On 19 July AFSA President and family farmer Michael Croft, and national coordinator Nick Rose, published their critique of the green paper for Australia’s first National Food Plan. The article, entitled The Draft National Food Plan: Putting Corporate Hunger First, has been read over 5500 times, republished widely, and received supportive comments from expert critical commentators such as Dr Rosemary Stanton and Dr Julian Cribb.
The main argument advanced in the article, namely that the proposed National Food Plan represents a ‘business-as-usual’ plan to suit the needs of big agri-business, major retailers and commodity exporters, was further supported by the release in early August of a brief on the green paper by the Food Alliance. Amongst other serious shortcomings, the Food Alliance says that the Green Paper has “no effective plan for improved access to nutritious food or to deal with Australia’s growing obesity problem”; and that the focus on commodity exports “represents a plan to export the Western diet and associated chronic diseases to Asian countries whose healthcare systems are ill-equipped to cope with the effects”.
What’s needed instead is visionary and transformational change, which is what the People’s Food Plan process, being led by AFSA and supported by individuals and organisations around the country, is seeking to achieve.