HARVESTED IN AUSTRALIA, PROUDLY MADE IN MELBOURNE.
WE BELIEVE IN PROTECTING INDIGENOUS ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE
We are a small business that is determined to continue to be a part of a better future where the native food industry plays a positive role in the lives of all involved. From our start, we've partnered with primary producers that respect the ingredients, the country, and the immense history of native bushfood. We believe that native ingredients are the most local and the most sustainable food you can buy in Australia.
Our search started in Victoria, but after meeting and learning about the impact native ingredients have, we have since expanded to supply ingredients from a range of Indigenous Communities, Wild Harvesters and Small Farmers who believe in caring for country and the environment they work in.
Australia has long been known as an agricultural powerhouse producing enough food to feed over 70 million people (almost 3 times our population), yet less that 1% of that produced is food that is indigenous to Australia. Bushfood has evolved to suit the varied landscape and weather, and generally requires less chemical use than overseas species.
We believe that the future of Australia's agriculture is in native foods.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
MELBOURNE BUSHFOOD OPERATES ON THE LAND OF THE WURUNDJERI PEOPLE OF THE KULIN NATION. WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE IMMENSE HISTORY AND KNOWLEDGE OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOVEREIGNTY WAS NEVER CEDED.
We are guided by our close relationships with Traditional Owners on country, and pay our respects to Aboriginal Elders past, present, and emerging.
Looking past quarterly growth, every 3 months we collate an Impact Report which helps us identify ways to improve our Impact, improve our transparency, and ensure we're reaching our goal as a social enterprise.
This report sources data from our team's Impact Surverys, from information supplied by our supply chain, as well as from feedback from you. Our goal is to find ways to improve our Impact as well as to increase transparency.
This year has been a unique one. We've faced challenges in our supply chain due to fires, impacts of the ongoing pandemic, and being unable to travel to meet our suppliers due to Melbourne's lockdown. Yet, despite this, we've been able to offer bushfood to homes across not only Melbourne, but around Australia, and we've been able to give back to community by committing to purchase much need equipment like solar batteries, and have been able to donate thousands to our non-for-profit Indigenous nursery that propagates our bushfood plants.
I am humbled to be a part of this journey and am excited to launch our quarterly Transparency and Impact Statement for the last quarter of 2020.
I am so grateful for everyone's support as without you we wouldn't be able to do this.
- Hayden Marks
1. INDIGENOUS PROCUREMENT POLICY
We're about building strong and independant communities that can use their land and unique cultural assets to drive direct social and enconomic growth in all parts of the country. Our Indigenous Procurement Policy is our way of having checks to ensure we're supporting Indigenous participation in the native food industry.
Here's how we're tracking:
Other* indicates bushfood producers that do not fit in the above categories.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
We assess across our supply chain ways of making our products more sustainable. Whether that's encouraging producers to apply more permaculture techniques in their farms, or choosing packaging that is more eco-friendly, we're always looking ways to improve our footprint.
Goal - 100% biodegradable packaging by December 2021.
We're been on track to achieve this goal. We've completely turned out chocolate packaging upside down from using 100% plastic to 0% plastic.
We've also reduced our plastic in our postage boxes by 95% by using pine shavings to protect your products, and use an ink-free printer for all our shipping labels.
In the past 3 months, we've removed plastic satchels and have replaced them with bio-degradable satchel bags and have incorporated a soy-based ink and a stamp to brand our boxes.
What's left to do?
- Remove plastic tape from our boxes.
- Replace our herb and spices, tea, and fruit powder packaging with biodegradable packaging.
- Take a portion of our profits to support an on-the-ground organisation that is restoring Australia's natural environment
3. HOW WE HAVE GIVEN BACK
Acting in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol (an international treaty on the protection of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge) is essential to our beliefs. We operate benefit-sharing with our suppliers.
We pay the prices that our suppliers set, and pay (in addition to the cost price) for required equipment, give a % of our profit, and direct co-contributions to a range of non-for-profits, Indigeneous Communities, and charities.
We also believe in assisting in other causes like hiring hospitality workers who lost work due to the pandemic.
Here's how we're tracking:
- We've committed to buying essential solar batteries worth between $5,000 and $10,000 for the Nyul Nyul community in north-eastern Broome.
- As a co-contribution, paid over $3,000 to our partner non-for-profit Indigenous nursery that grows our bushfood plants. They help to turn industrial sites into native parklands.
- We've hired one hospitality worker full-time who lost his job due to the pandemic.
Our 3 Month Goals
This report has highlighted that we have room to improve our environmental and social impact. In particular, we have realized that we need to increase partnerships with on the ground organisations that align with our beliefs - and have identified Greening Australia as a potential partner. We also believe that Indigenous participation is vital to the native food sector, and want to increase Indigenou participation in our supply chain by 5% - this will be by increasing business with Aboriginal-owned enterprises, and ensuring we're meeting our Indigenous Procurement Policy.
Our goals for the next 3 months:
1. Improve our impact.
We've identified that we can always be doing more. By partnering with on the ground organisations, we can help drive impact by supporting organisations that improve Australia's ecosystem whilst bringing jobs to remote and rural regions of Australia.
2. Increase Indigenous participation in our supply chain by 5%.
To do so, we'll be expanding our network to ensure products are coming from Aboriginal-owned enterprises that share our beliefs in caring for country to bring high-quality native ingredients to more homes across Australia.
3. Build and increase our transparency when in comes to our claims in giving back.
If we say we do it, we should prove it. We're a social enterprise and our focus is on bringing native ingredients to pantries across Australia whilst supporting the communities who supply us. We'll continue to release 3 month reports to track our progress, and get as close as we can to full transparency as possible.
We're committed to being open and transparent on how we give back. That's why we're releasing 3 month reports that detail what we've done in the past 3 months and what we'll achieve the following 3 months.
If anything is unclear, please reach out to us!