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Climate change, waste management, jobs – could food be the answer to these big issues?



Did you know that the food system produces 30 - 35 % of greenhouse gas emissions?


In a dynamic world where shocks, be it bushfires, pandemics or climate change, are unfortunately going to be part of our future where we put our energy and investment, as individuals’ communities, businesses and governments is an important consideration.

I ponder this as the Food Embassy has just completed 2 workshops with councils in Adelaide on food systems and why we need to be thinking about this aspect of our lives: climate change, impact on jobs, mental health, food security and community resilience.


You would think that it is a matter of urgency with recent reports highlighting the dire situation of climate change, but for many it is still business as usual and priorities of ongoing development, rates, roads, and rubbish. It is a challenge with budget and time constraints, but it has left me wondering if the connection has not been made between what we eat and the system that brings our food to the table? Transformative change is possible and could bring many solutions to some of our current issues: new local food economies, long term environmental protection, enhanced community wellbeing. We just need to join the dots, break out of silo-thinking and hoping that someone else will fix it. It is time to bring food to front of mind!


Local government has a significant role to play in the field of food systems and there are outstanding examples across the nation. Some examples can be found here https://www.cardiniafoodmovement.org/ and https://sustain.org.au/ .



I have worked in local government as a community development officer and have seen so much great work that is well connected to their community. However, the connection has generally not been made with the food system and I believe the time has come for local government to inform themselves, and their communities about food systems and climate change and take some leadership in this space – including advocating on behalf of their communities for state and federal action.


State government also have a role from an economic development, environment, planning and health perspective to be resourcing and supporting local government to do this important work on the ground, close to where people live, work and play.



Recently Food Embassy Inc. worked with a local council to deliver kitchen table talks where we asked what was important to people around food and it came through clearly that supporting local and seasonal foods was important for jobs and health. The problem was perceived to be lack of access and being stuck in an industrialised system that favours cheap food and profit, that harms the environment and local food producers and our health.


We could change this. We all have a role to play. All contributions large and small will make a difference. Whether you are a rate payer, work for local government, or are an elected member, you can find out more about our food system and what we can all do to make it fairer for everyone. Join us at our free webinar!


“Local government and food systems “ on October 27th at 12- 1pm and go in the draw for a voucher from a local food producer. Book your place here https://events.humanitix.com/local-government-and-why-they-need-to-know-and-work-in-food-systems


Or if you can’t make the webinar here are other ways to act:

Have a read of this article: https://sustain.org.au/articles/urban-agriculture-the-edible-city

Join the SA Food Systems Network – contact Christy Spier ( Christy.Spier@sa.gov.au ) for more details


Remember every little bit of action counts!

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