Why aren’t native ingredients in the shops?

Straight off the back of his television cooking debut, Matt Moncrieff is using his fifteen minutes of fame to urge big supermarkets to stock more native Australian ingredients and herbs.

Moncrieff appeared in the latest season of reality cooking competition, My Kitchen Rules, alongside best friend Kaitlin ‘KT’ Pisani. The Yamatji man, 36, said he was motivated to participate in the TV show to raise awareness about native Australian ingredients.

“There are aisles in our supermarkets dedicated to international foods … but they don’t stock our incredible native ingredients.

“I’d never even watched the show before. I saw it as a platform to showcase our native foods,” he said.

Cooking dishes like buttermilk fried crocodile with aniseed myrtle slaw and kangaroo loin saltbush purée and pepper berry jus for judges Manu Fieldel and Matt Preston, Moncrieff said he was inundated with questions from viewers on where to source native ingredients.

When filming was complete, Moncrieff launched an online petition urging Coles and Woolworths supermarkets to stock native Australian ingredients and herbs to make it easier to cook traditional foods.

“I want to walk into a supermarket and buy the food I grew up eating but that’s just not possible,” he said.

“There is a unique opportunity for Australians to connect with Aboriginal history and culture through traditional food, with a modern twist. All we need is our supermarkets to stock these basic ingredients.

Matt and Kaitlin were the first pair in the long-running series to showcase native Australian ingredients.

“There are aisles in our supermarkets dedicated to international foods like Asian, Mexican and Italian, but they don’t stock our incredible native ingredients when they’re literally growing on our doorstep.

“Implementing a dedicated team for actual procurement and supply and demand inside these large corporations that focus on how they can implement change in this space, I feel it’s a missing space that could drive so many job opportunities.

“We’re definitely ready to have these conversations with them”.

A spokesperson for Woolworths said the company was keen to expand its offerings. “We’re always looking for more avenues to stock Indigenous products, both individual ingredients, and supplier-based products,” the spokesperson said.

A Coles spokesperson said the company already stocked a number of brands which contained native ingredients.

“We are proud to sell products which contain native ingredients and support Indigenous businesses in both Coles Supermarkets and across Coles Liquor.”


Extracted from The Sydney Morning Herald

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