Food Future WA, an initiative of Perth NRM, today hosted the WA Food Future Alliance, at Technology Park Function Centre, Bentley.
The meeting bought together over 60 key stakeholders and potential partners from federal, state and local governments, research institutes, local businesses and community, to discuss the current state of food production in Western Australia.
A need for a unified approach to planning across the food industry has been identified to supply healthy, nutritious food for future generations. Partnerships and collaboration are vital to achieve these goals and today’s meeting was a strengthening of this alliance on sustainable development and showed the projects which are driving a more food secure WA.
Perth NRM’s Program Manager, Keith Pekin explained, “food security is defined by the UNFAO as all people, at all times, should have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs for an active and healthy life”.
The population of Western Australia will reach five million by 2050 and as a state will experience more frequent, extreme weather events. This availability of data on population expansion, food production capability by farmers, climate change, natural resource availability and human health in recent years is highlighting the urgency to plan our food future.
Officially opened by Rod Stafstrom from the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIPRD) the WA Food Future Alliance meeting featured presentations by Mr. Pekin on the Strategic Planning and Action for a Food Secure 2050 and beyond, identifying the projects that are currently happening under Food Future WA and Perth NRM’s Sustainable Agriculture Project Manager, Graham McAlpine who highlighted that Australia has a lot of work to do regarding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) relating to food security, “If we don’t do this properly, we will lose our valuable resources”.
The Alliance was also provided with a review of Melbourne’s food policy, ‘Footprint Melbourne’ led by Dr. Rachel Carey from the University of Melbourne, which has been the stimulation for the work being undertaken in WA. Changes here have been driven by local government, educating children in schools and working with the media to deliver the message to the wider community.
Focusing on local projects, a case study by Wheatbelt Development Commission and the City of Wanneroo looked at the development of the North of Perth Food Zone. This area has significant importance with over 60 agricultural products, 80% of WA’s oranges and lemons and 68% of its sweetcorn is grown in this region. This food zone shows strong cross border collaboration.
Further case studies were presented by ECU on their South West Community Project, looking at the SDG’s in relation to health and nutrition and by Professor Peter Batt on the Milan Food Agenda, a policy which aims to promote and strengthen urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable approaches.
Perth NRM (Natural Resource Management) is a not for profit organisation. Our aim is to promote and protect the natural resources of the Swan Region, promote and support sustainable agriculture as well as environmentally sustainable living
Food Future WA is an initiative of Perth NRM. Its purpose is to ensure our children and grandchildren have access to safe, healthy and local fresh food.