Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Anika Valenti, Senior Solicitor at Terri Janke and Company, has been working to help protect Indigenous knowledge in the bushfood industry and guide Indigenous businesses on their path to success. Bushfoods are native Australian plants and animals, and any products derived from this, such as lemon myrtle, finger lime, wattleseed, Kakadu plum and kangaroo meat.
One significant project Anika has been working on is Setting up for Success – A Guide for Aboriginal Bushfood Businesses, commissioned by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in WA. The Bushfoods Guide seeks to assist Indigenous businesses in the Australian native foods industry, a niche area enjoying high levels of national and international interest, highlighting the unique, flavoursome and healthy properties of Australia’s bushfoods.
Indigenous-owned bushfood businesses are unique in that they bring Indigenous knowledge, including farming techniques, sustainable growing and harvesting practices, management processes for land and waters, and other cultural aspects such as language and story.
In 2019, the National Indigenous Bushfoods Symposium estimated that the Bushfoods industry is worth approximately $20 million annually. While the number of Indigenous people engaged in wild harvesting of bushfoods on country is relatively high, Aboriginal businesses represent only 1-2% of the market presence.
Anika says, “There is opportunity for Aboriginal businesses to lead and develop the Australian bushfoods industry and ensure that the commercialisation of bushfoods and Indigenous knowledge and culture is Aboriginal-led, culturally informed and sustainable for the future.”
As the industry continues to grow, Indigenous people and communities can lead the way in:
The development of unique bushfoods and bushfood products
Building sustainable businesses on country that bring employment, skills and cultural knowledge transfer to community
Strengthening community connection to country
Controlling the use of native food sources and Indigenous knowledge by the wider industry
Ensuring that bushfoods and related Indigenous knowledge is developed, used and commercialised in a culturally appropriate, respectful and sustainable way that ensures benefit sharing and respect of country.
The Bushfoods Guide is currently being finalised and will be made publicly available in early 2021.
Anika Valenti. Artwork: Rene Kulitja, 'Ancient Tracks and Waterholes'
TJC and Anika can help you with:
Setting up your bushfood business
Protection of your business brand, including trade mark registration
Commercial contracts that are compliant with Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) and protection of Indigenous knowledge
Indigenous Cultural & Intellectual Property (ICIP) Protocols
Contact email@example.com or call +61 2 9693 2577