Tag Archives: National Food Plan

Welcome to Sydney Food Fairness Alliance

Posted on 09. Mar, 2013 by .

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The Sydney Food Fairness Alliance  (SFFA) is a network of consumers, rural producers, health professionals, community workers and advocates who want to see food security for all within a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable food system.

2013 promises to be a busy year for SFFA with the release of the Federal Govt <em>National Food Plan</em> due, and the alternative ‘ grass roots’ <em>People’s Food Plan</em> launched by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance. SFFA will play an active role in the discussion about what kind of food future we want and how we need to shape it now. Join us to be part of it!

 

We will:

  • Continue support for farmers, in the face of threats by CSG and supermarket price fixing
  • Explore the role that local councils can play in promoting food security and food access
  • Lobby for increases in income support payments to help the 1-2 million Australians who go hungry
  • Showcase challenging ideas, stimulating discussions and examples of great ways to work round food

 

Members include people working in sectors such as:

  • health and aged care
  • community services and welfare
  • local government
  • urban planning
  • agriculture and primary industries
  • community gardens, Permaculture and organic food industries and organisations
  • food and hospitality industries
  • media
  • education
  • ethicists and religious organisations
  • concerned and interested individuals

 

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Are we really serious about closing the health gap?

Posted on 07. Jan, 2013 by .

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The WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) report highlights the need for policy cohesion within all sectors of government. In order to respond effectively to the WHO Commission report a whole of government approach to addressing health equity would be required. A ‘Health Equity in all Policies’ approach could adopt a process such as Equity-focused Health Impact Assessment, where all new policies are evaluated against the potential to increase health inequalities and remediation measures identified and implemented within the policy framework.
A significant area of public policy related to this inquiry into the SDoH, currently under development federally, is the National Food Plan. It is of concern to the SFFA and MFFF, that the National Food Plan Green Paper, released earlier this year, does not take a SDoH approach to addressing national action on food and health.

 

READ MORE:   Submission to the Inquiry into Australia’s domestic response to the WHO Commission on SDoH report “Closing the Gap”

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The National Food Plan Green Paper … whose plan is this?

Posted on 15. Aug, 2012 by .

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Members of the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance attended the 14 August 2012 public meeting organised by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries (DAFF) and held in Sydney CBD to discuss the recent publication of the National Food Plan green paper.

 

This public meeting, part of the ‘public consultation’ process, was chaired by Mr Paul Morris, Executive Director of ABARES.  AS a ABARES employee, there is no doubt that Mr Morris would be very familiar with statistical data and current trends of our food economy.

Surprisingly, he opened the meeting with slides quoting totally incorrect data on very important aspects of the debate: for instance, the claim that food prices have gone down over the last 10 years whilst the food price inflation rate in Australia has been one of highest in the OECD countries.  The picture on food insecurity in Australia was also totally incorrect.  The welfare sector and in particular Food Bank tell us that up to 2 million Australian have had access to food relief last year alone.  Mr Morris told us that only 2% of the Australian population was food insecure.

Why would a very senior public servant be so inaccurate about such important aspects of our social life? Are they trying to shape our perception (us the public) that all is well in the world of agriculture, food supply and consumption?

Is it possible that our senior bureaucracy understanding of the food system be just limited to an economic exercise totally concentrating mainly on production and prospective exports and by the same tocken being disconnected from its social context? Most likely. Why was the CEO of ABARES chairing a meeting about policy anyway? Strange choice of MC!

The Department of Agriculture had a very contained set agenda for discussion at the meeting; only food security, competitive food industry, and health/nutrition were to be discussed.  Views on the sustainability of coal seam gas mining or biotechnology were not to be debated or even discussed. The position of DAFF on these matters has been clearly articulated in the green paper: mining can co-exist with agriculture; biotechnology (GM or any other experimental manipulation on living organisms has been implicitely accepted by our government) is the way of the future.

This is a very disappointing progress for the consumer, but the Australian government may be proud of themselves for being so skillful at avoiding the real issues and framing the national food plan as an economic exercise.

We are currently preparing our written submission to the green paper just in hope that perhaps, one day, the future of food will be considered as important as the fight against cigarette smoking.  Only time will tell.

 

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