Robert Oliver: Pacific Islands Food Revolution

Pacific Islands Food Revolution

The world-renowned chef will lead Pacific Island Food Revolution, a health education initiative tailored to audiences in the Pacific Islands that includes a reality TV format, multimedia, and creation of a social movement.


The South Pacific is in a crisis. Non communicable diseases are decimating Pacific Island populations due to poor food choices encouraged by massive marketing campaigns of fast foods. These foods- sugary drinks, instant noodles and more are replacing the traditional diet of the South Pacific, causing devastating levels of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and heartbreak. Where once Pacific Island populations used healthy, traditional foods to create their diet, a mindset of overseas food being better has all but eliminated them from today’s diets.


Pacific Island Food Revolution aims to return pride to the healthy food that makes up the traditional diet of the South Pacific. PIFR takes the format of a reality television cooking competition, and uses it to reclaim the Pacific’s original cuisine. Using a challenge style, this television program will highlight programs, initiatives and individuals that are already doing this, and shine a spotlight on their work while showing viewers what’s possible when using traditional foods. Through showcasing these initiatives under a holistic cultural narrative and creating a movement, PIFR will create a joyful celebration of the Pacific.

Supplementing the television aspect of the innovation will be a foundation to support the future development and strengthening of the movement, not just in the Pacific but with Indigenous populations across the world.



The Pacific needs a revolution; one that shines a light on the value of traditional diets and inspires individuals and households to take pride in their cultural foods. At its core, PIFR believes that the answer to the problem already exists in the traditional diet of the Pacific. Many of the current health initiatives in the Pacific come with a message; “don’t have sugar, don’t have salt: we have the answer for you if you’re more like us, you’ll be better off.”

What they lack is the narrative, the cultural framework to house their projects, the hook. It’s like buying the furniture before you buy the house. This innovation will be that narrative.

This is turning a mirror on Pacific culture itself and saying- actually, YOU have the answer! This is not agenda- it is a joyful celebration of the Pacific itself.