“the responsibility for quality produce and sustainable land care lies not only with the farmers, but with us as consumers as well”.
Recently political/economic commentators, Ken Henry ex-Treasury Secretary notably, have been including us as consumers/voters in the policymaking picture.
The inference is that we’re navel gazing and not looking at the big picture – the real world picture not just the one in the home cinema – and we’re not not putting enough pressure on our policymakers, who are therefore not performing well.
Agreed. A lot have been in a good paddock for too long.
You might say we’re the architects of our own demise in the shape of infrastructure not maintained/built, difficult choices left languishing.
In Tasmania at the Giblin lecture, Ken Henry put the vital question – for all of us:
“Right through the 1980s Australian policymakers haunted by another great recession attributable to policy failure over many decades, found themselves on a burning platform.
With high inflation, high unemployment and another negative terms of trade shock that threatened a further hit to living standards, the imperative for action was broadly understood and accepted…It wasn’t easy… (but) the circumstances were so confronting action was inevitable.
Today we have low inflation, low unemployment and a terms of trade boom that has to date boosted average living standards.
How does one, today, communicate the imperative for action?”
As consumers we expect any fruit or vegetable whenever we want it, with no marks or blemishes and uniform in size and shape AND we want the best at the lowest price.
Most of us know – and care? – about how supermarkets squeeze their suppliers when they can’t they import produce from overseas.
As the G Magazine arti?cle says, we shouldn’t have to be asked to accept damaged goods after the recent natural disasters… ‘these are the people who feed us’.
In keeping with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) philosophy we should be proud that we are supporting our local farmers who are passionate about the land they are working and caring for.
The CSA price we pay is set by the farmer and set at a level which provides them with a financial return sufficient to encourage them to continue their farming activities.
Village Futures Food is growing. They connect consumers with growers and distribute veggie boxes to local hubs. All the farms and hubs are within 30 km of Eltham, on Melbourne’s eastern fringe.
They are distributors of:
· Seasonal vegetables
· Chemical Free Vegetables
· GM Free Vegetables
There is one weekly standard vegetable box and one standard box every 2 weeks available for delivery to either the Hurstbridge or Eltham hubs. If you know anyone who is interested they can contact Natalie, email firstname.lastname@example.org
“CSAs generally focus on the production of high quality foods for a local community, often using organic or biodynamic farming methods, and a shared risk membership/marketing structure. This kind of farming operates with a much greater than usual degree of involvement of consumers and other stakeholders — resulting in a stronger than usual consumer-producer relationship. The core design includes developing a cohesive consumer group that is willing to fund a whole season’s budget in order to get quality foods. The system has many variations on how the farm budget is supported by the consumers and how the producers then deliver the foods. By CSA theory, the more a farm embraces whole-farm, whole-budget support, the more it can focus on quality and reduce the risk of food waste or financial loss. (Wikipedia)”
Our future….grassroots leadership?