Feeding a Growing Melbourne

Last Thursday, VGA President, David Wallace joined a panel discussing Melbourne’s food future as part of the Sustainable Living Festival hosted by the City of Melbourne.

Robert Gell, acted as moderator and together with David, the PANEL comprised; Miranda Sharp, The Age food writer and Coordinator of Melbourne Community Farmers’ Market, Professor Martin Caraher, of Food and Health Policy at the Centre for Food Policy at City University, London, and Dr Kate Auty, Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.

Feeding a Growing Melbourne
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It was acknowledged that there are parts of the city without food security and many families are unable to either physically or financially access fresh produce.

Strategic plans have been developed to improve food security. These include: ‘Planning for Food’ and ‘A People’s Food Plan for Australia’.

There is also an increase in the establishment of Farmers Markets who were supporting local growers and the accreditation process was building trust in the quality of the produce.

David provided information on production costs pressures including the availability of clean and affordable water to grow crops and the viability of growers due to higher fuel and power prices and increased imports.

Feeding a Growing Melbourne - Panel
Panelists : Kate Auty, Miranda Sharp, Martin Caraher and
David Wallace with moderator Robert Gell

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It was agreed that local planning legislation must ensure that sufficient land is retained for farming both now and in the future.

Food production and distribution centres in the form of regional food hubs must be established rather than centralised markets that cause increased freight costs.

The session concluded with a call for a ‘Victorian Local Food Access Act’ to address some of these issues.

For more information contact :

Rod Hall
IDO – West
John Runting
IDO – East

0403 215 935 idowest@vgavic.org.au

0417 356 364 idoeast@vgavic.org.au

Helena Whitman
VGA Executive Manager
0407 772 299

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