Statement of Intent
Wild Forage recognises the impact that our day to day business activities can have on the surrounding environment, public areas and the local community whilst out foraging.
Being an advocate for sustainability and ethical foraging Wild Forage Australia is committed to mitigating potential environmental and social sustainability risks. To achieve this, we have adopted the following policies and guiding principals to ensure we are meeting our core values.
We recognise the importance of a credible and transparent approach to our sustainability commitments. To minimise risks of green washing, Wild Forage Australia is engaging various industry stakeholders to identify a formal systematic framework to measure and track sustainability performance. Key government departments, environmental protection agencies and local council have been consulted to ensure Wild Forage Australia’s business activities have been reviewed and the necessary approvals sort.
Code of Conduct
Foraging has been around for thousands of years however in recent times, foraging has been making a resurgence. The more people who forage, the more substantial the knowledge is of wild herbs and plants. Whilst this is good for chefs knowledge, the environment is often put at risk from those who over indulge clearing whole areas of produce. Wild Forage Australia has adopted the following STEWARDSHIP strategy in response to preserving ecosystem services, reducing wastage and adopting a culture of compliance.
In response to the above, Wild Forage Australia is committed to the following codes of conduct:
- To sustain natural wild edible plant growth by limiting the total picking area to within 20% of the total available area for ground cover species.
- Adoption of a tread lightly philosophy to mitigate against surrounding vegetation damage.
- Foraging of edible wild and native plants within a population over a larger area to protect vital ecosystem services and any visual impact on the natural landscape. Adoption of Guidelines for Sustainable Foraging developed by the Nordic Food Lab, (Nov, 2012). Mitigate against public liability through continual education and research (for which liability insurance is held).
- Minimise edible plant wastage by utilising correct pruning and snipping techniques encouraging new growth and regeneration of the species.
- Foraging only vibrant healthy plants only.
- To only forage the species that are growing in abundance and not to take whole plants, instead snipping only the tops to maintain the plants ability to persist and reproduce.
- The collection of edible seaweed species away from possible effluent discharge and mouths of estuaries leaving the hold fast in place to ensure continual resilience.
- Assuming a caretaker responsibility and advocacy role for environmental stewardship as a key stakeholder with interests in the longevity of the industry.
- Compliance with all applicable state and local government regulations including but not limited to The Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Nature Conservation Wildlife Management Regulation 2006.
- Formal consultation with DEHP, including a proven track record of due diligence including the supply of all potential foraged species for review.
- Not harvesting what is unknown, instead taking taking photographs for formal identification and comparison against known literature
Third Party Verification and Monitoring
Wild Forage Australia understands the importance of data and metrics. This is the only way to show year on year improvement in environmental and social sustainability performance. Metrics ensure that any adopted practices can be accurately measured and ‘benchmarked’ appropriately.
Due to the absence of any industry baseline foraging data, the company has formed a relationship as a member of the Association of Foragers. This association sets the international standards for what constitutes sustainable foraging. It sets the guidelines and best practice standards to ensure regulatory compliance and is a meeting place for fellow foragers to raise issues and concerns.
Wild Forage Australia is also a member of Noosa Slow Food and is a 2017 Snail of Approval endorsed member. ‘Slow Food’ is a global, grassroots organisation with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment. The association’s activities seek to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread the education of taste, and align producers of excellent foods to consumers through events and initiatives. Slow Food programs are designed to focus on the centrality of food and one of the key areas is the protection of food biodiversity.