We are a voluntary association who believes our initiative's combined actions  to reintegrate local indigenous foods into our local foodways will result in meaningful social, cultural, ecological and economic recalibration.

Loubie has been exploring the Western Cape’s forgotten and neglected indigenous edibles since 2010. Her shift from the landscape industry to exploring local indigenous food plants started with cooking and bottling produce under the brand name Making KOS. She has initiated pilot cultivation in a range of contexts, and contributes to a variety of research and community projects. 


She shares what she has learnt through consulting, workshops and walks, and through publishing and social media.

Loubie sees Local WILD's networking and connecting role in the varied initiatives it engages with as vital to realising impactful reintegration of local indigenous foods into local foodways*.

 * the social, cultural, ecological and economic practices of producing and consuming food

LOUBIE RUSCH - founder, Cape wild foods expert

Michelle holds a Masters in Economics for Development from Oxford University. She has qualitative research experience in wellbeing and education,worked as an assistant to development consultant.


She is developing a working knowledge of Cape neglected and underutilised species from the Cape, both through her research contribution to the the unit's nutrition study, as well as from establishing a community business bringing local wild foods into cultivation on their family farm in the Northern Cape. 

MICHELLE RORICH - project co-ordination and communication

Laura is a senior researcher at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition at Stellenbosch University, a research associate at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a member of the IPBES expert group on futures scenarios and models.

Her expertise lies in food systems innovations and futures with a focus on the role of neglected and underutilised species, as well as governance for food system transformation in South Africa.

She brings to the unit a strong network of local and international collaborators and stakeholders, along with many years experience  in delivering policy briefs and a prolific record of published papers.

Dr. LAURA PEREIRA - senior research advisor