Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

It's All about 'Local'

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

It's All about 'Local'

Article excerpt

THE most important function for the Coffs Coast Local Food Futures Alliance is to create a state of awareness of its existence in the community and among food producers.

Questions continually asked from consumers involve: 'where can I get fresh, in-season, locally produced produce at a reasonable price?' and from growers: 'where and how do we - especially small ones - sell our products?'.

Another very important function is to change the long-winded six-word name to a shorter one. Perhaps a competition could be organised or ideas expressed at future community meetings on the subject.

Whatever, the name is too long and contains bureaucratic overtones that would put most people off. How about 'CHAMPA' or even 'CHOMPA'.

This alliance also has the great opportunity to engage the growers, the retailers and the eaters under one umbrella. Such a move would allow improved understanding between all involved parties.

Many growers cannot continue unless something is done in the way of increasing income to help keep them or make them sustainable. Many have tried but for reasons of difficult marketing given it - the production of food - away.

The policy of a community based shared system is essential.

Another important aspect is to ensure that a high percentage of the consumer's dollar stays in the local area. The idea is that farmers produce food from locally purchased inputs and sell to local outlets where consumers buy and guess what - the money stays local. It is not spirited away to far distant company dividends.

So the motto is: produce local, buy local, money stays local.

In the production of food, Robert Pekin from Food Connect Australia says that about 20 per cent of what is produced on the farm is left on the farm. Very often this is good food - small fruit, discoloured produce that does not meet the 'uni-form' accepted standards of big retailers. …

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