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Leadership in Local Produce

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 22 February 2018

Tags: Food Security

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Primary Industries spokesperson

Local food systems are a great way to keep food secure, and boost healthy eating within communities for enhanced social, economic and environmental benefits.

The Greens’ plan for leadership in local produce will see the introduction of a Local Food Act, investment in food literacy, school gardens, and local food supply and support for agribusiness, agritourism, urban agriculture, and innovation clusters.*

A Local Food Act will improve food literacy, agribusiness and agritourism opportunities, urban agriculture, food security and sustainable farming practices..

Tasmania has the unique opportunity to lead the nation and be the first state in Australia to implement a Local Food Act.

Local food networks that accompany the Local Food Act increase returns to the farmer, provide huge nutritional benefit of fresh food to areas of social disadvantage, and encourage healthy choices and good eating patterns within families

The Central Coast Local Food Strategy, is the most advanced of the Tasmanian Local Government Areas. Their strategy is one the Greens would encourage communities to adopt, as it has the expressed aim “to guide and inform collective efforts to improve healthy eating in our community”.

Under the Greens’ plan, the newly established Local Food Unit will work with all local governments to adopt similar strategies.

Increased participation in the local food economy means greater demand for local food and increases capacity for producers. Our plan sees the Minister responsible for setting goals, increasing public sector participation and increasing access under the Local Food Act.

Existing organisations, through strategies like the Central Coast Local Food Security Strategy, are leading the way in establishing clusters and hubs for local food, but an extension of this statewide is needed.

Local food networks increase returns to farmers by facilitating direct sales through local markets and hubs. The advantage to the producer is that the supply chain is controlled, overheads relatively fixed and information directly shared with the customer. 

Our plan will determine trends and offer new opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators. A Local Food Act and corresponding Local Food Unit will have a resounding impact on social disadvantage.