A case study of sustainable food systems in Northern Queensland

McCarthy, Breda (2013) A case study of sustainable food systems in Northern Queensland. In: Papers from the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference. From: SEGRA 2013: Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia Conference, 16-18 October 2013, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.

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This paper utilises a qualitative, case-based approach to explore the development of alternative agro-food networks (AAFNs) in Northern Queensland and examine their contribution to community well-being and regional economic development. It shows how a community is actively and creatively deploying local networks and local resources in order to gain access to locally-grown, sustainable food. The development of this AAFN is driven by grassroots movements and underpinned by a strong, not-for-profit sector consisting of environmentalists, community leaders and food activists, who are highly critical of the mainstream agri-food system. The opportunities and challenges faced by actors in alternative food systems are discussed. At federal government level, the adoption of intensive, productivist-based agriculture runs counter to the philosophy of AAFNs. In a political environment that clearly favours economic development, the issue for local communities is how can they influence food and agricultural policy?

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