In July 2012, we — the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance — decided to do something both bold and innovative and develop our own food plan in response to the federal government’s National Food Plan Green Paper.
Stimulating our initiative was the government green paper’s heavy bias towards corporate agribusiness, large-scale food manufacturing, big retailing interests and a flawed public consultation process. We knew these things did not truly represent the aspiration of ordinary Australians nor would they move the nation towards securing its supply of basic, essential foods and creating opportunity for smaller businesses and farmers, entrepreneurs and community initiatives in food systems.
We called our policy directions document the Peoples’ Food Plan because, in contrast to the government, our’s would be developed as an authentically open, inclusive and democratic document reflecting the aspirations of eaters, farmers, community organisations, small to medium size food businesses and nutritional, health and other advocacy organisations.
The AFSA drew upon the Canadian People’s Food Policy Project produced between 2009-2011 to write what would be Australia’s first crowdsourced policy directions document.
The AFSA’s Peoples’ Food Plan was developed as a staged process:
Stage 1 — July to September 2012
Prepare the draft discussion document — Values, Principles and Best Practice for a People’s Food Plan for Australia (Discussion Document) — and release it publicly between July and September 2012.
This discussion draft is the work of a group of writers and editors. It forms the basis of a fuller and inclusive national, public conversation around the values and principles that we as Australians want to underpin our food system. We want this document to highlight examples of fair, sustainable and resilient food systems, from here and around the world.
Stage One documents:
- People’s Food Plan Discussion Paper: Values Principles and Best Practice (Overview)- Sep 2012 (pdf 200KB)
- People’s Food Plan Discussion Paper: Values, Principles and Best Practice – Sep 2012 (pdf 808KB)
- Food Alliance Submission to the NFP Green Paper – Sep 2012
- National Food Plan vs People’s Food Plan Comparison – Sep 2012
- 10 Policy Ideas for a People’s Food Plan – Oct 2012
Organise public forums and kitchen table discussions to source feedback on the People’s Food Plan discussion document, identify policy ideas and collate people’s stories about their experiences of the current food system and their visions for the future, and do this between September and November 2012.
Over 600 people participated around 40 forums and kitchen table discussions around the People’s Food Plan Discussion Draft.Guided by our principles of transparency, accountability and deliberative democracy, we published all of the feedback notes.
By reading through these documents, you will be able to see how the revised plan came into being and be inspired by the amazing ideas found in the communities that make up our nation.
- Adelaide – Discussion 1 – Ideas to strengthen the PFP
- Adelaide – Discussion 2 -Dotmocracy – Voting On Ideas
- Carlton and Emerald PFP reports 1112
- Notes from conversation at Noarlunga
- People_s Food Plan Hobart 211012
- People_s Food Plan Launceston 211012
- People_s Food Plan TasLeadersProgram 191012
- PFP feedback summary _ SEQ
- PFP feedback summary _ Sydney 12 11 12
- PFP feedback summary Barham, NSW
- PFP feedback summary Bendigo
- Results from Barham meeting
- City, Emerald, Balwyn PFPs 1112
- Moreland Food Gardens Network PFP summary 25th Oct 2012
- Notes from Hamilton consultation
- PFP Bellingen 18.11.12
- Coffs Combine St Community Garden PFP Notes 21 Oct 2012
- Notes from Maitland consultation
- Notes from Newcastle consultation
Stage 3 — February 2013
Using the feedback, revise the Peoples’ Food Plan discussion document, then publicly launch the People’s Food Plan Working Paper by February 2013.
- Download the Peoples’ Food Plan Working Paper (pdf 2.8MB) (pdf 2.1MB)
- Download Summary (pdf 218KB)
- Download Media Release (pdf 233KB) (pdf 915KB).
The front cover artwork was produced by visual artist Sophie Munns and is entitled ‘Bioluxuriance in the Wet Tropics: Australian Rainforest Fruits, cross-sections of seed capsules’. © Sophie Munns 2013. sophiemunns.weebly.com
Stage 4 — August 2013
Edit the Peoples’ Food Plan Working Paper into a more succinct, shorter document; produce a brief supplementary summary and other supporting documents; release the documents in time for the start of the 2013 federal election campaign.
Stage 5 — into the future
Continue to build momentum and support for the Peoples’ Food Plan through appearances at public events and speaking with media and bloggers, business and community organisations during both the pre-election and post-election period as well as through online media; continue to tweak and improve the Peoples’ Food Plan to improve it’s relevance to putting Australian farmers, food processors, small to medium food businesses and eaters first in our national policy.
Taking initiative is up to us
Join us in creating the People’s Food Plan for food justice and for a resilient, secure food future for our nation and people.
This is an ambitious agenda that requires a national movement to achieve its goals. We can make this happen by:
- Supporting a PFP organising structure near you by asking members of your own organisation and networks to take on some of the many tasks involved in making the People’s food Plan a success.
- Contribute your stories to the fair food movement in pictures, music, words, audio or video. Help get the People’s Food Plan message across to a huge audience by sharing your stories of a food system that is fair to everyone and respects the ecosystems on which it depends.
- Join the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance and encourage others to join us so that, together, we can create a strong and resonant voice for Australia’s fair food movement and influence government and institutional policy at all levels.
- Help take the Peoples’ Food Plan into a future of opportunity and progress. We have achieved much with the volunteer assistance of citizens, their time, skills and donations, and we plan to build on this by maintaining our clear focus on a better food future by engaging with people and their organisations, with small to medium scale food business, with farmers and supportive government agencies and politicians so as to take timely and effective action towards a secure, fair and tasty, Australian-controlled food future in our country.
To spread the fair food message we’re interested in crowdsourcing videos and good food stories about local and larger initiatives to show just what people, working together on a collaborative project, can accomplish. Please contact us if you are interested in this and if you, as citizen or professional journalists, would like to write/photograph stories for our website.