Abstract: Research on native foods in Australia has increased over the past 10–15 years. This has resulted in a series of reports that have dealt with issues from food safety, toxicology (Hegarty et al. 2001) and market prospects (Cherikoff 2000) to the cultivation of either specific species or a range of species (Ryder & Latham 2004). However, there has been little coordinated effort in native food research across the value chain in a single project, nor has there been such a serious attempt to engage Aboriginal people in the participatory approach undertaken in this project. The research reported here focused primarily on desert native food species with a particular focus on S.centrale. The native foods industry is largely based on traditional Aboriginal knowledge of what is edible from the Australian flora and fauna. The industry also involves Aboriginal people at various levels. However, there are many unresolved issues relating to the roles played by Aboriginal people and subsequent questions about what benefits they may be gaining from the industry. Traditional knowledge and traditional methods are being used, but little is really known about how Aboriginal people may wish to be involved, nor how they are either benefiting from, or being bypassed by other participants in, the industry.