What is it?
What is Follow the Flowers?
Follow the Flowers is a major initiative of Outback Academy Australia. Formally transitioned from the East West Alliance in 2021, Follow the Flowers farmers are connected for the purpose of national supply chain business that returns Country and communities to health.
The business movement is open to all land tenure types including Traditional Owner owned and jointly managed lands; Aboriginal community-controlled organisation (ACCO) lands/farms such as health cooperatives; and private, family-owned farms. The key to membership is a willingness to collaborate, and shared aspirations for economic, social and environmental outcomes on the farms.
Find out more about this initiative in our promotional video below.
How does it work?
How does OAA work on-the-ground with farmers?
OAA Business Leads broker expertise and resources required for capacity and capability building with farmers to meet national and stand-alone supply opportunities. They also collaborate to build skills and resources to effectively operate core business operations from farms. Too often they are expected to rely on external resources and people. This is about building self-determined, locally owned and benefiting businesses.
Our first products together are honey, Australian Native Wildflowers, botanicals and farm-based tourism. This work is being done under the trademark Follow the Flowers.
Outback Academy works beside farmers in a co-design, collaborative business development model. We bring the technical and relevant other
expertise needed to drive holistic and regenerative farm planning and practice, alongside core business and capability building needs.
Working Groups are co-chaired by the business owner and the OAA Business Development Leads. They meet regularly with a focus on doing what can be done with the expertise and resources that are available now, while clarifying and working together to lobby for what is needed going forward. Five-year business plans are developed for each farm that detail the individual farm story, while providing information to inform collective investment and other needs.
How to join
How do farmers join the business movement?
There is a process of voluntary engagement and informed consent to start-up. This may include an initial rapid site assessment for feasibility on the intended site/s for national supply product. Currently farmers are focused on Australian Native Wildflowers flowers, botanicals and honey, alongside their stand-alone product.
As farms progress, and more opportunities emerge they may choose to do more as a national supply group. Outback Academy encourages diverse and resilient business models and income streams with farmers.
If progressing, farmers and Outback Academy sign a Statement of Intent to Work Together which includes a non-disclosure and non-compete on national supply product. This is to protect the supply chain and relationships with buyers who are paying a premium for product that contributes to sustainability for the farmers and Outback Academy longer term.