Australia Food Systems Directory

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Sustain has created a 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.

To visit and search the Directory, and to create a profile for yourself, your organisation, your projects, events, knowledge and food systems infrastructure, please go here.

What is this Directory for?

In creating and making available this tool, Sustain’s goals are to:

  • Make the emerging sustainable food systems movement in Australia visible in its diversity and scope
  • Identify and profile leading organisations and individuals, and document their affiliations and linkages across the food system
  • Build food literacy amongst policy makers and the general public, and contribute to a greater awareness of the benefits of healthy, sustainable and fair food systems around Australia
  • Create a networking tool that allows organisations and individuals working within food systems to identify and connect with each other
  • Inspire and equip users of the Directory with a tool that can help them to bring about change in the food systems that they interact with or wish to become involved in

Who is this Directory for?

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.

How will the Directory be developed and used?

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)

Funding and development

The initial creation of this Directory was made possible by a grant from the Myer Foundation. The Directory was created by Patrick O’Callaghan of Local Food Loop, and the initial population of the Directory was the work of Vivien Yii and Stefanie Carino of Youth Food Movement (Melbourne), as well as Henry Crawford of Sustain.