Urban Food Production Strategy Implementation Plan Consultation Summary of Feedback / Responses to the Draft Implementation Plan Sustainable Food Leaders Forum 25 November 2014 20 forum participants took part in group discussions to discuss the action plans for each of the Key Action Areas: 1. Home Food Growing Feedback / Comment How can Council reduce the regulatory barriers to ‘cottage / home-scale’ food preparation / preservation used to generate funds for local food enterprises? Could a ‘Home Food Preparation Licence / Act’ be developed to enable small scale home food preparation for public consumption Response Strategy Action 1.4: Include education on the local health / food retailing regulations relating to home based food preparation for public sale. (The barriers / issues will be further explored with local food groups to understand where Council can advocate for appropriate changes to the regulations) How can Council support home food processing businesses / social enterprises? Strategy Action 1.4: see above Strategy Action 3.2: Utilise existing processes / structures eg.Council facilities audit, Neighbourhood House Network to identify potential bases for community food enterprises or community based food centres / hubs (Note: Community groups or businesses wishing to use Council facilities for commercial purposes will be subject to the Darebin Unsolicited Proposals policy / assessment) Strategy Action 1.4 Included as a sub-action Have all information on urban food production related laws / regulations in the one place on-line eg. regulations on keeping animals for food, local health / food retailing regulations, composting toilets, grey water systems, nature strip planting etc. Look at how schools could be a hub for fund raising / selling home grown / prepared food. Link volunteer food labour / share programs like the Fruit Squad with schools, community centres and / or not-for-profits to supply excess produce for fund raising Strategy Action 1.3: This will be explored as an idea for a SHC Community Leaders in Sustainability project Strategy Action 2.4: Add a sub-action to work with the Fruit Squad to explore partnerships Explore a food gardener mentor program as an extension of the Backyard Harvest Festival program Could Council auspice a garden tool library / loan system? A bit like a toy library only set up to support gardeners - e.g. shredder, lawn mower, long handled pruning tool etc. Supporting or subsidising a seed bank is another related idea Conduct letter box drops in areas of disadvantage to engage these communities in UFP programs Provide rolling workshops throughout the year linked with the seasons eg. Spring planting/ mulching, summer / autumn harvest and preserving, winter pruning etc. Research the ‘Putting Down Roots’ program for asylum seekers run by Cultivating Community and the Australian Red Cross as a case study for a similar program at Darebin Provide a meal as part of a Council run event using home grown or donated food. The event would be free and open to the whole community. Food preparation education could be offered to disadvantaged groups as part of the food preparation process with schools, community centres and / or not-for-profits as part of developing a funding model for future years Strategy Action 1.2: Include exploring mentoring opportunities, also a link to 2.4 and 2.5 mentoring programs with schools, public housing tenant groups and the Aboriginal community Strategy Action 1.1 This will be considered as part of the action to investigate a targeted home food growing program for disadvantaged communities Strategy Action 1.1 This would be included in the action to investigate a targeted home food growing program for disadvantaged communities Strategy Action 1.2 and 1.3 Include an action to review the yearly program of workshops across the Darebin Backyard Harvest and Homemade Food and Wine festivals and Sustainable Homes and Communities program to ensure they fit with the seasonal cycles and are strategically promoted in this context Strategy Action 1.1 This will be carried out as part of investigating a targeted home food growing program for disadvantaged communities Strategy Action 1.2 Include an action to explore holding a ‘home harvest feast’ as part of the Backyard Harvest / Homemade food and Wine Festival programs 2. Community Gardens Feedback / Comment Response The Mornington Peninsular has a good guide / checklist on the background work required by a community group before starting a community garden Community Gardens work better when there is a place to meet/share food on site. Ensure new developments include provision for communal food growing Supermarkets should contribute funding towards supporting community gardens as a condition of their permits (similar to the offsets new developments are required to make toward open space / public realm) Ensure flexibility is embedded in licence agreements for community gardens on Council land to allow for different community garden models and skill sets. Develop more comprehensive knowledge and mentor base around growing indigenous foods. Organise a forum on indigenous foods Strategy Action 2.1 Relevant tools and guidelines will be promoted on the Darebin Food Harvest Network website resources section and included as part of a preassessment checklist in the Communal Food Garden Site Assessment form Provision for meeting spaces and facilities to prepare food and eat together will be considered when using the Communal Food Growing Assessment Guidelines to evaluate new communal food garden proposals. Strategy Action 3.2 Community Garden groups can apply for an annual venue hire subsidy through the Community Support Program Strategy Action 4.2 and 4.3 This will be a part of the action to consider provision for urban food production during the next Darebin Planning Scheme review in 2016. The action to include consideration of Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design (FSPUD) principles as part of a holistic Ecological Sustainable Design (ESD) Strategy will also encompass this goal. Strategy Action 4.2 This will be part of the action to consider provision for urban food production during the next Darebin Planning Scheme review in 2016. Strategy Action 2.2 This will be a part of the action to research and develop a template which will be used to formalise licence agreements with the Northcote Library Food garden and East Reservoir Community Garden Strategy Action 2.5 These ideas will be discussed with the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee and other Aboriginal organisations as part of the action to identify partnership opportunities to implement indigenous food growing projects 3. Other Urban Food Production Models Feedback / Comment How can Council support a diversity of fresh food retailers, as opposed to the 2 major supermarkets being the only option? Similarly, what mechanisms are there to limit the number of fast food outlets in a given area, for example by limiting numbers, density and / or distance to schools, public tenant housing estates etc. Undertake research to understand what the success factors and barriers are for sustainable food businesses and community food enterprises Look for opportunities when documenting UFP / Community Food Enterprise case studies to facilitate networking between groups / enterprises ahead of formal sustainable food business networking event planned for 2016 / 17 Incentives as well as rewards should be offered to community food enterprises. For example a reduction on rates, reduced cost or free council services such as green bins Conduct an audit of Council owned / managed centres / facilities and commercial premises which could be suitable bases for community food enterprises or community based food centres / hubs Response Strategy Action 4.2 This will be part of the action to consider provision for urban food production during the next Darebin Planning Scheme review in 2016. A holistic integrated approach is required to meet the objectives of the Food Security Policy and Urban Food Production Strategy, as well as Business Development and Employment / Business Engagement Strategies Strategy Action 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 Developing sustainable food / community food enterprises case studies are actions under 3.1 and 3.3. Research will also be part of the action under 3.2 to explore the feasibility of a program supporting community based local food initiatives to become economically sustainable Strategy Action 3.3 and 3.4 The development and sharing of case studies is an ongoing action underpinning Council’s commitment to promoting, rewarding and supporting local food groups / enterprises Strategy Action 3.2 These ideas will be considered as part of the action to investigate the feasibility of a program supporting community based local food initiatives to become economically sustainable Strategy Action 3.2 Action included to use existing processes such as Council’s Facilities Audit to identify potential sites for community food enterprise. (Note: Community groups or businesses wishing to use Council facilities for commercial purposes will be subject Council to work with the community and VicTrack / other public entities to open up land on railway corridors and other public spaces for urban food production. This includes both community gardens and commercial urban farming opportunities. to the Darebin Unsolicited Proposals policy / assessment). This will also be considered as part of the action to investigate a program supporting community based local food initiatives to become economically sustainable. Strategy Action 2.1 Sites potentially suitable for communal food growing have been identified as part of a mapping exercise with Sustainable Food Leaders / Transition Darebin. The process for activating these sites for communal food growing involves a joint effort from the site owner / manager and a committed community group. The Communal Food Growing Assessment Guidelines have been developed to explain the consultation and assessment process for new communal garden proposals and sets out the community and Council roles and responsibilities. Sites for commercial food growing would require a planning permit.
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