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food notes

If you cannot find what you are looking for on these pages, please JUST ASK!

the methods

Traditional or artisan methods used to grow or produce food rely substantially on the knowledge and craftsmanship of the individual maker. Over the past few decades there has been a re-emphasis on traditional production methods, the use of hand processing or other artisan techniques and especially the use of natural and organic ingredients. The methods demand high quality raw materials in their natural state, which have undergone rigorous selection criteria. The production process respects or reproduces natural processes, without the use of chemical additives to force or accelerate them.

Some examples are:

  • Fermentation or Lacto-fermentation – using natural sugars, enzymes and bacteria to produce bread, preserves, cheese and beverages.
  • Salting, Smoking or Drying – traditionally used to preserve or extend the life of many fresh or raw products.
  • Organic or Bio-Dynamic Farming – pesticide free, hormone free, sustainable, ecological, accredited methods.
  • Grinding, Turning, Planting, Weeding, Stirring, or anything else done by hand using purpose built equipment.

the regulations

There are lots of rules and regulations surrounding the growing and production of food, especially if you intend on selling from a public retail outlet. Many ingredients and products require a production licence, so please make sure you are aware of the applicable Food Standards and Food Safety Regulations of your State. This may mean some farming or processing can only be done at a registered premises or by the producers themselves. A list of the relevant National and State authorities is available on our website and we suggest you contact the Environmental Health Officer at your local Council to ensure your project is compliant.

the ingredients

Bush Tucker or Native Produce: Lots to choose from, indigenous expertise required. Bush Tucker has many meanings and forms depending on which ‘country’ you are in, so try connecting with your local indigenous community. Lucky for you, Matt Halloran at Frog and Toad have setup a new section on their online forum just for our competition for questions about Bush Tucker. Also, try looking at the farming fact sheets provided by Australian Native Produce Pty Ltd

Eggs: Make a home for your poultry of choice and use compost collected at school to supplement their feed. Also refer Poultry references below. Try Free Range Egg Farms

Herbs: Can be grown in existing school gardens or in pots. For organic herb growers try The Organic Herb Growers of Australia and click on the Members button For seed purchases try

Honey: Construct an apiary and become beekeepers. Australian Bee Keeping Information Page

Fish: Catch ‘em, Farm ‘em, Fillet ‘em, Smoke ‘em. Search under the subject Fisheries and Aquaculture at the website of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry also refer Seafood & Seaweed below

Fruit & Vegetables: Lots to choose from depending on the season and growing time. For a list of what is in season, have a look at this site by Melbourne Foodies Allan Campion and Michelle Curtis which lists the seasonal fruits and vegetables at the bottom of this page For more information that you can poke a spade at, have a browse at Gardening Australia or Horticulture Australia Limited

Game: Farm some deer, kangaroo, crocodile, camel or rabbits for slaughter and dressing. To avoid the potential emotional realities involved in the farming of animals for food find a local abattoir and have them do what has to be done? The CSIRO have been looking at farming rabbits and have contracted a grower or for Deer Farmers try

Grains, Legumes, Nuts or Seeds: Grow for cooking, sprouting, milling, roasting or dry for spices. Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia The WA Dept of Agriculture has a special section listing Pulse Growers’ and don’t forget the Grain Growers’ Association

Milk & Dairy: Keep a cow or a goat or adopt one at a local farm and learn how to milk it (by hand if you dare). Refer firstly to Dairy Australia

Pork: As for game, but using piggies. A starting point is Australian Pork Limited

Poultry: Farm some chickens, turkeys, game birds, ostrich, emus, geese or ducks for slaughter and dressing. The poultry itself can be judged by entering birds in shows or exhibitions. For chickens you could try The Chook Shed or for rare poultry breeding contact Ian Mullins of The Australian Heritage Farm

Meat: As for game, pork & poultry, but using beef, sheep, or goats.
A starting point is Meat and Livestock Association

Seafood, Seaweed & Yabbies: Crustaceans, critters and vegetables of the sea or their freshwater cousins.
The Gippsland Aquaculture Industry Network or the NSW Fisheries Department or South Aust

Other: Any other edible stuff you can think of.

the products

Beverages: Lemonade, Cordials, Herbal Tea
Breads: Sourdough, Wood-fired, Unleavened
Breeds: Any farmed animal that can be eaten
Cakes & Biscuits: Too many options to list
Cereals: Fresh Pasta, Noodles, Ground Flours
Dairy: Butter, Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt
Confectionary: Endless Possibilities including Hand Made Chocolates
Condiments (natural or dried): Salts, Peppers, Spices, Seaweeds
Condiments (fermented or cooked): Pickles, Relish, Vinegar, Chutney
Cured & Processed Meats: Hams, Bacon, Salami, Sausages, Pate
Fish & Seafood etc: Smoked, Shucked, Bagged
Free Range: Eggs or Animals
Fruit: Fresh, Packaged, Dried
Herbs: Bunches, Chopped, Dried
Honey or Syrups: Jars, Honeycomb, Flavoured
Packaged Meals: Curries, Salads, Soups or Lunchboxes
Oils & Essences: Flavoured Oil, Nut Oil, Essential Oil
Oven Baked: Wood-fired, Tandoor, Campfire
Preserves & Jams: Preserved Fruits, Marmalades, Jams, Pastes
Raw Meat, Game or Poultry: Organic, Grain Fed
Sauces & Dips: Sweet, Savoury, Pesto, Salsa, Hummus,
Vegetables: Fresh Packed, Sliced, Diced

Industry Groups and Associations

Australian Agricultural Organisations
Agriculture Around Australia produced by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
Australian Farmers’ Markets Association
Farmers Online Market (good if you are located in Queensland)
Daylesford Macedon Produce
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems (CSE)
NASAA (the organic certifying body) has a great list of producers and processors and organic retail outlets.
The Natural Food Hub
Nutri-Tech Distributors Send an email to Bryan Sait and the folks at Nutri-Tech if you have a question about soil improvment, sustainable growing or details of a local soil expert.
The Rural Industries Research Development Corp has heaps of information to download.

Aus-Meat Ltd is responsible for establishing and maintaining national industry standards for meat production and processing.

Australasian Bottled Water Institute Inc represents ethical bottlers of water in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. The Institute also assists bottlers and consumers in resolving any dispute in a non-legal framework. ABWI has a Model Code which sets standards for the safe bottling of quality water. The Model Code is also the basis for membership and requires all bottlers to submit themselves to an annual third party unannounced audit based on the Model Code.

Australian Banana Growers Council Inc is a peak body representing banana growers in Australia.

Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc is the peak body representing the chicken meat industry in Australia. The ACMF provides online information to consumers on food safety and handling for chicken meat.

Australian Citrus Growers Inc is a professional association representing the Australian citrus growing industry.

Australian Dairy Farmers' Federation is a federal organisation representing dairy farmers nationally.
Australian Dairy Industry Council is a peak policy council for the dairy industry. The ADIC provides consumer information and education on dairy products and production in Australia.

Australian Dried Fruits Association is a professional association representing dried fruit producers in Australia. The ADFA provides information to consumers about dried fruit products in Australia.

Australian Meat Processor Corporation is a national body representing all processors active in the red meat processing industry. The AMPC provides support for Industry Programs and research and development projects undertaken by the meat processing industry in Australia.

Australian Seafood Industry Council is an industry body representing the commercial fishing, aquaculture and post-harvest seafood industries in Australia. ASIC can assist consumers with general enquiries:

Australian Soft Drinks Association Ltd is the peak council of non-alcoholic water-based beverages producers, distributors, franchisers and suppliers to the industry. ASDA has developed a strong competition policy and aims to develop standards that assist in the production of safe products to consumers. ASDA assists members in dealing with consumer complaints and aims to ensure fair treatment for both members and their customers.

Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation is a Commonwealth statutory authority whose objective is to enhance the operating environment for the Australian wine industry through market development, quality and integrity, and knowledge development. The Corporation collects and analyses wine sector statistics and hosts a readily accessible AWBC Wine Industry Information Centre, a one-stop shop for wine sector information. The Corporation licenses exporters, inspects and issues permits for all Australian wines and brandies destined for export, runs a label integrity program to prevent false or misleading labelling, and through the Geographical Indications Committee, defines and protects the identities of the grape producing regions of Australian and certain other countries.

Cattle Council of Australia is a peak producer organisation representing Australia's beef cattle producers.

Dairy Australia Dairy Australia is an industry-owned service company, limited by guarantee, whose members are farmers and industry bodies. They deliver services that enable one of Australia's most important rural industries to be innovative, sustainable, and internationally competitive. Their major activities are R&D investment, information, issues management, national marketing and international trade development. Their strategies bring together and build on the expertise of the former Australian Dairy Corporation and the Dairy Research and Development Corporation.

Food and Beverage Importers Association is an industry association that represents importers of food and beverages. The Association can assist consumers with information about practices of importers and government controls on imports, as well as what imports contribute to the Australian community and economy.

Food Safety Information Council The Food Safety Information Council is a group of organisations whose mission is to reduce the number of Australians getting sick from food poisoning. Its members include representatives of government, the food industry, community groups, and professional associations. Each November the Council hosts Food Safety Week, with simple messages on how consumers can improve handling techniques.

Master Fish Merchants Association is an industry organisation representing seafood wholesaler and retail businesses in Australia. The MFMA gives advice to consumers on issues relating to seafood, seafood safety issues, seafood marketing and distribution.Web:

National Farmers' Federation is made up of State and Territory farming organisations, commodity councils, associates and affiliates. NFF does not have individual farmer members, however by joining a state farming organisation, farmers contribute to and support NFF. NFF represents the interests of the agricultural sector nationally. Under NFF's structure, State and Territory farm associations are responsible for general State and Territory issues, commodity councils for commodity specific issues, and NFF is responsible for national and international issues that affect more than one State, or more than one commodity.

Ricegrowers' Association of Australia Inc is the collective voice of rice growers in Australia. The RGA represents 1700 voluntary members in the Murrumbidgee and Murray Valleys of NSW and the Murray Valley in Victoria. The RGA acts as a mediator between government and non-government organisations, the media and the community and Australian rice growers.

Seafood Services Australia is an industry/government partnership which aims to be a catalyst for sustainable development of the Australian seafood industry. SSA works with stakeholders to provide services that help the industry to continually improve its practices and to add value throughout the seafood supply chain.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia is a peak national body representing the interests of sheepmeat producers.

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