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Editorial

After reading Nick Rose’s book, Fair Food; Stories from a Movement Changing the World (UQP 2015), I knew it was going to be the theme for this issue. Fair Food is central to what so many of us are striving for: food that is produced in a way that supports not only our bodies, but the producers who grow it and the wider community as well.

Fair Food goes beyond growing our own vegetables. It’s about creating systems that help build community, such as farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture. You may not always grow everything you want to eat yourself, but you can support people within your community to grow it for you.

Ideally in each of our bioregions (‘Bioregions: our spirit of place’, page 68) we can provide for the community that resides within it. It is not efficient or practical for most people to be totally self-sufficient as individuals, but collectively it is possible. We can support the local sourdough baker, buy our meat from local farmers (Tammi Jonas profile, page 32), supplement our own vegetables through local producers (Borja Valls profile, page 42) and share and swap what we grow ourselves (Su Dennett profile, page 58). There are certainly alternative realities to the mass food production model.

Sadly, our current reality negatively affects community wellbeing. With the majority of people buying food from the supermarket duopoly, such multinational companies are given ultimate power to dictate the price they pay farmers. This makes it difficult to pay workers fairly, and harder for farmers to support their families.

The necessities of producing food on the scale that is required by these large supermarkets means that quantity often supersedes quality and farmers may feel they have no choice but to use chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

In this issue I have brought together a collection of ideas and stories about people working hard to create a Fair Food future. Stories that remind us of how much positive change we can make through our choices in purchasing our food, and why it is worth going out of our way to support the producers directly, or maybe even become a Fair Food producer ourselves and provide for our local community.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue, and that you find the stories as inspiring as I have.

Until next time,

Robyn

Author

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