Workshop designed to help boost native food markets


Tuesday, 27 February, 2024

Workshop designed to help boost native food markets

The Victorian Government is helping to boost the native foods industry by supporting Traditional Owners with new options to track and sell native foods through blockchain.

Around 70 native foods business practitioners attended the inaugural First Nations Native Food Blockchain Workshop at Healesville last week.

The workshop was delivered by the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub in partnership with Agriculture Victoria and the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners Corporation (FVTOC).

Victorian Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence said, “This workshop provides more ways to help ensure Victorian Aboriginal native food businesses are equipped with the skills and technology they need to thrive.”

Over two days, the workshop explored the potential for blockchain technology to support positive outcomes for Victorian Aboriginal native food businesses. The workshop also focused on ways in which blockchain can support and uphold Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property rights for Victorian Traditional Owners.

Blockchain technology can provide new abilities for data management and governance by enabling decentralised and tamper-resistant storage. It enables new and unique ways to further enable Aboriginal self-determination and data sovereignty for First Nations people within the native foods and botanicals industry.

The technology also offers a secure and transparent system for tracking product authenticity, with the ability to store and manage traditional knowledge and stories.

Gunditjmara Elder Professor Richard J Franklin said, “Blockchain unveils promising pathways for Aboriginal data sovereignty and community empowerment, crucial for uplifting our communities and ensuring improved outcomes.

“I am enthusiastic about the possibilities that blockchain holds, particularly within the native food and botanicals industry. Technology must be one of the many spearpoints we use in charting toward a tomorrow Australia.”

This workshop aligns with the objectives of the Traditional Owner Native Food and Botanicals Strategy, developed by the FVTOC and the Victorian Government in 2021, which laid out a plan to create a strong, authentic and sustainable bushfood sector.

Image credit: iStock.com/chameleonseye

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