• Organic lemon myrtle. Image: Australian Native Products
    Organic lemon myrtle. Image: Australian Native Products
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Around 70 native food businesses attended the inaugural First Nations Native Food Blockchain Workshop in Victoria, exploring how the technology could support the sector and uphold Indigenous cultural intellectual property rights for Victorian Traditional Owners.

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

Gunditjmara Elder, Professor Richard J Franklin, said blockchain had unveiled promising pathways for Aboriginal data sovereignty and community empowerment, crucial for uplifting 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,” said Franklin.

Blockchain technology offers 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.

Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Natalie Hutchins said, “This is a great example of Aboriginal businesses coming together to drive a strong and sustainable native food industry and promote economic development.”

The workshop aligned 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.

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