Commencing in November 2016, the ambitious and visionary Cardinia Food Circles Project aims to support the Shire of Cardinia, community food leaders and Shire residents in the establishment, promotion and expansion of a healthy, delicious, sustainable and fair food system for all Shire residents.
The project’s objectives are to:
- Build a shared understanding of the Cardinia food system, and its challenges and opportunities, amongst a diverse and representative group of stakeholders
- Establish a shared and widely understood definition and baseline of food literacy with shire residents and council officers
- Raise levels of food literacy across the shire, particularly amongst youth
- Build capacity amongst Council staff and councillors by integrating food systems thinking across different business units and within key Council plans and strategies
- Diversify food distribution and consumption in the shire, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal and where possible local produce
- Support business innovation and local job creation in the shire’s food system.
- Advocate to other levels of government through research and case studies for changes in planning policy for better control around density and proximity to vulnerable communities of fast food outlets.
Key activities to date include:
- Background mapping report of the Cardinia Shire food system (November 2016-February 2017)
- Participatory creation of a food system profile for Cardinia Shire (March – April 2017)
- Extensive community and stakeholder engagement (February 2017 – ongoing)
- Formation and support of the Cardinia Food Network and Cardinia Food Movement (May 2017 – ongoing)
- Food literacy research partnership with RMIT School of Media and Communications (June 2017 – December 2017)
- Inaugural Cardinia Food Summit with 100 participants and an international keynote speaker (November 2017)
- Kitchen table talks and ideas harvest to generate a locally-owned food systems plan (December 2017 – ongoing)
- Launch of the Community Grocer, affordable pop-up fruit and veg market, in Pakenham (March 2018 – ongoing)
- Preparation and distribution of food literacy survey to 2000 households across the Shire to create a food literacy baseline (September 2017 – ongoing)
For more information and to get involved visit the Cardinia Food Movement website: www.cardiniafoodmovement.org.