I’ve not been very good at updating my blog. So, thought I'd give you a whistle stop tour of the places and projects I have visited in the last few days.
I’ve been asked by a number of groups here in Australia how Kindling works to support a new generation of farmers.
As part of Kindling's work to build a sustainable food system from the bottom up we are continually working to balance supply & demand. We may stimulate demand by engaging the public sector or Manchester Veg People may go to a trade fair, but we have consistently found that supply is the medium-term issue.
I had the privilege of being the key note speaker at the launch of Melbourne's Food Alliance on Thursday night.
I spoke on the need for meaningful alliances and the vast benefits of working in true partnership to bring about the fundamental changes we need in our food system.
Often in the UK such words like alliance or partnership are used wrongly. We are encouraged by funders to work with others and local authorities increasingly want to deal with a partnership or coalition of groups rather than one organisation.
South East Food Hub is a partnership of half-a-dozen or so local farmers, organic & conventional involved in producing a diverse range of local food from fruit & veg, beef, milk & yogurt and apple juice. And crucially two entrepreneurs involved in warehousing and distribution.
So yesterday I gave a talk to thirty people about Food Hubs in Casey. Kirsten and the team at Melbourne University have been working on a food hub concept for the city for a number of years in response to a growing disconnect between people and how their food is produced and the huge problem of urban spawl.
Hundreds of thousands of people are moving to the suburbs of Melbourne each year and the housing market is booming .
So I touched down in Melbourne 24 hours ago and the jet lag is now behind me. The team here have done an amazing job with organising the numerous events and talks I'll be attending, but also a huge amount of effort has gone into arranging my accomodation, travel and little things like getting me a mobile phone and maps.
I cant thank Sophia enough, with out whom I would be lost!
So in just a few days time I will be landing in Australia to start my month long adventure.
Although I'll be spending the majority of my time in Melbourne, I will also be visiting New South Wales and Queensland, visiting large cities like Brisbane and Sydney and less well known places like Katoomba and Bendigo.
There is a great blog post on the Australian Food Hubs Network website and an itinerary of the talks, visits and conferences I'll be attending in Australia.
The post starts:
I want to share as much information and inspiration about my Australia trip as possible and so will be:
Writing a regular blog post here on the Kindling website.
Adding a weekly update onto our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kindlingtrust
Tweeting from the @kindlingtrust account using the hashtags #ozfoodhubs and #KindlinginOz.