The Greens have today outlined their vision for a sustainable food system and a broad transition to sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices across NSW. The comprehensive plan includes the establishment of the NSW Food Systems Council, made up of a cross section of key agriculture and food industry representatives. The Council will be tasked with developing a state-wide sustainable food strategy, that will include designing and building a $300 million NSW Regenerative Agriculture Centre, providing free training and funding for farmers to shift to climate-resilient practices.
Under the Greens plan, major supermarkets will be subject to regulations aimed at ending large scale food waste and aesthetic standards for farmers and the introduction of a ‘food miles’ label for NSW produce so consumers can easily track the history of their food.
The Greens will also create a $500 million Urban Agriculture Fund, aimed at creating a circular food economy through community-led initiatives, supporting First Nations ‘bush food’ industries and creating thousands of new jobs. The NSW Food Systems Council will be responsible for coordinating and administering the fund along with working with Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to implement a Mindful and Sustainable Living program in NSW schools.
Greens NSW spokesperson for agriculture Sue Higginson said:
“This is a positive plan that aims to transition the agricultural sector into helping in the fight against the climate crisis. Agriculture has huge potential to be leveraged as a key part of a sustainable future, we just need strong policy, genuine community engagement and the resourcing to bring everyone along.”
“The long distances our food travels, the use of synthetic fertilisers and toxic pest and weed management and large-scale exploitation of arable land means that our food supply is based on environmental degradation and contributes to the climate crisis. Instead of just slamming top-down climate regulations on farmers and landholders, we need government leadership that resources farmers to embrace innovative technologies and transition their farming practises to ways that will be resilient to the future.”
“We have the knowledge to achieve this, we just need political will to build community networks and work with the sector to ensure we’re climate ready and our landscapes are resilient.” Ms Higginson said.”
Greens candidate for Oxley Dominic King said: “I believe Oxley has a great opportunity to lead the way in developing a more sustainable food system. We have the farmers, community, natural assets, and climate to lead the transition into a robust, adaptable, affordable and holistic way to meet our communities needs into the future.”
“The changing climate has thrown the current food system into a disarray. We need a new way to ensure that farmers, First Nations people, environmentalists and all levels of government work together to grow food and improve our environmental outcomes. The Greens Agriculture and Rural Lands Policy sets out a road map on how to start this journey.” Mr King said.
Read the full policy here.