Toward a European Common Food Policy

The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) are pathfinders, shining a light on the deficiencies of industrial food systems and lighting the path to sustainable food systems. Their latest publication Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU is the result of  3 years of collaboration that provides a compelling roadmap for Europe with … Continue reading Toward a European Common Food Policy

Let me count the ways… food makes us sick

A new report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food (IPES-Food) outlines how industrial food and farming systems are making people sick in a variety of ways. An Overwhelming Case for Action lead author Cecelia Rocha says "Food systems are making us sick. Unhealthy diets are the most obvious link, but are only one of … Continue reading Let me count the ways… food makes us sick

Food policy from our election candidates

The Northland Food Policy Council is asked political candidates from the Far North, Rodney, Te Tai Tokerau and Whangarei electorates five questions. Their responses are published here at Local Food Northland. Please pass this link on through your networks. Here are links to the candidates' responses. Each electorate has its own webpage. Northland (1 out … Continue reading Food policy from our election candidates

Building momentum towards a sustainable food system

Every project I'm involved with aspiring to move from an industrial food system to a sustainable food system reinforces the critical importance of connecting people. In Northland we have a lot of organisations aspiring to improve our food system. They range from environmental groups and landowners working to improve waterways, health workers, farmers and growers, … Continue reading Building momentum towards a sustainable food system

Child obesity – another damning report

Hot on the heels of the New Zealand Beverage Guidance Council released a policy brief on a sugary drink tax comes the University of Auckland's Health Food Environment Policy Index. Professor Boyd Swinburn claims the Government lacks the political will to stand up to the food industry and push the necessary policies through. Professor Swinburn … Continue reading Child obesity – another damning report

Sugary drink tax

The New Zealand Beverage Guidance Council released a policy brief on a sugary drink tax. In New Zealand sugary drinks contribute to 26% of the sugar intake of children, exposing our children to a range non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gout and dental caries. The policy brief also reports a link between … Continue reading Sugary drink tax

Lets make sugar an election issue

Eight countries, several U.S. jurisdictions and eight Island countries and territories have implemented taxes on sugary drinks (Wikipedia). In 2016 the WHO urged all countries to  impose a tax recommending 20%. Yet our politicians and health authorities seem to be asleep at the wheel on this issue. Jamie Oliver sums it up nicely. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot8LNlN-PGI And … Continue reading Lets make sugar an election issue

Urban food policy – a new iPES-Food report

The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (iPES-Food) yesterday released a superb report What Makes Urban Food Policy Happen: Insights from Five Case Studies. You can access the reports here. The five cities are Belo Horizonte, (Brazil) Nairobi (Kenya), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), The Golden Horseshoe (Toronto and neighbouring districts) and Detroit (U.S.A). Each city … Continue reading Urban food policy – a new iPES-Food report

Food Folly

Food was in the news last week highlighting a woeful lack of vision and leadership. If the consequences weren’t so tragic, it would be funny. They represent a failure of the industrial food system and of the health and political orthodoxy. 1. More sugar? The Ministry of Primary Industries wrote to the sports drink manufacturer … Continue reading Food Folly

The Northland Food Policy Network is underway!

These are the people that gathered at Northland Inc's Orchard on Saturday 27 May for the inaugural meeting of the Northland Food Policy Network. Saba Issa skilfully facilitated the meeting first leading us through an exploration of why we were there. Five main motives emerged: Supporting community based food systems projects, facilitated at the local level. … Continue reading The Northland Food Policy Network is underway!

Aotearoa Food Policy Network

This week the Aotearoa Food Policy Network was born! While we have been working on plans for a food policy council in Northland, there has been activity happening around the country. People and Groups in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, the Bay of Plenty and Auckland have, or are forming groups focussing on food policy. The Northland … Continue reading Aotearoa Food Policy Network

What is policy and how do we change it?

On the cusp of establishing a Northland Food Policy Council (or whatever we might call it) I have stumbled across a book that has thrown a lot of light on the policy universe. In How Change Happens, Duncan Green shares his knowledge as a long-time advocate for change. The book is available for sale, but … Continue reading What is policy and how do we change it?

Is the food policy pasture greener in New Zealand?

By Anne Palmer Program Director Food Communities & Public Health Program Center for a Livable Future Johns Hopkins University Anne was a keynote speaker for the Local Food Northland Conference in February this year. In this post she reflects on her time in New Zealand. See the original post here.   A failing dairy industry. … Continue reading Is the food policy pasture greener in New Zealand?

Why we need food policy

Our current food system doesn't serve us well. My perception is that it has evolved into an ideal money making machine - for those who have positioned themselves to harvest the economic benefits. Most of us identify the dynamic below that would seek to lock us in to dependency on big players in the food … Continue reading Why we need food policy

Murry Burns on food safety plans

Murry Burns, one of the two founders of the Whangarei Growers markets featured on Radio NZ Bulletins today. https://soundcloud.com/peter-bruce-7/murray-burns-30-oct-2016 He is commenting on the impact of food safety plans mandated by the The Food Safety Law Reform Bill. This was featured in an earlier post about artisan cheese makers. As discussed in the earlier post, a Food Policy … Continue reading Murry Burns on food safety plans

Northland Food Policy Council Hui

As part of our food re-localisation project we have initiated meetings with interested parties across Northland. This is about discussing options and developing membership of a “Food Policy Council” from a wide cross section of education, health, growers, processors and so on in Northland. The first took place in Waipapa and involved people from Four Seasons Farms (eco-biological production … Continue reading Northland Food Policy Council Hui

Changes to the Northland Regional Council

A growing number of us are aware that "business as usual" just isn't good enough anymore. Those who privilege economic priorities over social and environmental concerns are yesterday's men. Its hard to determine who to vote for in local body elections. Several NRC candidates make generic statements about growing the economy and enhancing the environment. … Continue reading Changes to the Northland Regional Council

Change will come at the local and regional levels

There have been some great results in our local body elections. I am happy that Sheryl Mai has been re-elected in Whangarei. She is a supporter of Local Food Northland, hosting our first formal meeting in her office and is a strong supporter of the Whangarei Growers Market. Tricia Cutforth has been re-elected. She campaigned tirelessly … Continue reading Change will come at the local and regional levels

Cheese and why we need a food policy council

Artisan cheese makers like Biddy Fraser-Davies could be forced out of business by soaring government compliance costs. The Food Safety Law Reform Bill may well result in higher compliance costs. Biddy makes about $40,000 of cheese from four cows. Her cheeses have won super gold and silver at World Cheese Awards. She milks the cows herself and … Continue reading Cheese and why we need a food policy council

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

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?

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?