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Urban & Regional Food Declaration

By signing the below declaration you stand with a growing number of signatories from local councils, organisations and individuals and in doing so strengthen our united voice of our shared vision. This Declaration proposes a common vision and set of principles for a healthy, sustainable, resilient and fair food system for all Australians.

We are stronger together.

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Urban & Regional Food Declaration

Food is fundamental to life and health. Increasing urbanization, the industrialization of agriculture and a changing climate are adversely impacting many parts of the global food system. This interconnected food system includes production, processing, distribution, consumption, waste management, and meaning creation. The food system faces compounding global challenges and variable local issues. The scale of these challenges and issues is reflected in local concerns about food security, producer livelihoods, local economies, damage to ecosystems, persistently high levels of hunger and malnutrition, a pandemic of dietary-related illness and disease, and biodiversity reduction.

Many organisation and government policy areas - including health, planning, transport, infrastructure, economic development, education, trade, biosecurity and environment - are relevant to the food system. A coherent long term food policy, at whatever level and scale of governance, enables the integration of these different areas. Cities and regions need a sustainable, fair and resilient food system that provides dignified access to healthy food for all citizens, offers viable livelihoods for local producers, and engenders careful stewardship of regional ecosystems.


To achieve a vision of a sustainable, healthy and fair food system, integrated action is needed from individuals, communities, businesses, organisations and governments. The purpose of this Declaration is to encourage such action through offering the following:

  • A set of agreed principles;
  • A lexicon of agreed definitions and common language;
  • A generalized framework for policy and legislative changes;
  • A tool for mobilization and advocacy; and
  • An associated set of tools for assessment and analysis.


Signatories to this Urban and Regional Food Declaration share a vision of a sustainable, healthy and fair food system. We commit to the following characteristics as shaping our approach to such a system:

  • A thriving diversity of food production throughout our towns and cities and countryside, from networks of backyard, community and school gardens, to market gardens, ethical animal rearing, orchards, vineyards and food forests in our peri-urban and regional areas.
  • A valuing of food producers as caretakers of the land and ecosystems, and as guarantors of our present and future food security.
  • An expansion of farmers' markets, a wide variety of farm-gate shops and trails, and high streets revitalised with shops that burst with local and seasonal produce, all supporting a growing local food economy that generates jobs and livelihoods for communities.
  • A food system that supports the health and well-being of all, recognising that access to good food is a fundamental and universal human right.

The food system is a complex set of practices that face unique and unprecedented challenges. This Declaration and its principles are based upon four domains as expressed in figure 1: Circles of Social Life.

Figure 1: Circles of Social Life. Developed by Professor Paul James. For more information, see and "Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice: Circles of Sustainability" (Paul James, 2015)


Ecology: Our food system should actively maintain the health and integrity of the natural environment on which it depends, seeking to maintain the health of existing ecosystems and enhance biodiversity.

Economics: Our food system should support, create and sustain local and regional livelihoods while building a resilient food industry.

Politics: Governments and organisations should collaborate and work holistically, both internally and externally, while proactively engaging with communities to inform policy, planning and legislative actions relating to environmental stewardship, food security, health and wellbeing, and urban and regional livelihoods.

Culture: Our food system should embrace the diverse and cultural significance of food, recognizing its central role in promoting social cohesion, life-long and intergenerational learning, and community health and well-being.

Organisation Signatories


City of Melbourne

City of Yarra

Moreland City Council

Cardinia Shire Council

Common Ground Project

Food Fairness Illawarra

Cultivating Community

Humble Sampler

South Australian Urban Food Network


Young Farmers Connect


Australia's Right To Food Coalition

Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Australian National University


Braidwood & Villages Business Chamber

Canberra City Farm

Central Queensland University

City of Ballarat

City of Greater Geelong

Community Gardens Australia

Conservation Volunteers

Creative Space



Flinders + Co.

Focus Planting Australia Pty. Ltd.

Folk of All Trades

Food Fossickers

Food Next Door Co-op

Food Plants International

Green Light Organic Market

Green Skills Inc.

GV Food Cooperative

Healthy Cities Illawarra

Hidden Harvest

Homegrown Me

Indigenous Plants for Health Assn.

Innate Ecology

Katanning Landcare

Keyon Design

Local Food Connect



Masons of Bendigo

Melbourne Farmers Markets

Moreland Food Gardens Network

Mornington Peninsula Shire

Otway Fields

Permaculture Australia

Permaculture Education Institute



Perth NRM

Project Fresh Start Inc.

Rainbow Coast Neighborhood Centre

Randwick City Council

Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast NSW

Regional Development Australia Southern Inland NSW

Sandro Demaio Foundation



Shire of Augusta Margaret River

Slow Food Melbourne

Slow Food Swan Valley And Eastern Regions Inc

Southern Harvest

Spade & Barrow

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation


Sustainable Gardening Australia

The Community Plate

The Hills Food Frontier Inc

UN Global Compact Cities Programme

urban rewild

William Angliss Institute

Individual Signatories

Sonia Martinez

Founder, Fareloom

Pauline Mary Crosbie

Founder/ , Bumblebee Factory.

Daniel Slavko Vlahek

Operations/Administration Manager

Fiona Buining

Founder, Ainslie Urban Farm

Nicholas Howlett

Mushroom Grower

Russel Montgomery

Teacher, Carey Baptist College Forrestdale

Matt Cole

Alison Dalziel

Director, Localise

Mark Duncan

Director of DMM Agronomy, Gower Support for Biological Services, DMM Agronomy, Biological Services

Sharon Gerardino

Associate, HHC

Gavin Hardy

Community food systems specialist, Community Gardens Australia

Amelia Harray

Director & Founder, PhD, AdvAPD, AN, Eat Sustainably

Jaime Hogan

Madeline Hogan

Food Specifications and Regulatory Officer, MSAC Solutions

Michael Hughes

Edible Ecology Facilitator, Let's Grow Shopping

Zachary Jones

Landscape Architect

Jane Knight

Ninna Mar

Founder of Symbiotic , Symbiotic

Karen Newman

Meg Platte

Coordinator, Garfield Community Garden

Amanda Riordan

Managing Director, The Murrurundi Collective Pty Ltd

Trish Talob

Community Fed

Allan 'Big Al' Connolly

Founder/Managing Director, Kommuniti HQ

Faye Adams

East Albury IGA

East Albury IGA

Fiona Anchal

Owner, Wholesome Bellies

Stella Anyaogu

Design Strategist

Frank Banks

Casey Barkla-Jones

Lisa Brassington

Collective Impact and Urban Agriculture Facilitator, Food Circles | Cardinia Shire Council

Andrew Bregmen

Director, Design Solutions Group

Margaret Bridgeford

Sarah Desmond

Social Worker

Anthony Dickson

William Douglas mansell

Founder, Habitat Solutions

Joel Fitzgerald

Farm Manager, Heart Tree Care Farm

Amanda Fleming

Delia Forrest


Nicola Foxworthy

Berbel Franse

Health Promotion Officer (Food Security & Sustainability) , Healthy Cities Illawarra / Food Fairness Illawarra

Angus Graham

Danah Harbour

Tracy Hardy

Founder, Accredited Nutritionist/Dietitian, Wattleseed Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing

Nick Harris

Joanne Helen Cody

Natasha Henningsen

Academic, Le Cordon Bleu Australia

Carolyn Hicks

Jason Hilder


Michelle Hollingsworth


Daniel James Racovolis

Enactor, Urabba Parks Pty Ltd

Wendy Johnson

William Leon Naufahu


Sydney MacLennan

Food systems professional

Garry McQuillan

CEO, Randwick City Council

Jane Melvin

Environmental Consultant

Emmy Nicol

Liz Ninnes

Sue Noy

Research fellow and academic, Deakin University

Robert O'Griffith

CEO, Green Look Living Space

Catherine Olsson

Naomi Orsillo

Owner, Copper & Stone Cafe

Josephine Paone

Pasta Maker, Radical Pasta

andrew pengelly

vice-president, co-founder, Indigenous Plants for Health Assn.

Carol Perdig√£o

Project Assistant and Oakhill Comms Coordinator, Sustain

Roslyn Pilbeam

Stephanie Prado

Rob Rees

Lorena Rey

Dan Ricciuti

Proprietor, Dan's Gardens

Nick Rose

Executive Director, Sustain

Sam Ryan

Educator, Folk of All Trades

Natalie Sarau

Chief Waste Warrior , Forkful

Lisa Savchuk

Artist, Creative Space

Ian Sinclair

Principal Consultant, Edge Land Planning

Jessica Skye Johnston-Doyle

Student, Victoria University

Savannah Supski

Co-founder/Treasurer, Just Food Collective

Nathan Toleman

Common Ground Project

Kirra Watt

Sabian Wilde

Perth NRM

timothy william read

Freelance consultant: biodiversity conservation, food systems, climate change adaptation, Biome

John Winkels

Director, Pure Peninsula Honey