It’s Fair Food Week
First of all please check out the Fair Food Week website and join one of the ones in your area or create your own! Creating your own event or happening is easy and registration is free for individuals and not-for-profits/community groups. Oh, and ‘like’ the Fair Food Facebook page whilst you’re at it.
So what is fair food?
Fairness and the idea of a fair go is something that Australians ‘get’ instantly. In this case we mean fair from paddock to plate, field to fork, soil to stomach, wilderness to waste or waist. In other words fair food is food that takes into account all of the aspects that food encompasses: the environment that enables food production, the water it depends on, the soil organisms, the growers, workers, the cooks and eaters, the culture in which it is embedded, the clean air it requires, the life it enables, and the recognition that they are all inseparably linked. If any part of the food system is unfair, the remainder of the system will suffer – including us.
Fortunately this is a message that thinking Australians ‘get’. So much so that we have a celebrity line up of Fair Food Champions who want to support Fair Food Week (see our first video below) – so stay tuned as there are a few surprises in store. That said if you know any high profile Australians who would support Fair Food Week, please get in touch.
During the recent Students of Sustainability conference at the ANU, Simon Cunich, director and producer of the food sovereignty film Growing Change (insert link) caught up with rugby union star and Fair Food Week champion David Pocock, and AFSA national coordinator Nick Rose.
Our role in international negotiations about food
Now I will appear to digress from Fair Food Week for a bit. One of the things I am working on via the Civil Society Mechanism is UN/FAO input into the Food Losses and Waste in the context of Sustainable Food Systems. What is interesting is that at the highest level there is a belief that the current system can be made ‘more sustainable’. I think you know where I am going with this, but either a system is sustainable or it isn’t – period. A ‘more sustainable food system’ is just an unsustainable system that will take longer to fail, because it isn’t sustainable. This error in logic would be funny if it wasn’t happening at intergovernmental level and perpetuating the fallacy that a partial redemption of the existing industrial food system is all that is required.
The other issue that this report raises is that the costs of the global food system and the vast amounts of waste it produces (30 to 40% of all food produced goes to waste) are all ‘context specific’. What this means is that the solutions to waste must be local and context specific. To me this is another example of globalised food system profits, with the costs to be paid for by the local communities. In other words the demands of a globalised and corporate food system produces the waste, which the local, regional or industry specific is expected to fix. It should be obvious to all that food losses and waste are a symptom of the system, and treating a symptom is not going to cure the disease. We risk putting a Band-Aid over waste when what needs to happen is that the system should be redesigned (cured) to stop rewarding over production – ‘productionism’.
I digressed a little, but a system that produces vast amounts of waste, whilst hundreds of millions go hungry, is manifestly unfair. So we are back to supporting Fair Food Week and entrenching it in the annual calendar of national events.
This year Fair Food Week 10 – 19 October is centred around World Food Day which is 16 October 2014.
So please get behind Fair Food Week and encourage your friends, families and communities do to likewise. Be creative and have fun with it too, because this is meant to be a celebration of what a better food system can look like.
Best regards and in solidarity,