Canberra’s first food strategy gets green light in ACT Budget


The ACT Government is investing $455,000 as part of the 2024-25 ACT Budget towards the implementation of the Canberra Region Local Food Strategy to grow Canberra’s local food production sector.

The ACT is the first Australian state or territory to launch a plan to support and grow its local food system.

Funding for the first year of the Strategy’s implementation will deliver a Local Food Chain Infrastructure Study that will explore opportunities to support small-medium sized local food producers in Canberra and the surrounding region who struggle to compete with larger commercial providers.

The study will focus on areas of food packaging, distribution, storage and networking. It will build on data obtained in the Agriculture and Food in the ACT Study, which is currently underway. It will also aim to reduce barriers for getting local food produce into local marketplaces and grocery stores.

Funding has been provided to examine opportunities to utilise suitable ACT Government land to support local food production, and to help educate the community on how to grow food in the ACT.

The first year of implementation also includes funding to review the Land Management Agreements with rural landholders with the goal of providing greater flexibility and support for local food production.

The Canberra Region Local Food Strategy is available on the ACT Environment website.


Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment, Parks and Land Management, Rebecca Vassarotti:

The Canberra Region Local Food Strategy was shaped by the Canberra community providing feedback on what they value. The strategy is the first of its kind for the ACT and is critical to provide the framework for a sustainable and resilient food and agriculture industry.

Through the Strategy released today, the Local Food Chain Infrastructure Study will help inform where we can best direct our resources to support small farmers in the ACT, strengthening access to healthy, affordable food.

In a climate emergency, harnessing the power of local food production is a vital step in the fight to drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by imported foods.

The ACT Government is also committed to meaningful engagement with Traditional Custodians to ensure that Ngunnawal knowledge and experience is incorporated and valued through the Strategy.