owners to develop Native Foods and Botanicals businesses, the Djakitjuk Djanga: Native Foods and Botanicals Industry Development grant program was developed.

Djakitjuk Djanga means Country’s Food in Jaara language, acknowledging our deep and everlasting connection to Country and the native foods and botanicals of the land.

The Federation partnered with Agriculture Victoria to support Aboriginal-owned businesses and organisations to develop a thriving local native foods and botanicals industry. Through the Djakitjuk Djanga grants program, we have supported and contributed to the participation and leadership of Victoria’s First Peoples in the development of a culturally authentic industry.

In 2020, thirteen Aboriginal Victorian-owned businesses were awarded a Djakitjuk Djanga grant to support the development of their native food and botanical business.

“Traditional Owners are proud to share the benefits of our ancient knowledge and practices with the world, so whether through food, medicines, supplements, cosmetics or other products, this program will help us grow a culturally authentic industry, boosting our local businesses and economies.”
– Federation CEO, Paul Paton

Discover more about the successful Djakitjuk Djanga projects.