Fair Food Futures launch

21 Oct 2022

In the context of growing hunger and an increasingly unjust food system, and in light of tensions around corporate capture of food systems everywhere, it is more important than ever that the voices of the ‘fair food’ movement are heard.

Part-research study, part-action plan, Fair Food Futures explores the visions for change put forth by community food networks in Australia as a way to progress transformation to sustainable food futures.

Led by Dr Kiah Smith from The University of Queensland’s School of Social Science, as part of her ARC DECRA research, Fair Food Futures uses a co-designed approach to improving people’s participation in food systems debates, planning and policy making.

Dr Smith said the project provides a forum for researchers, policymakers and civic food representatives to discuss opportunities for translating the scenarios into action.

Funding from an international grant from Future Earth through their global Pathways Communication programme has enabled Fair Food Futures to produce a video animation and podcast series synthesising the visions of civic food networks in Australia.

“These new assets aim to facilitate a space for dialogue and coalition building between members of civic food networks in Australia, as well as a platform through which conversations about the opportunities and challenges for policy change can take place,” she said.

To celebrate, Fair Food Futures will host an online launch event on Monday 24 October 2022.

Supported by UQ’s Centre for Policy Futures, this event will be accompanied with a short panel discussion by leading experts in the field of sustainable food systems in Australia, investigating some of the key solutions for fairer food systems coming from the project.

High-profile panellists and their topics include Brenna Quinlan - permaculture educator and illustrator, Leah Galvin - sustainable food procurement, Kylie Newberry - food policy councils, Claire Moore - UN SDGs, and Amy MacMahon M.P, multi-level government action.

Dr Smith and members of her research team, Daniel Cruz and Joanna Horton, will also present at the launch.

The seven podcast episodes showcase key findings from participatory Futures scenarios that have been co-created with over 120 civic food system actors across Australia in 2021-2022.

Following the launch, one new podcast episode will be released each week until December.

Dr Smith said through discussions with a diverse array of fair food growers, distributors, eaters, advocates and policy makers, the project identified four future scenarios for transformative food system change which are interconnected through four 'pathways to food justice'.

The project’s innovative collaboration approaches also led Fair Food Futures to be shortlisted for a UQ EMCR Partnerships Award recently.

The animation can be found on the Fair Food Futures YouTube channel and you can access the podcast via most streaming channels.

The Fair Food Futures podcast and video animation was produced and facilitated by Dr Kiah Smith, Dr Daniel Cruz, and Joanna Horton from UQ’s School of Social Science, in collaboration with Brenna Quinlan, VMP Studios, and Australian civic food networks, supported by the Future Earth's Pathways Initiative.