It's going to be a great year for food sovereignty in Australia with an exciting new national team elected to lead the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA). Along with our members and supporters we have the opportunity to move towards a more diverse, ecological, and egalitarian food system in this country… one that delivers delicious, ethical food to Australia's eaters… a food system that is fair to all, from soil to stomach.
And so it is with great pleasure as the newly elected President of AFSA to welcome the new and returning members National Committee for 2015. I am delighted to be surrounded by a fantastic team of talented, knowledgeable, skilled & committed people all united in our desire to make Australia’s food systems fairer for everyone.
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- Vice President Jeff Pow (WA)
- National Secretary Nick Rose (VIC)
- Treasurer Nadine Ponomarenko (VIC)
- Communications Officer Alana Mann (NSW)
- Clare Richards (far north QLD), and
- Michele Lally (SA).
[button_link url="http://afsa.org.au/about/our-team/management-committee-2014-15/" target="" style="" title="" class="" id="" onclick=""] You can see all their amazing bios here... [/button_link]
I’d also like to thank Lorraine Gordon, Annie Richmond, and Louise Abson for their nominations, and look forward to having them actively involved in supporting the Committee through working teams and sub-committees. On that note, I would encourage any AFSA member who wants to contribute time to the organisation to get in touch, because there will be plenty of opportunities going forward.
Thank you to the equally talented and passionate outgoing committee members for your work over the previous year (or years in the case of most!) – Michael Croft, Carol Richards, Nick Staniforth, Cat Green, Alice Blackwood, Kali Madden, Sandy Murray, Sonya Pryor, Harry Wykman and Lauren Mathers.
And a special thank you to members Fiona Campbell, Russ Grayson for their tireless and ongoing efforts to help AFSA communicate the many and complicated issues we face in progressing a fair food agenda, and to Jennifer Richards, Marie Kelly-Davies, and Amory Starr, each of whom have made significant contributions during the year.
As retailer power in Australia continues with just two major supermarkets controlling nearly 80% of market share, a new free trade agreement with China that allows Chinese corporations to sue Australian government if there is a change in Australian environmental protections or animal welfare, and the significant threats of coal seam gas extraction from productive agricultural land, food sovereignty is an ever more critical issue for our time.
We need regulatory reform to support the growing agroecological farming movement in Australia. The current regulatory framework was designed for the old industrial model of long supply chains and total lack of transparency. The new way is the old way where eaters are reconnecting to growers and can judge the fairness in the food system firsthand.
The right to grow food instead of grass on your nature strip, the right to know what’s in the food you buy, and the right of everyone to access clean, safe, locally grown food are all central to the mission of AFSA and the thousands of fair food activists working in local communities across the country.
These and many other issues are vital reasons why we need a strong, committed and national movement working for food sovereignty in Australia. AFSA is a volunteer, member-based organisation. Our capacity and our strength is drawn from and depends on our members.
If you’re not already a member of AFSA, sign up today and be part of the solution. We need your voice.