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National Rural Health Conference 2011 – Food sovereignty

One of the priority recommendations endorsed by the National Rural Health Conference, 2011 was:

Food sovereignty

Conference delegates agreed that food sovereignty and food security in Australia are critical issues for the community and governments. Delegates welcome the current initiative being led by the National Food Policy Working Group, including its role in the development of a National Food Plan.

These issues are particularly important given the shocks to the food system from natural disaster, market developments, climate change, and the development of new energy industries such as coal seam gas. Food sovereignty is a critical determinant of health and has particularly strong impacts in rural and remote areas. Given the challenges faced there by food production, distribution and pricing systems, food insecurity is more common in remote areas.

Development of the National Food Plan should be sensible of the particular needs, capacities and vulnerabilities of people in rural and remote areas, including those who work in food production (eg. farmers and fishers) and related sectors. This new Plan will include support for market gardens in remote Indigenous communities.

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