Australia is a rich country, yet more than one in six adults and more than 1 million children routinely miss meals. And almost half of adults experience chronic diseases that are often connected to poor diet because the companies controlling the production and distribution of our food aggressively promote cheap, low-nutrient, high-sugar and high-fat items. Profit-driven industrial farming practices have not only reduced food quality, they have also contributed to water pollution and river depletion, excessive land clearing, biodiversity loss, ecological breakdown and climate change. Workers in the packing sheds and fields often toil long hours for low pay. We need to overhaul our food systems to guarantee an environmentally sustainable and affordable supply of quality staple goods to improve the health of the environment, the population and the workers in the industry.
What we think
- No-one should go hungry in Victoria.
- Optimal nutrition is fundamental to good health. Food production should prioritise goods that support and increase the health of the population.
- Food production should be environmentally sustainable.
- First Nations people over tens of thousands of years developed specialist knowledge and practices that should be part of the foundation for approaching sustainable food production and land management in Victoria.
- The working conditions and pay rates of those in the food industry should be exemplary.
What we'll fight for
- Establish a Victorian food security and nutrition strategy that will make it easier and cheaper to access healthy foods; create an environmentally sustainable food and nutrition system and regenerate the natural environment; and improve wages, conditions and safety standards in the food industry. Such a strategy would include initiatives such as:
- An Essential Food Benefits Scheme (modelled on the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme) offering subsidies on essential groceries.
- A system of publicly owned farms to progressively decrease the proportion of commercial, profit-driven farms over time.
- A transition to regenerative farming practices that increase biodiversity, reduce carbon intensity and are more consistent with Victoria’s ecology.
- Committing to First Nations food sovereignty as part of a treaty process.