In the early days , where you ever met with any resistance or challenges ?
Our biggest challenge to date has been the educational piece . We are a small company , with limited resources , trying to educate a market on products they have never heard of . Since launching six years ago , the tide has definitely changed . Schools are educating students on native produce , products are appearing on supermarket shelves and chefs are increasingly incorporating native produce . Native produce ticks so many boxes . It is sourced locally using sustainable farming practices . It is nutritious and delicious . With these factors in mind and the link to Indigenous Australia , it is becoming easier to convince Australians to switch to native produce .
How do you think the industry will change over coming years ?
We ' re seeing native produce begin to scatter through the Majors . I think that more and more this is just going to become common food , which is fantastic . The limitation is going to be supply . We ' re addressing that with a new business we started earlier this year called the Native Harvest Initiative which is focussed on increasing the supply chain . There are three arms to the business : 1 . Indigenous communities wild harvesting produce ;
2 . Working with farmers that are currently producing native produce to plant more produce , and ;
3 . Working with farmers that are currently harvesting non-native produce to diversify or repurpose their crops to harvesting native produce .
We guarantee the farmers that we will purchase the produce at the end , so it mitigates their risk .
It sounds like The Australian Superfood Co is creating social impact . Is that right ?
We definitely have a social impact focus ! Since its launch in 2015 , The Australian Superfood Co has had a policy of prioritising the sourcing of native produce from Indigenous Australians . We work with Indigenous communities to wild harvest produce , as well as with Indigenous farmers cultivating native fruits , herbs and seeds .
Our procurement programs have generated seasonal employment for over 1000 Indigenous Australians . The opportunity to earn income is highly valued , and a number of communities use its popularity to leverage better educational outcomes for children , such as only allowing adults to collect fruit if their school-age children are attending school .
© Dietitian Connection 39 Infuse | May 2021