We were recently thrilled to announce this year’s NSW-ACT RIRDC Rural Women’s Award Finalists, who are each achieving remarkable things within their respective industries in NSW. We will share their profiles with you over the coming 2 weeks to provide some more insight into these amazing women and their projects. The first of our four Finalists is Rebecca Barnes from Ballina
After an international career in finance and insurance Rebecca Barnes moved to the northern NSW coastal town of Ballina 20 years ago seeking a career and lifestyle change that would allow her to balance work and family.
When research led her to realise the nutritional benefits and untapped potential of Australian native foods Rebecca and her business partner established Playing with Fire Native Foods.
Australia’s native foods are rich and vibrant in colour taste and nutrition. There are now 15 commercialised varieties available which are in very high demand due to the growing interest from chefs, foodies, nutritionists and the international markets. So much so that demand outstrips supply in more than half of these foods.
An industry leader Playing with Fire Native Foods grows, processes, manufacturers and supplies native foods both domestically, to local farmers markets, gourmet food shops and high-end restaurants, and internationally to Asia, USA and Europe.
With demand currently outstripping supply due to the growing interest from chefs, foodies, nutritionists and international markets Rebecca believes the industry is at a critical point and needs to expand to ensure its survival.
Rebecca would use the bursary to showcase the native food industry by hosting a 2-day conference to provide industry leaders with a platform to connect and share their stories and to educate potential growers about the enormous potential of bushfoods.
For more information on the four Finalists or to find out about how you can apply for the Award please visit The Rural Women’s Network.