Given the impact of healthy food systems on our communities economy, health and environment we believe that it is important we acknowledge some of the main challenges to improving our local food system.
It is Blacktown city council's vision to create a food system that supports the local community, improves the consumption and production of food, and increases participation in waste reduction through implementing local strategies aimed at supporting all community members. (City of Blacktown 2011).
● Provision and access
● Special needs and diverse demographics
● Community interaction and engagement
● Whole of council approach
● Safe, supportive and sustainable environments
● Partnerships, civic responsibility/governance
● The ongoing monitoring and evaluation of these issues.
(City of Blacktown 2011: p. 2)
To achieve our vision of a supportive local food system we have prioritised the following goals.
1. ‘Provide interactive educational opportunities for the community to strengthen knowledge and skills in sourcing or growing and preparing fresh local food’.
2. ‘Encourage an increasing consumption of local fresh produce, supporting both local growers and businesses offering fresh produce to the community’.
3. ‘Promote awareness within Council and the community of the benefits of local and sustainability produced fresh fruit and vegetables with associated health benefits from greater consumption of fruit and vegetables’.
4. ‘Identify priority populations and/or neighbourhoods for increasing healthy eating related initiatives throughout the city’.
5. ‘Ensure that Council provide healthy fresh food choices at Council functions and events’.
6. ‘Encourage and support growing awareness of the benefits to the community of the use of composting to support the production of fresh local produce’.
(City of Blacktown 2011: p. 1)
Blacktown City Council intends to achieve these priorities through a number of localised actions
1. Council leads by example through integrating sustainability into core business and reducing its ecological footprint in its day-to-day operations. Increasing the proportion of locally grown healthy food for Council functions, activities and services will contribute to reducing Council's ecological footprint through a reduction in 'food miles' and transport costs.
2. Lead by example and reduce our councils carbon footprint by sourcing more food from local growers for council functions, activities and services.
3. Enhance ‘the health and wellbeing of the Blacktown community by promoting public health best practice such as encouraging physical activity, healthy eating and enforcement of legislation’.
4. ‘Supporting local businesses, food producers and shopkeepers’.
5. Reduce food transport distances by actively encouraging the community to become involved in the local food system.
6. Foster consumption of fresh, local produce by encouraging ‘community participation in local fresh food initiatives, such as community gardens, box schemes, farm gate sales and support of local greengrocers and shopkeepers’.
7. ‘Encourage an increasing use of local produce and food for Council events and services [by] raising staff and community awareness of the environmental and health issues surrounding’ fresh and healthy local food.
8. ‘Encourage the preservation and development of urban and peri-urban food production opportunities in the LGA and promote ecologically sound, economically viability and social responsibility through food purchase choices’.
(City of Blacktown 2011: p. 3)
Want more info on our local food systems policy?
City of Blacktown (2011) Access to fresh food policy, City of Blacktown, Accessed 1 September 2022. https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/files/assets/public/environment/reports/access_to_fresh_food_policy-8.pdf