Food security

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Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

Food security: Foodprint Melbourne

Tagged in: Climate and energy, Sustainable agriculture and food systems, Sustainable cities, Communications and awareness, Research, VIC - Major cities/towns

The Foundation recognises that growing demand for agricultural products, urban sprawl, climate change and a range of other threatening processes are undermining the security, health and sustainability of our food system. Food production and consumption impacts biodiversity, water resources, soils, climate and range of other critically important systems. The food system can also produce less than ideal social outcomes, including limiting access to affordable, nutritious food.

With a history of supporting food relief, the Foundation decided to fund a research driven, systems approach to addressing Melbourne’s food security. Foodprint Melbourne explored vulnerabilities in Melbourne’s food supply network, with a particular focus on Melbourne’s foodbowl (the farms in and around the Melbourne region). It also looked at food consumption, production and waste.

Food security

Photo by Sonja Langford

The study highlighted the pressure on Melbourne’s food bowl, as housing for a growing population is built on important agricultural land. A reduction in Melbourne’s access to locally grown food would increase emissions through longer supply chains, increase waste and hurt local economies and communities. It also highlighted the opportunity to protect urban farmland in close proximity to water treatment plants, and drought-proofing important food growing areas.

“We recognise that addressing the climate challenge is not just an environmental problem. While we work on mitigation and adaptation strategies in our Environment & Sustainability Impact Area, we are also addressing the climate challenge in other areas of our philanthropic work – including energy efficient, affordable housing, reducing the health impacts of heatwaves and disasters by preparing at a local community level, and supporting employment projects that are part of our low carbon future.

It is about aligning a vision for a sustainable future with every aspect of our granting and impact work.”

Dr Catherine Brown CEO, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

In November 2018, the Victorian Government committed to permanently protect strategic agricultural land in the region and a policy initiative is now underway to deliver on that commitment.

Foodprint Melbourne has also influenced Melbourne’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy, 2017-2050. Similar studies are now taking place in Perth and Brisbane.

Environmental Awards 2019 — runner up

Coming in a close runner up was the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation for substantial, multi-year funding of the Foodprint Melbourne Project which aims to see better management and protection of Melbourne’s food bowl in the face of a growing population, development pressures and climate change.

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