The Australian Food Network
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Ballarat City Council

The City of Ballarat has recognised the need to strengthen its local food system in accordance with the requirements of local councils outlined in the Victorian public health and well-being Act and the Victorian Local Government Act 1989. Given this responsibility and the contextual environment in which our local food system is situated we have conducted research and community consultations, to identify the best way to support and improve our local food system. To this end we have produced the ‘Good Food for All Food Strategy’ which will be our point of reference for future developments regarding our local food system.

Our vision is to create a vibrant, nutritious food system that all members of the community have access to (City of Ballarat 2019: p. 12).

Key Challenges/ Drivers
Our research indicates several challenges and drives that we think need to be addressed for us to achieve our vision and role as local council (City of Ballarat 2019).

● Physical and mental health - Easy access and reliance on fast food decreases physical and mental health.
● Reduced food security - At Least 12% of Ballarat's population is food insecure.
● Food literacy - Our disconnection from local food chains is contributing to an over reliance on unhealthy foods.
● Food and resource waste - food waste contributes to global warming and resource waste.
● Environmental impacts - the typical Australian diet of highly processed foods and red meat is unhealthy and damages the environment.
(City of Ballarat 2019)

To address these challenges, we intend to achieve three priority goals aimed at creating a vibrant, nutritious food system that all members of the community can access.

Goal 1: ‘Increase access to and promotion of safe and nutritious food’
Goal 2: ‘Support a sustainable local food system’
Goal 3: ‘Celebrate a vibrant, inclusive food culture’
(City of Ballarat 2019: p. 12-15)
Action Areas
Playing to our strengths as a local council and responding to community input we have come up with a number of actions to add to our already ongoing work achieving our goals and ensuring our transition to a healthy food system.

Goal 1:
● Encourage greater consumption of healthy food and drinks
● Improve community knowledge and skills to grow and prepare healthy meals
● Support community food system programs
Goal 2:
● Reduce food and packaging waste
● Support local food production and sales
● Manage the use of agricultural land to support agriculture and food security
Goal 3:
● ‘Encourage a healthy and inclusive food culture which supports and promotes local producers and strengthens community connections’
(City of Ballarat 2019: p. 12-15)

Want more info on our local food systems policy?

Reference list:

City of Ballarat (2019) Good Food for All Food Strategy 2019-2022, City of Ballarat, accessed 1 September 2022.