In July 2010, the Australian Government announced that for the first time, Australia would have a 'National Food Plan'. The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance has followed this process closely since the beginning, and made consistent representations to the government about the need for a more inclusive, participatory and democratic process.
With the release of the Issues Paper in June 2011, and then the green paper for the National Food Plan in July 2012, it has become clear that the 'National Food Plan' is in reality first and foremost a plan for large corporate agri-business and retailers. Overwhelmingly the emphasis is on ramping up commodity production, finding new overseas markets for exports, and embracing new technologies such as GMOs.
The assumption that underpins the government's plan is that if the needs of corporations for increasing profit are met, so too will be the needs of ordinary Australians for a food system that delivers healthy, nutritious food for all; dignified livelihoods for family farmers and food system workers; and which preserves and enhances ecosystem integrity, without endangering all our futures through excessive greenhouse emissions and fossil-fuel dependency.
We beg to differ. We believe that the evidence shows a growing catalogue of socially and environmentally destructive outcomes of the globalised and industrialised food system, which mean that the interests and needs of large corporations, on the one hand; and of ordinary people, family farmers and food system workers, and ecosystem integrity, on the other, are sharply diverging. That is why we are inviting all concerned Australians who share this perspective to join with us in starting a national conversation for a People's Food Plan. Click on the link below for a summary of the key issues.