A conference on food security to be held next week, 22-23 October, in Sydney at the Teachers Federation headquarters in Surry Hills, will aim to create a state-wide food policy for food security, Liz Morgan writes.

Three hundred experts who gathered under the umbrella of the United Nations Food and Agricultural  Organization in Rome this week (12-13 October) reckoned that, between them, they had the know-how to feed all the world’s population by 2050 but doubted they had the necessary political support and goodwill to make it happen.

Next week, a slightly fewer number of experts and laypeople will gather for one-and-a-half days in Sydney to share their knowledge and passion towards creating a broad framework, or a wish list, for a sustainable food policy for NSW.

Hungry for Change is the title of the food summit, organised by the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance, that will conclude with a Food Summit Declaration, aimed fairly and squarely at making politicians and policymakers sit up and listen to citizens’ concerns about our food system, from paddock to plate.

They, unlike their global counterparts, are counting on their government’s support and goodwill.

“The NSW Food Summit starts the framing of a state-wide food policy that will address affordable access to healthy food, sustainable food systems and farming, food safety and health”, its website says.

In a series of six regional workshops, more than 650 NSW citizens have already had their say about what they think is wrong with the current way we feed ourselves, the inequities in food affordability and accessibility, health and nutrition problems related to food, to name but a few concerns.
The concerns raised in the workshops will form the core of the Food Summit Declaration.

Keynote speakers the summit will hear from a selection of top-notch keynote speakers from urban and rural Australia and the UK.

Participants get their turn to have a say in a series of workshops on topics ranging from the role of local government, to food and health, and food business and industry, also addressed by keynote speakers.

The key points of these workshops will become part of the second day’s Food Summit Declaration session alongside the regional summits’ wish lists to inform a final declaration that will be widely circulated to government and political parties.

The Sydney Food Fairness Alliance sees the summit as just the beginning of a discussion about our food future. It’s a discourse that is happening locally and globally, and it’s pretty urgent, it says.