Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig's National Food Policy Advisory Group has missed an opportunity. Its 'big food' members are unlikely to promote wider participation or embrace a new vision for the future of food and farming in Australia. With oil and phosphates running out and the climate changing, industrial agriculture must evolve into ecological farming systems.
"We welcome the Minister's initiative in focusing on food sovereignty and security as it is long overdue”, said the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) national spokesperson Michael Croft.
However, the membership of this Advisory Group represents the big food production and distribution interests that generate problems and crises, not solutions. This Food Council represents the status quo of the existing system – Minister Ludwig has missed a real opportunity to introduce an inclusive representation of food networks. If food security is the real issue, who in this group speaks for the thousands of Australians who go to bed hungry each night?[/quote]
In its 17 December, 2010 Media Release on the Food Policy Advisory Group, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance says that the announcement by the Australian Government of a National Food Policy Advisory Group is a step in the right direction of an integrated national food policy.
As currently constituted however, its membership represents more of the same thinking that has generated problems and crises in our food and farming systems. There is an urgent need for bodies of this sort to be more inclusive of the innovative individuals and organisations who are leading the way towards a truly sustainable and resilient food secure future for all Australians.