Sustain has created this web-based tool in the form of an Australian Directory of people, organisations, projects, knowledge (research and policies), infrastructure (e.g. abattoirs, community gardens, food co-operatives), events and other resources related to food systems.
A primary audience for this tool is staff in various levels of local government, government agencies and related institutions. Other audiences and users may include academics, community groups and interested individuals.
Sustain wishes to involve its users in the growth of the Directory by enabling them to contribute to it and moderate it. Users will be able to create their own research libraries on the Directory to follow and connect with people, organisations and projects of relevance and interest to them.
The term ‘food system’ is intended to capture the complexity of everything and everyone that is involved in the daily work of feeding humanity, with all the myriad activities that take place before and after food is consumed. The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) defines a food system – and a food system approach – as follows:
“The web of actors, processes and interactions involved in growing, processing, distributing, consuming and disposing of foods, from the provision of inputs and farmer training, to product packaging and manufacturing, to waste recycling. A holistic food systems lens is concerned with how these processes interact with one another, and with the environmental, social, political and economic context. The food systems lens also brings to light reinforcing and balancing feedback loops, tensions between the different components and flows of food systems, and interactions that are cyclical, multilayered and multi-scale. It is a way of thinking about the world that seeks to identify the linear and non-linear relationships between the different components of the system.”(From: IPES, 2015, The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming barriers to food systems reform)
Food plates image (events filter on home page) Copyright Katie Dutton.