Dr Nick Rose, National Coordinator, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance; Project Coordinator, Food Systems, Food Alliance

Dr Amory Starr, Eco-gastronomist and author of Underground Restaurant: Local Food, Artisan Economics, Creative Political Culture

On 20 March 2014, the Conversation published an article authored by Dr Nick Rose entitled “Let’s Reap the Benefits of Local Food over Big Farming”.  By 16 April 2014, this article had been read over 6,300 times and shared hundreds of times across social media. It generated 84 comments directly, from farmers, journalists, researchers and others.

AFSA is working with partners and stakeholders in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania to promote the concept of a Local Food Act in each of those states, which meets key challenges and priorities for a fairer and more sustainable food system.

Writing in a journalistic context entails extensive editing for reasons of space. Some concepts and examples are abbreviated, almost to a short-hand version, and others are omitted entirely. We felt that the response to this piece warranted a more comprehensive explanation of the ideas in the original piece.

What Amory and I have done in this article is engage with some of the main themes emerging from the very extensive comments made to the original article, with the aim of moving forward the conversation in a constructive manner. The main themes we will engage with are posed as the following questions:

What’s wrong with the dominant agricultural paradigm? 

What suggests that local food systems constitute a viable and desirable alternative?

What is needed to develop local food systems? 

To read the full article (7,276 words), click here: Local Food Australia N Rose A Starr 16.4.14 1.0