There is a growing international movement focussed on rebuilding our relationship with food, and the effect of the food we eat and how we produce it, on communities, health, the environment and economy. We believe local government will play a critical role in mitigating and managing these issues on the local level. To this end we have produced our ‘Sustainable Food Strategy’ which we hope will guide us in addressing the challenges facing our food system and bringing about our vision for the future.
City of Canada Bay is committed to improving the environmental sustainability and health of our community through increased awareness, consumption and availability of sustainably sourced foods and enhanced local food systems that support our local area (City of Canada Bay 2018: p.4).
However we realise that to achieve our vision we will have to overcome several environmental, health and social challenges inhibiting our local food system (City of Canada Bay 2018).
Resource use from food production and overseas transport of food
Resource use associated with growing food out of season
High waste production due to a reliance on packaged materials
Resource costs associated with farming
Household and business food waste
Impacts of livestock production
Biodiversity impacts of agricultural inputs (chemical runoff, intense farming, etc)
Health and social issues:
Canada Bay has the highest obesity rate within the eight surrounding municipalities.
The poor dietary options available to our most vulnerable community members.
(City of Canada Bay 2018)
In order to address these challenges and achieve our vision of improving the environmental sustainability, health and equality of our community we have identified eight priority goals.
Goal 1: ‘Influence community behaviours in the purchase, consumption and production of food in the local area through information and education that enables the community to make informed choices’.
Goal 2: ‘Encourage and provide a platform and increase local sustainable food production and availability for our Community’.
Goal 3: ‘Provide leadership to the community, through demonstrated best practice programs’.
Goal 4: ‘Encourage greater participation in food waste reduction through education projects and increasing the availability of good quality compostable materials to improve soil health and food production’.
Goal 5: ‘Review policies and frameworks to ensure sustainable food outcomes are considered when managing or developing Council assets and areas including but not limited to open space and community facilities’.
Goal 6: ‘Develop and foster partnerships between key community organisations and networks such as local business, government agencies, local food networks, consumers, producers and retailers’.
Goal 7: ‘Decrease the obesity rate in the city through the promotion and availability of healthy, safe and nutritious food’.
Goal 8: ‘Promote food diversity throughout our community by celebrating multicultural food traditions’.
(City of Canada Bay 2018: p.7)
In line with our role as local council we intend to facilitate these goals through the four following areas:
Community Education, Engagement and Empowerment
‘Provide information to the community that enables and inspires them to make positive choices about choosing, growing, eating and preparing healthy sustainable food’.
Leadership and Governance
‘Provide leadership to the community through demonstrated best practice. This may include policy development, the growth in targeted sustainable food projects, and continued implementation of sustainable practices within Council’.
Planning and Infrastructure Management
‘Ensure Council is at the forefront of reviewing policies and frameworks to ensure sustainability and health outcomes are being met including managing resources and infrastructure (such as open spaces, waste management, community facilities) to support a sustainable food system’.
‘Ensure Council play a key role in creating and strengthening partnerships between key players including community organisations, local businesses and government agencies’.
(City of Canada Bay 2018: p.8)
Want more info on our local food systems policy?
City of Canada Bay (2018) Sustainable Food Strategy, Sustaining our environment, Accessed 1 September 2022. https://canadabay.t1cloud.com/T1Default/CiAnywhere/Web/CANADABAY/API/CMIS/PUB/content/?id=folder-6468177&streamId=streampdf-6468177