Have you ever wondered about the native grains that grew across Australia? Whether they could be integrated into your production system? Or what role native grains can play in the shift to a low carbon future?
Join us to learn the answers to these questions and more with researchers from Black Duck Foods, an Indigenous social enterprise committed to traditional food growing processes that care for Country and return economic benefits directly to Indigenous people. Chris Andrew, Black Duck Foods General Manager, and Jacob Birch, lead researcher, will share some of their knowledge and experience in native grains.
In the shift to a low emissions future, deep rooted perennial grasses which are well known sequesters of soil carbon may play a crucial role. Both Chris and Jacob are involved in developing the native grains sector roadmap, work that draws together the climatic, landscape resilience, economic and social benefits of a strong native grains system across the country.
This session will be ran as a workshop, to both share available information about the role of native grains, while also allowing Chris and Jacob to work with farmers to understand the barriers to uptake in many of today’s farming systems.
Chris is the General Manager of Black Duck Foods Ltd, an Indigenous social enterprise committed to traditional food systems that care for Country and return economic benefits directly to Indigenous peoples. An early career in the global investment banking and oil sectors underpin his focus on managing people and enterprises dedicated to accelerating community development outcomes. Chris holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Teaching.
Jacob Birch is a Gamilaraay mari (First Nations Australian man) through matrilineal descent. The Gamilaraay are grass people who have intangible cultural links to grasses and the grain they produce. Jacob is embracing this cultural connection and passionately working with native Australian grasses, particularly their seeds (grain), that have been traditionally used for thousands of generations by First Nations peoples across Australia. Jacob has conducted multidisciplinary research, which includes research into the nutritional qualities of traditional grains for human health, and Indigenist research methodologies which give agency to First Nations voices and experience. Jacob now finds himself working with Black Duck Foods, a First Nations led social enterprise, preparing a research and development roadmap for traditional grains. Jacob’s aim is to work towards re-establishing traditional grain systems as a way of improving food security and access; improving biodiversity and food diversity; reinvigorating culture and community health; generating income sources for rural and remote communities; and bringing vibrancy and sustainability back to the land. Importantly, Jacob works to ensure a traditional grain industry is led by Australia’s First Nations people.