The WRI Director, Professor Roger Leigh, recently attended the National Sustainable Food Summit held at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on 5 & 6 April 2011. The Summit was attended by a range of national and international experts from across the whole food chain including agricultural researchers, food industry players, and sustainability experts. They discussed how food production and use could be undertaken more sustainably and what new paradigms need to be implemented to meet the twin needs of sustainability and productivity.
The event (sponsored by a number of bodies including Meat & Livestock Australia, The Australian Food & Grocery Council, WWF, Sustainability Victoria, the Global Foresight Network, the National Farmers Federation, Net Balance, The Biogenesys Project and EPA Victoria) included a number of plenary lectures followed by group discussions addressing issues such as Sustainable Farming and Resource Management, Food Processing and Distribution, Consumption, Food Waste, Stakeholder Engagement, Equity and Fair Trade, Supply Chain Transparency and Traceability, and Local Food Economies.
The Summit explored both the existing state of Australia’s food security and ways to ensure its continued robustness. In particular, the delegates dissected the challenges Australia’s food system can expect, business models and capabilities to deal with these challenges, knowledge and skills and the role of government, industry, farmers and community, with a view to making policy recommendations that may inform the National Food Plan and begin to change Australia’s food landscape.