Australia is a food growing nation with high food security compared to other parts of the world but the COVID-19 pandemic, recent natural disasters and global instability in Ukraine have exposed serious vulnerabilities with climate change set to make things worse. Food insecurity particularly affects people who are disadvantaged, culturally and linguistically diverse, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, or who live in regional areas.
I chaired an inquiry into food production and supply that unanimously called for a state food strategy and made 36 recommendations to improve food security.
Preventing food waste was a big feature. Food is wasted at every step of the supply chain from farms to food distribution centres, supermarkets, restaurants, prisons and households. It is estimated at around 312 kilograms of food per person per year although this figure is likely an underestimation. Meanwhile many people go hungry. Addressing food wastage would feed more people, improve community health, result in better land management and massively cut greenhouse gas emissions.
We must start planning now for the long-term changes that our food production and supply system will undergo, as climate change, population growth, urban sprawl and technological advancements transform how our food is produced in NSW. There are significant opportunities to boost and secure the sustainability of our food economy, and failure to take urgent action will be at the cost of current and future generations, and the environment.
The report and my video summary > HERE. The government’s response is due 1 May 2023.