New signatories to the Declaration

Updates 16 December 2017

On 15 November 2017 Cardinia Shire Council joined the following local governments as a Council signatory of the Declaration: Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, the City of Melbourne, the City of Greater Geelong, the City of Ballarat, the City of Yarra, the City of Moreland and Augusta-Margaret River Shire Council. The signing took place at the inaugural Cardinia Food Forum, at which the keynote speaker was Devita Davison of Foodlab Detroit.

Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Cr Colin Ross with Devita Davison and Sustain ED Nick Rose at the Cardinia Food Forum, 15 November 2017

In the wake of the Forum, the campaigning organisation Gene Ethics became a signatory to the Declaration in December 2017. Gene Ethics’ vision is for a safer, more equitable and more sustainable GM-free society.




Updates 29 March 2017


Sustain is delighted to announce that on 28 February 2017, CVA Australia-NZ made the decision to endorse the Urban and Regional Food Declaration. In the letter of endorsement, CEO Colin Jackson wrote that:

As Australia’s largest conservation volunteer organisation, we aim to inspire change by connecting people to nature. We recognise that as Australia is becoming increasingly urbanised, there is a need to connect people living in urban areas to the environment in diverse and meaningful ways. We see
a clear connection between creating vibrant and integrated food systems, and our vision for more resilient and sustainable cities…We look forward to future collaborations and see a tremendous opportunity in helping to engage the community in urban and peri-urban food growing initiatives nationally.

Sustain welcomes this important recognition from a long-established and leading national and international organisation, with widespread support across government, business and community. You can read the full text of Mr Jackson’s letter here:

CVA Letter of Support Urban Food Declaration



At its 8 February meeting, the City of Moreland resolved to endorse the Food Declaration. CEO Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo and Mayor Cr Helen Davidson stated that, consistent with the Moreland Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-2017,

Council is working to ensure that Moreland has a sustainable food system that contributes to a more resilient community and a healthier environment: a just food system that ensures food is socially and economically accessible to everyone in the community and a vibrant food system that protects and nurtures food and culture and celebrates diversity and builds community.

Read the text of Moreland’s letter of endorsement here:

City of Moreland Signatory Feb 2017.


On 14 December 2016, Augusta-Margaret River Shire Council became the first local government outside Victoria to endorse the Food Declaration. Joining the City of Melbourne, the City of Greater Geelong, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, the City of Ballarat, the City of Yarra and the Municipal Association of Victoria, Shire President Ian Earl referred to the Shire Community Strategic Plan 2033 and the Draft Economic Development Strategy 2016-2026 as embodying the vision of the Shire as

One that recognises that all life has intrinsic value, is interconnected and that biodiversity and ecological integrity are part of the irreplaceable life support systems upon which the earth depends.

The full text of the President’s letter is available here:

Letter Shire President

Update 3 October 2016


At the State Council September meeting of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), the City of Ballarat’s Motion 25 (see full text below) was adopted as a Resolution with widespread support from representatives of all Council representatives present at the meeting. This is a very significant development, as it marks a major step towards the embrace by local government of the crucial role it must play in supporting the emergence of healthy, sustainable and fair food systems.

Sustain encourages all local councils in Victoria and around the country to endorse the Food Declaration and work with us and community, business and other food system stakeholders to secure its lasting implementation.

Motion: That the MAV endorse the ‘Urban and Regional Food Declaration’ developed by Sustain: The Australian Food Network, which commits signatories to support of a sustainable, healthy and fair food system.

Submitting Council Rationale:

The ‘food system’ comprises all processes involved in feeding a community: producing, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming and disposing of food.

Food is increasingly becoming more central to the work of local government with the recognition that the food system impacts significantly across many areas of Council operations including waste management and sustainability, health and wellbeing, food safety, land use planning and economic development.

Sustain: The Australian Food Network has developed the ‘Urban and Regional Food Declaration’ (URFD) so organisations can demonstrate their commitment to a sustainable, healthy and fair food system. Current signatories include City of Melbourne, City of Greater Geelong, City of Yarra, Mornington Peninsula Shire and City of Ballarat along with 24 other state, regional, industry, not-for-profit and commercial organisations which have an interest in the food system and its impact upon communities.

Signatories to the URFD commit to the following characteristics:

• A thriving diversity of food production throughout our towns, cities and countryside, from networks of backyard, community and school gardens, to market gardens, ethical animal rearing, orchards, vineyards and food forests in our peri-urban and regional areas.

• A valuing of food producers as caretakers of the land and ecosystems, and as guarantors of our present and future food security.

• An expansion of farmers’ markets, a wide variety of farm-gate shops and trails, and high streets revitalized with shops that burst with local and seasonal produce, all supporting a growing local food economy that generates jobs and livelihoods for communities.

• A food system that supports the health and wellbeing of all, recognizing that access to good food is a fundamental and universal human right.

The URFD and its principles are based on a framework (Circles of Social Life) which includes four domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture. An understanding and agreement of these principles provide the basis to engage in further collaborative action.

Principles include:

Ecology: Our food system should actively maintain the health and integrity of the natural environment on which it depends, seeking to maintain the health of existing ecosystems and enhance biodiversity.

Economics: Our food system should support, create and sustain local and regional livelihoods while building a resilient food industry.

Politics: Governments and organisations should collaborate and work holistically, both internally and externally, while proactively engaging with communities to inform policy, planning and legislative actions relating to environmental stewardship, food security, health and wellbeing, and urban and regional livelihoods.

Culture: Our food system should embrace the diverse and cultural significance of food, recognizing its central role in promoting social cohesion, life-long and intergenerational learning, and community health and wellbeing.


Update 1 August 2016

City of Yarra Food Declaration

City of Yarra Food Declaration

The City of Yarra is a pioneering Council in Victoria and nationally with its Urban Agriculture Strategy and Urban Agriculture Advisory Committee. The City of Yarra joins the City of Melbourne, the City of Greater Geelong, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and the City of Ballarat as local government signatories to the Urban and Regional Food Declaration.

Letter of Support Masons of Bendigo

Letter of Support Masons of Bendigo

Masons of Bendigo is a hatted restaurant in the heart of the historic central Victorian goldfields city. Run by wife and husband team Sonia and Nick Anthony, it has quickly established an enviable reputation for quality and taste, as well as a firm commitment to provenance and support for local producers.

Food Fossickers Urban and Regional Food Declaration 2016

Food Fossickers Urban and Regional Food Declaration 2016

Food Fossickers is a central Victorian food and hospitality trade network, whose mission is to “provide leadership, support, promotion and advocacy for our members, connecting producers to venues and all to the local community.”

Homegrown Me Urban and regional food declaration letter

Homegrown Me Urban and regional food declaration letter

HomeGrown Me was founded by Canberra-based foodpreneur George Prasad to be a ‘dedicated online marketplace platform where food producers and buyers can buy, sell, exchange or give away produce from: fresh fruit and vegetables, bottled goods, dairy, meat, baked goods, ready made meals, coffee, chocolate, pasta, tea, herbs, garden supplies, fresh flowers and so much more.’



Update 17 May 2016

Sunraysia Local Food Future is a diverse group, grown from work undertaken by Slow Food Mildura and Healthy Together Mildura. Sunraysia Local Food Future aims to strengthen our local food economy in a way that benefits the local community and environment.

Artisan House Australia was developed with the intention to cater for the socially/ morally conscious consumer by providing a platform that connects consumers with the Real Food and the people behind it.

Sunraysia Local Food Future_Artisan House Letter





Update 19 April 2016GVFC Commitment

The Goulburn Valley Food Co-op began in 2012 with the closure of the Heinz factory in the Goulburn Valley region. Over the past four year, members of the cooperative have been working tirelessly to support local producers, growers and retailers. The GV Co-op provides stability for farmers and ensures they are paid a fair price for food, whilst connecting regional growers, makers and producers. REAL Food Connect is the latest venture launched by the GV Food Cooperative for responsible, ethical and local farmers and producers to distribute food through.


Update 24 March 2016

SEE-Change is inspiring, informing and supporting the Canberra community to reduce Canberra’s ecological footprint, improve the resilience of the ecosystem and enhance the wellbeing of all individuals. More details about their initiatives can be found at: See the letter from SEE-Change.

The Canberra City Farm is establishing learning hubs where the community can creatively share knowledge and experience of socially, economically and environmentally responsible food production and sustainable living.

Permaculture Australia is a volunteer run, Not For Profit Charity and registered environmental organisation that supports permaculture practitioners, projects and regional groups across Australia, as well as Internationally with their tax deductible fund, Permafund.

Margaret Bridgeford is an author, educator and practitioner of vibrational medicine. Margaret’s latest book “Eat … Think … Heal: One Family’s Story of Discovering the Healing Powers of Food and Thought”  is a recent achievement in her multifaceted life.

Canberra City Farm Signatory Letter

Update 11 February 2016

We welcome three new signatories to the Urban and Regional Food Declaration


New signatory feature: Otway Fields

Otway FieldsOtway Fields are organic producers and growers who sell locally through farmers’ markets and smaller retailers in Victoria.

Frans and Ami Hillege, proprietors of Otway Fields were previously working in the corporate sphere but have since moved to the Otways to relish in a sustainable and more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Both are fierce believers in reducing food miles, local food and food sovereignty.


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