Global Breadfruit Heritage Council

Breadfruit originated in the Pacific Islands thousands of years ago. The varieties we enjoy today were selected by countless generations, people upon whose shoulders we stand today. Traditional farmers, farmer organizations, and other institutions are working to regenerate agricultural systems in which breadfruit and related crops can thrive for extremely long periods of time. Generational time—no, ancestral time.

Today, we are at a crossroads in our relationship with food, the environment, cultures, and each other. Breadfruit stands at that juncture, with huge potential for providing a nutritious staple food, reversing agricultural land degradation, adapting to changing climate, and generating a living income for farmers and small enterprises throughout the tropical world.

This endeavor carries with it responsibility to deeply reconnect with our roots, the ways of our ancestors, and our biggest responsibility: future generations of people and all life on Earth.

The Global Breadfruit Heritage Council (GBHC) protects and respects the cultural, ancestral, social, spiritual, agricultural, proprietary, and other inherent rights and responsibilities of indigenous peoples to breadfruit. From this traditional perspective, GBHC redirects the course of modern food production to regenerate land, people's health, biodiversity, and culture—all in balance with economic outcomes.

Council members are traditional leaders, farmers, community organizers, entrepreneurs, students, agricultural professionals, policymakers, and scientists from around the Pacific Islands and the world. We welcome the participation of all who honor the breadfruit tree as family. GBHC was founded by a diverse team working on breadfruit for years under the leadership of Papalii Dr. Failautusi 'Tusi' Avegalio, a traditional leader of Pacific Islands.

GBHC was first announced at the Pacific Risk Management 'Ohana Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment Hui (PRiMO IKE Hui) in Honolulu on March 14, 2016. In July 2016, the tenets and goals of GBHC were presented at the Engineering for Climate Extremes Partnership at the National Atmospheric Research Center in Boulder, Colorado, and at Rising Voices 4—Collaborative Science for Climate Solutions on Hawaii Island. Most recently, the Global Breadfruit Heritage Council was endorsed by participants of the 2016 Hawai'i Pacific Global Breadfruit Summit in Laie, Hawaii.

Although we all appreciate the benefits of modern agriculture, the long-term negative consequences are now becoming evident in our daily lives. Let's review the problems we need to solve in industrial agriculture: severe land and water ecosystem degradation, high emissions of greenhouse gases, risks from economic and environmental disasters, nutrition-related human health disorders, toxic pollution, decimation of biodiversity, and disempowerment of farmers and communities.

Effects of modern agriculture have taken their toll on land and water in many regions.
Breadfruit can feed communities delicious, nutritious food over the long term

Breadfruit for Food security and nutrition

Breadfruit has been an important staple crop of Pacific Islands for millennia, but has been replaced by imported foods over recent decades in many island states. Simultaneously, diet changes have led to the some of the highest rates of nutrition-related diseases in the Pacific. With a nutritional profile superior to many starches such as white rice and white potato, and with high fiber and a low glycemic index, breadfruit has the potential to significantly enhance human health and well-being. As an abundant producer of up to 200 fruits per tree annually, breadfruit contributes significantly to local food production.

Breadfruit for Environmental regeneration

The multistory agroforests where breadfruit was grown together with banana, taro, sweet potato, coconut, and many other traditional crops are living models for growing abundant breadfruit in the Pacific—production systems that have sustained themselves for thousands of years. It’s time for farmers to return to their traditional role of caretakers of the Earth for the long term. Breadfruit agroforestry is a proven method for regenerating and sustaining production for current and future generations.

Breadfruit agroforestry provides multiple crops and environmental benefits

Breadfruit for Cultural and social values

It is said, "Food is sacred, it becomes you." So it is not a mystery why the food crops that the Pacific voyaging peoples brought with them for millennia were considered not crops to exploit, but close relatives, family. In the Pacific, the roots of human culture are intertwined with the roots of breadfruit.

Our relationship to the natural world determines the long term outcomes

Breadfruit for Local and export economies

For the first time in human history, the potential of breadfruit as commercial crop is being realized. If carried out wisely, guided by the values of our ancestors, breadfruit can add significantly to sustainable local and export economies. The range of nutritious products that can be made from breadfruit is astonishing. This points toward breadfruit as a driver for new food economy, one grounded in creative local production and innovation.

What GBHC stands for

Today, we are at a crossroads in our relationship with food, the environment, cultures, and each other. We embrace the humble breadfruit, the ancestor of Pacific Peoples, and now the generous giver to people throughout the world. With breadfruit as our guide, we will move forward in a new way, a right way.

Our goals are simple: Honor the living legacy of breadfruit through education, research, community engagement, and legal protections.

We value your participation and support.

Contact us at:

© 2016 GBHC/Olohana Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.