Helping locals eat local
TWEED residents will find it easier to identify locally-grown food thanks to a program launched by the Northern Rivers Food Links Project.
CEO of Regional Development Australia for the Northern Rivers (RDA) Katrina Luckie said the Local Food Source Identification Program aimed to help consumers gain a greater understanding of the supply of local food and ensure all food grown locally is clearly identified for consumer choice.
“We surveyed more than 180 producers and retailers to get a snapshot of food production and sales in the region, barriers to supplying and stocking local food, and current methods for identifying locally produced food,” Ms Luckie said.
The research conducted by RDA found food retailers generally perceived local food as being of better quality.
The survey also found retailers who do source local stock source 78% directly from growers.
Program Manager for Northern Rivers Food Links Samantha Muller said the recent flood events have led to an unreliable availability of produce throwing local growers in the spotlight.
“We are seeing food resilience conversations beginning to emerge in many northern rivers communities,” Ms Muller said.
“Finally people here are asking serious questions about food supply.
“The irony is that we can all grow food in this region, we have space, the right climate conditions, good soils and now more than ever the motivation to get planting.
“And yet we seemed to have somehow lost touch with it, placing convenience above security.”