12 December 2022 (Australia)
Soaring food prices, job losses and COVID-related health issues are cited as having major impacts on food accessibility over the past three years, according to a survey by the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA). AFSA’s survey is currently open to gather research for its third book, Eating Democracy (2023), which will focus on the sourcing and eating habits of everyday Australians.
With recent global crises such as bushfires, COVID pandemic and floods contributing to wide scale food shortages, redundancies and poor health outcomes, AFSA aims to explore how people interact with food based on their needs, preferences and circumstances. From First Peoples to farmers, refugees and low income families, Eating Democracy will highlight a diversity of food stories across the country.
“So many of our allies have joined the movement after considering ethical ways of sourcing and consuming the food they eat,” says AFSA President, Tammi Jonas.
“This book will be an opportunity to share stories from different kinds of eaters, from all walks of life, who consider food sovereignty at the core of consumption,” Jonas continues.
Survey responses at this stage indicate that recent crises have presented challenges for people to access fresh, ethical food within an affordable range, particularly for young people, low income families and remote communities. Eating Democracy aims to shed light on how people navigate these challenges resourcefully, to address food justice.
“We know that eating local and ethical is beyond reach for many Australians, particularly for those on low income wages or living in remote communities where options are limited,” says AFSA National Committee member, Penny Kothe.
“The survey responses we’ve received so far suggest that the rising cost of living has forced many Australians to tighten their budget, which includes opting for cheaper foods to feed families. We want Eating Democracy to be a call for critical transformation of food systems to ensure everyone has access to fresh, local and ethical foods, no matter who they are,” Kothe continues.
AFSA is calling on individuals, organisations and communities to submit a response to the Eating Democracy survey, and share it far and wide to ensure it captures a broad range of food habits from capital cities to remote regions. The organisation calls on First Peoples, young people and low income families in particular, to ensure all voices are amplified in the book.
“It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about food – your story matters! We all need to eat, and AFSA is keen to learn about how people’s personal stories influence the way they source, share and consume food,” says Kothe.
The Eating Democracy survey will remain open until early 2023.
Contact: For AFSA enquiries: Tammi Jonas, AFSA President
m: 0422 429 362
For Eating Democracy enquiries: Penny Kothe, AFSA Treasurer
m: 0400 165 403
About the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA)
The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) is a farmer-led civil society organisation of people working together towards socially-just and ecologically-sound food and agriculture systems that foster the democratic participation of First Peoples, smallholders, and local communities in decision making processes. Website: afsa.org.au