Story by Russ Grayson, February 2016
It came through my social media feed this morning — news that Australia is to have a new food advocacy organisation focusing on the security of Australians' food supply and nutritional health.
Around 16 percent of Australians experience food insecurity every year. The figure includes families with children for whom the lack of a nutritionally balanced diet can affect their mental and physical development.
The linked article explains the Right To Food Coalition's origin in a food security conference in Sydney in 2014. In that city, members of the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance, which has advocated on equitable food access and for the city's small scale farmers on the rural-urban fringe for more than a decade, were involved in organising the conference.
Formation of a new, national organisation raises the question of whether the Alliance will continue an independent existence or roll into the new Right To Food Coalition.
As a coalition of interests in a better food system, the new organisation has potential to negotiate the role of farmers, food related business and social enterprise and Australia's eaters.
Since the turn of the century a number of food organisations have made a start, including the Illawarra and Sydney food fairness alliances. These have achieved regional successes. In 2010 the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance made a start, of which I was a founding member. It later gave birth of a farmer branch, Fair Food Farmers United, however the organisation seems to have had a lower profile over the past year.
It will be interesting to see in what directions the new organisation takes the increasingly important issue of people's access to food in this country.
Right to Food Coalition launch survey
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