The Food Alliance – a not-for-profit group that brings people and organisations together to tackle the big issues in our food system from paddock to plate – will be launched on Thursday 21 November
The Food Alliance – a not-for-profit group that brings people and organisations together to tackle the big issues in our food system from paddock to plate – will be launched on Thursday 21 November with a visit from noted UK social enterprise expert Chris Walsh and local orchardist Len Rayner.
“This launch captures what the Food Alliance is about: big, progressive ideas and innovative solutions, but with a very local, food-oriented focus which brings together members across the food systems community,” said Kathy McConell, Food Alliance Co-ordinator.
“The Food Alliance looks for solutions to the big problems in our food system; we focus on getting healthy food to all Victorians, preserving prime agricultural land, promoting urban agriculture, and creating local food economies. To have someone of Chris Walsh’s expertise in building long-lasting local solutions to some of these problems is a treat, and one which we hope that almost 150 guests will enjoy at the launch.”
In his hometown of Manchester, Mr Walsh has helped create a network of sustainable food practitioners to provide the city with fresh, local produce. He has also established numerous sustainable living, compost and waste, and education initiatives and has started a commercial organic farmer training program.
“Some of the biggest challenges in food are that we need access to healthy food to be improved, and we need to connect people with where their food is grown, and to make them understand that how and where it is produced is important,” Mr Walsh said.
“Victoria has some great programs working towards these aims, but having a group like the Food Alliance to draw together food groups and projects and amplify their impact is incredible – it gives the region the chance to strengthen its approach to food, and perhaps become one of the best-practice regions in the world.”
One of the Food Alliance’s current projects is researching Melbourne’s fringe farms to map and protect these important food-growing regions (see http://www.pozible.com/kyfoodbowl), and Yarra Valley orchardist Len Rayner will help launch the Food Alliance.
Mr Rayner will discuss the challenges of farming on Melbourne’s fringe for the last 35 years, and brings the ‘bite’ for the launch – a sampling of locally grown fruit from Rayner Stone Fruit Orchard!
Mr Walsh’s visit to Australia is proudly funded by the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab at the University of Melbourne, and the British Council.
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What: Launch of the Food Alliance, a not-for-profit group that tackles the big issues of our food system from paddock to plate. It is part of Deakin University’s Population Health Strategic Research Centre and funded through VicHealth. The launch will be addressed by UK social enterprise expert Chris Walsh.
When: Thursday 21 November, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Where: The Drill Hall: 26 Therry St, Melbourne
Media contact: Chris Walsh is available for interviews on the day of the launch.
Contact Kathy McConell, [email protected] phone: 0403 010 677.