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Roundtable could be key step towards boom for Indigenous agricultural products

Callan Morse -

A series of roundtables to define Indigenous agricultural products are set to be held across April and May.

Hosted by the National Farmers' Federation in a joint funding arrangement between the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) and the Australia Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), the roundtables are the next consultation stage in the Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework Project.

The project seeks to determine the broad characteristics for defining Indigenous agricultural products, and to support future development of Indigenous agricultural principles.

ILSC Group chief executive Joe Morrison told National Indigenous Times the framework will have a marked impact on Australia's Indigenous agricultural sector.

"The framework will mark a significant development for the Indigenous agricultural sector by delivering further opportunities for Indigenous people through supply chain value adds and an increase in prospects for Indigenous farmers, producers, and processors to enter export markets," the Dagoman and Mualgal man said.

"Defining Indigenous agricultural products – by working together – will play a major part in ensuring the opportunities are clear for Australia's first peoples and set the path ahead."

Initial consultations with a range of key stakeholders has identified connection to culture, connection to country, sustainability, collective benefit and economic self-determination as being critical to the definition of an Indigenous Agricultural Product

National Farmers' Federation president David Jochinke said it was essential the widest range of voices are heard during the roundtables to ensure project's objectives are achieved, including delivering ongoing prosperity to Indigenous peoples and business by being able to demonstrate authenticity and verifying claims about their products.

"The first and most important step is to reach agreement among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander producers about what characteristics must define an Indigenous agricultural product," Mr Jochinke said.

"We are calling all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved in agriculture, as well as non-Indigenous people interested in promoting Indigenous prosperity through agriculture, to participate in one of the roundtables."

The virtual roundtables will have three key focuses, including; confirming support for the five characteristics of Indigenous agricultural products that have been identified through initial consultation with Indigenous people and business, seeking input on a proposed working definition of an Indigenous agricultural product that draws on the identified five characteristics, and testing interest in establishing a supporting credential system, enabling producers to make verified claims about their products in market.

Those interested in registering to participate in a roundtable can do so via the National Farmers' Federation website.

Indigenous Agricultural Product Framework Project virtual roundtable upcoming events:

Thursday 18 April 12pm-2pm

Tuesday 23 April 3pm-5pm

Wednesday 24 April 10am-12pm

Wednesday 1 May 5:30pm-7:30pm

Thursday 2 May 11am-1pm

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