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Merri-Bek (Moreland) City Council

Food Strategy

In February 2017, Moreland City Council became the seventh local government in Australia to sign the Urban and Regional Food Declaration, which recognises that access to nutritious food is a fundamental human right. The declaration articulates a number of principles relevant to
building a resilient local food system, including proactively informing planning and legislative action related to environmental stewardship, food security, health and wellbeing, and urban livelihoods.

Vision & Strategy

Moreland City Council’s vision is a sustainable, just and vibrant food system. Moreland City Council believes that a sustainable food system can contribute to a more resilient community and a healthier environment. A just food system would also ensure that nutritious food is socially and economically accessible to everyone in the community. Further, a vibrant food system protects and nurtures healthy food culture and helps to celebrate diversity.

Guiding the Moreland City Council’s vision are therefore three overarching strategies:
1. Healthy environment, resilient community (sustainability);
2. Equal social and economic access to nutritional food (just); and
3. Thriving food culture, celebrating connection and diversity (vibrant).

While a strong foundation was built during the first years of the council’s strategy, in 2020, the implementation plan for the policies expanded and deepened. The following implementation plan carefully identifies and prioritises objectives and goals to achieve a more prosperous and healthy food system network in Moreland, and outlines measurable and achievable actions in which the Moreland City Council can address in order to strengthen its food systems.


The current food system does not readily provide for a sustainable relationship between food’s production, its distribution, its consumption and its disposal, because there is a lack of proximity between where food is grown and consumed. Significant environmental and social challenges are associated with dependence on the current food system:
- Remote production with supplemented nutrients.
- Long-distance high emissions transport.
- Remote processing.
- Long-distance high emissions distribution.
- Limited monopolised food access points.
- Local consumption.
- High waste levels.
- Loss of nutrients.


- The Moreland economy is stronger and the community more resilient.
- The Moreland community is physically and mentally healthier.
- Everyone in Moreland has the opportunity to produce food at home or nearby.
- Locally grown and raised food is a central, celebrated part of the Moreland community identity.
- Food practices across Moreland are sustainable.
- Land and spaces across Moreland are healthy and productive.
- Food security is enjoyed across the Moreland community.
- The Moreland community has the knowledge and skills to grow nutritious food.
- The Moreland community has the capacity to build a better food system.

Key Action Areas

Implementation Plan:
Sustainable Local Food Production
- Investigate the establishment of an Indigenous growing space / garden.
- Identify development sites to support larger scale food growing sites.
- Work with government landowners to make underutilised land available for food growing.
- Investigate Strategic Planning link /opportunities to support food growing.
- Investigate options to prevent private fruit trees being cut down for development and/or preserve the legacy of the trees through a community grafting project.
- Support community gardens to access bulk compost and mulch.
- Support food businesses / enterprises who source food locally and / or contribute to social and environmental improvements in Moreland.
- Support the community to establish food trees in Open Space.
- Investigate the feasibility of supporting growing food in laneways.
- Review Moreland Communal Food Garden Assessment Guidelines/Toolkit.

Food Equity and Security
- Progress Community Food Hub project to support socially and culturally inclusive food security.
- Investigate the option to establish a centralised food storage and distribution facility.
- Look at feasibility of ongoing support for the Moreland Food and Material relief network.

Celebrate Food and Culture
- Look into a resident food share initiative.
- Review the Moreland Community Grants program.
- Support local food groups to participate in the Moreland Social Cohesion plan/program.

Education and Capacity Building
- Provide households with home gardening education, resources and tools through the ‘My Smart Garden’ sustainable gardening education and behaviour change program.
- Provide capacity building and mentoring support to community gardens.
- Review/consolidate food system network communication channels/information and resource hub.
- Support community partners to deliver accessible and affordable food systems education.
- Investigate opportunities to connect Coburg Farmers Market with Food System, Sustainable Communities and Business initiatives in Moreland.
- Continue to support and strengthen the Moreland Local Food Network.
- Review Council’s role in building the capacity of Moreland volunteer groups to support community led food security/justice initiatives.

- Moreland Council to sponsor / present / participate in the 2021 Urban Agriculture Forum.
- Participate in multi-council Food System / Urban Agriculture networking.
- Explore avenues to advocate for greater State government support for local food systems and urban agriculture.

Link To Strategy