URBAN AND REGIONAL FOOD DECLARATION
From October 2013 to September 2014, Sustain (formerly the Food Alliance) worked with many local councils, universities, community groups, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, health professionals, planners, researchers, small business-owners and others in the participatory development of an Urban and Regional Food Declaration.
The development of this Declaration was informed and guided by the Circles of Social Life methodology and framework, as detailed elsewhere on this website. The Declaration provides a set of agreed principles, definitions and language from which signatories can determine their ongoing and shared role in the complex and overlapping local, national and global food systems.
As described by the City of Greater Geelong in the minutes of its meeting held on 17 November 2015, at which the Council agreed to endorse the Declaration,
The Declaration seeks to promote the local production and consumption of healthy and sustainable food. It also seeks to change attitudes, policies and legislation around food based on ethics, food security, health and well-being, and urban and regional livelihoods.
Read the Declaration and see the organisations and institutions that have signed it to date:
To download the Declaration, click here: Food-Declaration-with-Signatories Update 29 March 2017
WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT?
Food is increasingly becoming central to the work of local government in Victoria and more broadly across Australia, with the recognition that the food system impacts significantly across many areas of Council operation, including:
- Health and Well-being
- Environment and Sustainability, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction,
- Waste management and recycling
- Parks, Gardens and Open space,
- Planning and building; and
- Economic development
There is now a growing body of specific policy and practice being developed and implemented by a number of Councils, including:
As recognised by the City of Melbourne, the City of Ballarat, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and the City of Greater Geelong, the Urban and Regional Food Declaration supports and reinforces existing Local Council commitments, values, and principles, as reflected in core Council plans and documents.
As stated by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in the minutes of its meeting held on 13 July, 2015, at which Council resolved to endorse the Declaration and become a founding member of Sustain:
The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council recognises people’s access to healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate food as a basic human right. The Shire has maintained collaborative partnerships with stakeholder agencies including Peninsula Health, Second Bite, Community Support and Information Centres, Monash University, Food Industry Alliance Board and local food growers to continually build and strengthen its awareness and capacity to respond to the impact of food insecurity on the Mornington Peninsula.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire’s ‘Health Hope and Happiness’ (Health and Wellbeing Plan endorsed by Council on 10 February, 2014) notes that food security is defined as regular access to safe, nutritionally adequate and culturally acceptable food, from non-emergency sources.
In 2012 the Shire was involved in paving the way for a fresh food rescue program being established on the Peninsula through various Community Support and Information Centres. Numerous programs now operate across the Peninsula, linking many townships through the various Community Support and Information Centres, as well as welfare and community organisations. In Rosebud alone, over 3 tonne of ‘rescued’ fresh food is redistributed each week through the Second Bite program to vulnerable community members and emergency service agencies.
The Shire is committed to supporting vulnerable people’s access to fresh, local and affordable food through its various involvements in food security type programs. By signing the Urban and Regional Food Declaration and becoming founding members of the Food Alliance [now Sustain], the Shire will again demonstrate its commitment to strengthening the capacity of the community to address food security on the Mornington Peninsula.
We invite other local governments throughout Victoria and elsewhere in Australia to read the Declaration and add their signatures to it, so that this Declaration can become a common reference point for elected bodies and community members sharing the vision of sustainable, healthy and fair food systems that work for the lasting benefit of all.