May 2013 – October 2014 Last updated 30 Nov, 2015

How do we improve fruit and vegetable supply and access, as well as develop and promote a culture of healthy eating in Victoria?

Working with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), the VicHealth Seed Challenge was launched in April 2013. 

It represented an exciting approach to health promotion where people from across the nutrition sector, fruit and vegetable industries, researchers, social innovators/entrepreneurs, the digital world and related sectors were called to work together and come up with solutions to achieve nutritious food that is sustainable, available, and affordable for all Victorians.

54 ideas were submitted, 10 shortlisted. Each finalist received a $1K cash injection and expert support to further a program logic and a business plan, ready to be pitched to the judging panel. The two winning ventures shared in $100K of capital investment long with 12 months mentoring and coaching. 

The VicHealth Seed Challenge was about innovation, developing new ways of working together, prototyping the brightest ideas, and using digital technology to improve local fresh food production and distribution so that nutritious food is sustainable, available, and affordable for all Victorians.

The campaign ran from May 2013 to October 2014, and the supporting website is now archived to the National Library of Australia’s Pandora repository.

Download: The VicHealth Seed Challenge Background Document (PDF, 1.2MB)

3000acres – by Planisphere

3000 acres is a platform to connect people to land, resources and each other so that more people can grow more food in more places.

The idea is to build holistic and sustainable cities for generations to come by changing how we use vacant land, establishing strong relationships between community, business, and government. It bridges the gap between traditional grassroots methods of growing food and city planning policies.

When people want to start to grow food, it can be hard to find a site or know who to talk to for access or planning approval. The team noticed a lot of empty and underutilised land across Melbourne and beyond. So they proposed connecting people who want to grow food, with land, with other people, and also with the right people in local government, to make sure everyone can work together.

3000 acres provides a map of actual and potential places to grow food. A team – including representatives from local government – review potential sites and help make suitable land easier to find.

They provide ways for people to get in touch and organise around their plot, as well as resources to help get started and make connections with land owners, local councils, and a whole range of resources.

The vision of 3000 acres is that every resident in Melbourne will have access to the environmental and health benefits of growing spaces within easy walking distance of home and work. By 2050, neighbours working together will create hundreds of community gardens, mini-parks, urban farms and green markets.

Open Food Network – by the Open Food Web Foundation

Open Food Network is an open source e-commerce marketplace and logistics platform that enables communities and producers to connect, trade and co-ordinate movement of food.

It’s like a network of online farmers markets that enables everyone to participate.

Open Food Network enables eaters to "know their farmers" (where they are, how they farm, exactly what price they get) while still having wide choice and the ease and convenience of local pick-up and access.

For farmers, it means they can set their own prices, tell their own stories and choose who they trade with.

And it helps food hubs rebuild local economies by supporting these farmers and eaters by distributing food.

Visit the Open Food Network website