Economic Participation of Indigenous Communities
Just, Equitable and Reconciled Australia.
For a Better Future
The Australian agribusiness sector is a major player in Australia’s economy. In 2022 the agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and food and beverage manufacturing sectors contributed an estimated $208 billion to the Australian economy. The country has grand plans for growth, yet it is not as simple as ‘produce it and they will come’. Consumer preferences and expectations are changing. Consumers are seeking more nutritious and innovative foods; they want to know where their food and beverage products come from and be reassured that the production of these goods has a minimal impact on the environment.
Australian businesses are seeking innovative solutions to meet the demand for changing consumer preferences; in particular for a variety of nutritious and sustainably produced food and beverage products. However, the vast cultural divide between the export-focused businesses of tomorrow and the small businesses producing unique ingredients pose supply chain issues; and large companies are struggling to find small businesses with an adequate supply of unique ingredients.
As the world’s oldest living culture, Indigenous peoples have a deep connection to Country, passed down through the generations and developed over tens of thousands of years. Indigenous people hold valuable knowledge of Australia’s flora and fauna and of sustainable land and sea management. Yet barriers limit the ability for First Nations to participate in the broader agribusiness sector. For example, Indigenous businesses are typically small and have limited access to capital, therefore their ability to market, grow and scale is constrained. Likewise non-Indigenous businesses lack confidence in engaging with First Nations businesses with reasons including a lack of understanding about how to connect with Indigenous businesses in a culturally sensitive way; and a lack understanding of the value of Indigenous Knowledges and IP to feel confident in negotiating a fair business agreement.
Economic Participation of Indigenous Communities Cooperative Research Centre (EPIC CRC) is supported by a wide range of over 60 partners, including Indigenous businesses, private and public companies, government agencies, community groups, universities, and other relevant organisations. With the support of Reconciliation Australia as a key partner, EPIC CRC brings together businesses from first foods, botanicals, land and water management supply chains to tackle challenges that could not be solved if not through a collaborative effort.
Australia’s Indigenous population is expected to reach 1.1 million by 2031 (ABS 2019).
The Indigenous employment rate for 15- to 65-year-olds has remained relatively unchanged between 2008 - 2019, at 49% compared to around 75% for non-Indigenous Australians.
Significant economic benefit from increased employment of Indigenous Australians, with a $6.5 billion national gain by 2031 by closing the gap in remote areas alone and a $24 billion if closed nationally.
Walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.
What we want to do
EPIC CRC aims to develop an internationally competitive, dynamic and growing First Foods Agribusiness and Fisheries sector, built on Indigenous principles of sustainability and ecosystem thinking. It will build human capacity to drive this sector and foster transformational change in agribusiness and fisheries supply chains, whilst fostering the holistic and multisector perspectives of business and the environment of its Indigenous business partners.
Sustainable and productive land and waterscapes enabling indigenous economic participation and development.
To develop economies from sustainable land and sea Country, working with partners on innovative solutions that deliver cultural, economic, environmental, and social impact.