Bruce French AO

Agricultural scientist and Founder of Food Plants International

TASState RecipientSenior Australian of the Year2022

Bruce French has dedicated his life to collecting and distributing information about edible plants. His work has made a practical difference in improving food security, nutrition and health outcomes for people in developing countries.

In 1999, Bruce founded Food Plants International, with the goal of documenting edible plants around the world. There are now more than 33,500 species detailed on its website.

Food Plants International’s origins go back to the 1970s when Bruce was living in Papua New Guinea. He noticed many villagers suffering from disease and malnutrition, often while surrounded by nutritious edible plants.

From that moment, Bruce went on a mission to document the many species in Papua New Guinea. That effort soon expanded to include plants all around the world.

Food Plants International teamed up with Rotary Tasmania in 2007 and other organisations to create the Food Plant Solutions project. The aim is to provide regions with information on how to grow the most nutritious and viable food plants for their particular environment.