By Our Food Network | Posted: Tuesday February 21, 2017
Our Food Network is based in Dunedin. Its aim is to stimulate the production, distribution and consumption of local food and in that way contribute to the building of a resilient and prosperous community.
BACKGROUND The Network had its beginnings in two Local Food Forums held in Dunedin, the first in November, 2012, and the second in August, 2013. On each occasion it was evident that there is a broad constituency of interested parties, including home and community gardeners, small-to-medium-scale commercial growers, food distributors, academics and welfare agencies. Equally clear was the belief that there is a place for some sort of agency to convert that considerable energy into a powerful combined force for change. Our Food Network was set up to provide that agency.
• Openness The Network is open to anyone with any kind of interest in local food. Although it is based in Dunedin, it sets no physical “boundaries” for its operation. It encourages informed debate and discussion about the many issues – social, technological, environmental, political, economic and ethical – concerning local food provision in our communities.
• Sustainability Like similar groups around the world, the Network sees itself as having a crucial part to play as we strive to adapt to the multiple challenges we face in the twenty-first century. The Network is committed to the belief that a strong local food system is essential to our continued well-being in an increasingly uncertain world.
• Community The Network is dedicated to the promotion of community as the basis for a resilient society. It is a “grass roots” organisation which embodies the idea of a responsible citizenry.
• Food Rights The Network believes all people have the right to decide what they eat and that everyone should have access to healthy food that is locally produced.
• Connection To provide mechanisms for individuals, organisations and businesses to share information, ideas and resources to build a strong, collaborative, local food network. To facilitate communication and coordination of local food related activities amongst network members. To liaise with other local food networks throughout the country. To share information about local food developments around the world.
• Engagement To promote conscious participation in the local food system by producers, processors and consumers by encouraging and advertising activities such as positive food procurement practices, redistribution of excess food and easy identification of local food products.
• Production To support all food producers (from commercial operators to backyard and community gardeners) by helping to break down any barriers to increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of local food products.
• Prosperity To increase the significance of local food in our regional economy by promoting the interests of businesses (new and existing) involved in the production or distribution of local food on a commercial basis.
• Education To ensure that we all have access to the knowledge we need to grow, process, store - and value – the food we consume. To promote the benefits of producing and consuming local food within our communities.
• Research To encourage academic study of all aspects of our local food system and make the findings of those studies available to the wider community.
• Advocacy To engage with authorities at both regional and national level on issues relating to the sustainable production, processing and distribution of local food.
• Social Justice To support agencies working to ensure equitable access to food.
• Celebration To celebrate the production, distribution and consumption of local food. To promote or endorse events which enhance our local food culture.
If you wish to be an active member of the group, or simply receive the emailed newsletters, we invite you to join by emailing us at [email protected]