Ballarat Food Strategy

22 November 2018

The City of Ballarat is encouraging residents to help inform the development of a Food Strategy for Ballarat.

The current food system is creating numerous challenges, including obesity, chronic disease, excess food and packaging waste.

Many residents are food insecure, which means they cannot access, afford or prepare nutritious food on a regular basis.

There is also an opportunity to provide more support to our local producers, to embrace and celebrate the foods of our multicultural and indigenous communities, and to educate the community on the benefits of a more local and resilient food system.

The City of Ballarat is encouraging residents to have their say on the broader themes of food security at our online survey at https://mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au/food-strategy

They want to hear your suggestions on:

  1. how they can support the community to make healthier food and drink choices
  2. how they can support more people to have regular access to affordable, nutritious food
  3. ways to reduce food waste
  4. how we can better support local food producers and food businesses, and
  5. celebrate and invigorate the local food culture.

The survey is open until Monday 10 December.

A draft strategy will then be prepared and is expected to go before Council in early 2019.

September 2018

An update on the Ballarat Food Strategy project (PDF 1.7MB) is now available.

Community consultation about the Ballarat Food Strategy took place across Ballarat during September 2018.

The aim is to get a draft of the Food Strategy to council in February 2019, allowing sufficient time for consultation and engagement.

For more information, please contact Caroline Amirtharajah, Health and Wellbeing Planner, City of Ballarat on 5320 5704 or carolineamirtharajah@ballarat.vic.gov.au.

August 2018

On 29 June, the City of Ballarat held a Food Strategy consultation for stakeholders and the community. The purpose of the session was to explore what can be done by the council to help support a more healthy, productive and sustainable food system. The group hoped to:

  • Understand what the council can do to support our local food system
  • Encourage healthy eating and access to healthy food and build the capacity in the community around healthy eating
  • Facilitate joint actions. Having more community gardens and more collaboration between groups and sectors
  • Form a network. Understand the needs and opportunities to improve food security in Ballarat
  • Start a book club: ‘Retro Suburbia’ through the Ballarat Permaculture Guild

You can read the City of Ballarat's Food Strategy Consultation summary notes (PDF, 0.7MB)

Brown Hill local and Hidden Orchard co-founder, Ellen Burns, attended the session. She says, "I loved attending the session, it was extremely valuable and eye-opening to have people from all areas of expertise come to share their knowledge and concerns. There were representatives from so many organisations, businesses and interest groups and everyone somehow shared a single vision for the future of food in Ballarat. It was great to network with other people who are passionate about this topic and hear about all the fantastic things that are already being done. There is so much more that we can be doing to improve food security, but after the Ballarat Food Strategy consultation day, I'm optimistic that we are on the right track!"

Ballarat Community Garden Coordinator, Sheilagh Kentish said, "I found the day was useful for networking and learning about/sharing a few more ideas. I was pleased to see the initiative get started and truly hope the enthusiasm continues and spreads to other groups and organisations."

The City of Ballarat intend to hold an open-door session in a few weeks to present back the next stage of the process, and to give more stakeholders an opportunity to have input (after work hours).

If you are interested, please contact Caroline Amirtharajah, Health and Wellbeing Planner, City of Ballarat on 5320 5704 or carolineamirtharajah@ballarat.vic.gov.au.