Minister for Education

Member for Groom


14 November 2019

New opportunities for unique Australian native foods

Australian researchers will help turn bush tucker into new jobs and business opportunities while also showcasing native Australian cuisine to the world. 

The Morrison Government is providing $3.6 million to establish a new research training centre to develop selected native Australian crops, food and ingredients.

Member for Groom John McVeigh today 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 with the potential to become branded food products: Native Herbs and Spices, Native Fruits, Native Nuts, Kakadu Plum, Wattle Seeds, Native Honey and Native Seaweed.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government was funding research to commercialise native food.

“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.

“The Morrison Government is funding research that fosters collaboration between Australian universities and industry to deliver outcomes that benefit everyone.”

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.

Collaborating 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.

For more information visit the ARC website.

Media contact:
Tehan: Byron Vale 02 6277 7350 |
McVeigh: Clare Siddins 0427 200 674