The Food in the Capital conference, part of Regional Development Australia ACT‘s drive to help Canberra become Australia’s first truly sustainable city, was a resounding success.
The event, held in May 2021, and supported by the CRC, FIAL and other and government, research and industry entities, attracted a national group of experts and industry stakeholders.
Speakers included ACT Government Chief Minister, the Hon. Andrew Barr MLA; ACT Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Rebecca Vassarotti; RDA ACT Chair Ross MacDiarmid; Barry McGookin from the Commonwealth Growth Centre for Food and Agriculture, FIAL (Food Innovation Australia Ltd); Dr Hermione Parsons, Industry Professor and Director in the Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics at Deakin University; Professor Priti Krishna, Foundation Chair of Sustainable Agriculture at Western Sydney University; Will Schmitt, co-founder and principal of Open2Innovate; Dr Rachel Carey, from the Food Policy Research Group at University of Melbourne; Maxine Cooper, Chair of ACT Landcare; and the CRC’s CEO, David Eyre.
Conference sessions explored practical solutions to food production, transport and sales that policymakers could use to develop ‘a unique city region agrifood initiative’ in and around the national capital; the new skills, technologies and business models that would be required to implement sustainable, profitable urban food production systems in the region; and the wealth of business opportunities that could open up if current food supply-chain issues including ‘last-mile’ transport and logistics could be solved.
It is hoped that the Food in the Capital discussions will inform the development of a replicable city-region food initiative in Canberra and surrounding areas.
Lead image: Food in the Capital audience. Credit: Regional Development Australia (RDA) ACT