Feeding cities in the 21st century: why urban-fringe farming is vital for food resilience

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The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has released a “city region food system toolkit” that supports cities in building closer links with nearby farmers to improve farmer livelihoods, grow local economies and increase access to healthy, sustainable food.

By Rachel Carey, Jennifer Sheridan, Kirsten Larsen
The Conversation
November 28, 2018

Excerpt:

The Foodprint Melbourne project has just released an infographic that showcases the mutually beneficial relationships that can be developed between cities and the farmers on their fringes. These ideas were developed in workshops that brought Victorian stakeholders together from across sectors (farmers, industry, local government, state government and civil society) to explore how the viability of farming on Melbourne’s fringe could be strengthened.

The infographic shows how strong links between cities and local farmers can create a two-way exchange. Farmers can capture a higher share of the food retail dollar by selling direct to local consumers (through farmers markets or community-supported agriculture) or local businesses (such as cafes and restaurants). City residents benefit from access to fresh, local produce and from opportunities to participate in agri-tourism activities on nearby farms (such as pick your own produce and farm-gate bike trails).

Food from Melbourne’s foodbowl can also be sold directly to local families, shops and restaurants in the city, in addition to being transported interstate and overseas via city airports. A new provenance brand could be introduced so consumers and businesses can easily recognise food from the area and support local farmers.

Read the complete article here.

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