Food frontiers

The venue is booked for our Local Food Conference - its all go! It is scheduled for 13 and 14 February  2017 at the Interactive Learning Centre at NorthTec. Anne Palmer of the Center for a Livable Future is confirmed as keynote speaker. You can read more about Anne here. Anne is Program Director for the Food … Continue reading Food frontiers


Who to vote for in the DHB elections?

A big issue we face in local body elections is knowing who to vote for. For those of us interested in moving to more sustainable food systems, the District Health Board (DHB) elections are very important. Our health system remains largely focussed on dealing with primary health care based on orthodox approaches. The massive investment … Continue reading Who to vote for in the DHB elections?

Food recovery in Northland

Dr Laupepa Va'a of the Northland District Health Board (DHB) is working on a major project investigating the feasibility of a more integrated approach to food recovery. He is busy engaging people involved in food recovery and food access. Globally, we waste one third of food produced. The good news is that we produce enough to … Continue reading Food recovery in Northland

Jeff’s travels in Sweden and Denmark

Earlier this month Jeff Griggs returned from visiting Denmark and Sweden. Here are his reflections on his time there. Both are amazing countries that look after their people. Most are bi-lingual especially the young people. Very old histories makes New Zealand seem very young. They both have high tax rates that pay for a lot of social … Continue reading Jeff’s travels in Sweden and Denmark

A Local Food Northland conference?

Local Food Northland is in the early stages of planning a local food conference. A big part of the shift to a more sustainable food systems is working together - so the diverse people and groups that have an interest in food and health can learn about what each other are doing and build productive … Continue reading A Local Food Northland conference?

A better environment and sustainable food systems

We waste too much food because it is too cheap according to Jason Clay, the Senior Vice-President for Market Transformation at the World Wildlife Fund. If we were to include the cost of the impact of food production (the externalities) food would cost twice as much. The World Wildlife Fund was established over 50 years … Continue reading A better environment and sustainable food systems

Free fish heads

Here is a great example of software facilitating better resource use. The ability of software to facilitate direct connections between producers and consumers are important in developing more sustainable food systems - in this case, reducing food waste. Free Fish Heads from Tightlines Television on Vimeo. Here is a link to Free Fish Heads.

Kaiora honey

Manuka honey has enabled the Murray whanau in the Far North to re-establish a strong economic base back on their rohe (tribal lands). The story of Northlanders re-establishing their cultural and economic base on the land is a important and encouraging step in our move towards sustainable food systems. Their story is told in this Country … Continue reading Kaiora honey


Ken Ross returned recently from Italy excited about their co-operatives. The Emilia Romagna region is one of the most prosperous in Europe and the home of luxury car manufacturers, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati. It has a population of 4.5 million with two out of every three citizens in co-operatives. This Prezi has more background. This map … Continue reading Co-operatives

Fruit and nuts unlimited

Earthcare Education Aotearoa are finding inspirational stories about local food across Aotearoa (New Zealand). Their latest video explores plantings of fruit and nut trees in public spaces from 50 locations around the country. This video introduces the project. Fruit & Nuts UNLIMITED! - TRAILER from The Localising Food Project on Vimeo. Here is a link … Continue reading Fruit and nuts unlimited

Kaicycle- food waste recycling

Wellington's Kaicycle is supporting the shift to sustainable food systems with urban food waste recycling. They use bikes to collect organic waste from homes and businesses, compost it, and use that compost to grow food. Half of that food is given away to organisations such as Kaibosh. It is inspiring to see sustainability embedded in … Continue reading Kaicycle- food waste recycling

The Gocks save the kumara

Here is a short video from Loading Docs featuring the Gocks and their story as refugees. When kumaras in the Northern Wairoa were afflicted with black rot, Joe and Fay Gock provided new disease free kumara from their Mangere farm. Hear more about them from this Radio New Zealand podcast. This is a … Continue reading The Gocks save the kumara

Winter Banquet 2016

On Wednesday evening, 20th July over 120 people gathered  at 116 Bank St (Company of Giants venue) in Whangarei to celebrate local food and good company.    The event was organised by Sean and Rowan Stanley of the Whangarei Food Co-op. The cost of $30/person was an amazing bargain considering the quality (and quantity!) of the food, consisting … Continue reading Winter Banquet 2016

The u.Lab free course is highly relevant to local food

Have you done a MOOC yet (Massive Online Open Course)? I have completed Otto Scharmer's u.Lab course twice now, because it was so good. It is on again in September. It is highly relevant to our aspirations for local food for at least two key concepts in the course. Otto Scharmer uses hi Theory U to … Continue reading The u.Lab free course is highly relevant to local food

What do food policy councils do?

Local Food Northland is exploring how a food policy council might work for Northland. In 2015, there were 282 food policy councils in the U.S. and Canada. We anticipate that a food policy council will complement the grass roots initiatives supporting the shift to sustainable food systems. So what do food policy councils do? The  Center … Continue reading What do food policy councils do?

A Food Policy Council for Northland?

While current sustainable food system initiatives in Northland are admirable, as yet, they remain relatively poorly connected. If this were to continue, such initiatives will remain as a counter-culture in the prevailing industrial food system. Local Food Northland believe that developing a Northland food policy council, founded democratically as a “grass-roots” initiative with the task … Continue reading A Food Policy Council for Northland?

Local food and climate change

We have to change our narrative around climate change. Our government tells us that we are too small here in New Zealand to make any positive impact on climate change. But we have been leaders in social change. We were the first nation to give women the vote in 1893, we have been world leaders … Continue reading Local food and climate change

Sustainable food systems and the UNEP

Take a look at this brilliant video from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). In under 4 minutes it provides a clear and concise evaluation of our global food system. It is good to know that at the highest level of global governance there is awareness of the dire state of our food system. … Continue reading Sustainable food systems and the UNEP

The iPES-Food report – from uniformity to diversity

In June 2016 the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems released its first thematic report, From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems. The report advocates the shift from industrial food systems to sustainable food systems. The failure of the industrial food system is presented starkly in the … Continue reading The iPES-Food report – from uniformity to diversity

Food chains or food webs?

The choice is becoming starker as we learn more about the impacts of industrial food delivered through long food chains. Do we want to support industrial food delivered through long food chains or sustainable food systems closer to home? This is the first of a series of extracts from Our Food Story. But first, here … Continue reading Food chains or food webs?

Our food story

Today Our Food Story, an investigation into Northland's food system is being published. It surfaces a compelling vision of the benefits accruing from a more connected and local food system. The executive summary from the document is reproduced below. Thank you to my co-researcher Eloise Neeley for her superb work over summer to enable this report to happen. … Continue reading Our food story

Stevia – sweet as

Stevia (Stevia rebaudia) is a great addition to any Northland garden. Although the plant is of tropical South American origins, it grows well here. It is a perennial that dies back in Winter, but in my garden, regrows every spring. The plants can handle some frost, so most Northland sites are okay. In these situations the … Continue reading Stevia – sweet as

Vegetable tourism, Trojan horses and sticky economies

Pam Warhurst is in New Zealand sharing the message of edible landscapes. In 2009 she and her friend Mary cleaned up a piece of waste land in her Yorkshire Town of Todmorden and planted veggies. This started a movement that is now world-wide. In her interview with Kim Hill Pam relates how Todmorden has been transformed … Continue reading Vegetable tourism, Trojan horses and sticky economies

Food for Thought

Rita Shelley I grew up in the most urban of environments. We didn’t have land. We didn’t grow things. Most of my life I couldn’t understand the pleasure in gardening. Recently, I’ve begun to change. I got there through food. You see, my partner and I love to eat and we are enthusiastic cooks. I … Continue reading Food for Thought

Choosing local food

There are restaurants and cafes around Northland that choose to support local producers, but do you know who they are? And if you did know, would you be more likely to choose them to dine with? There are a surprising number of local restaurants and cafes that are passionate about local food, but they are … Continue reading Choosing local food

Moving the food system towards sustainability

We are promoting a sustainable food system for Northland. Sheri Flies… says that three essentials must be considered in order to move the food system towards sustainability. “The first thing is that you have to have a critical mass of benevolent demand on the side of the customers. Then you need full economic, social, and … Continue reading Moving the food system towards sustainability