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Taupō foodies key to improving local food system

Published: Tue 26 Apr 2016 02:21 PM
Taupō foodies key to improving local food system
Volunteers, local food growers, hunger relief charities, restaurants, supermarkets and others involved in the local food industry are being asked to unite to help improve Taupō’s food systems.
Taupō District Council and Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service are organising an initial meeting of stakeholders and interested parties to consider working together to support local business, sustainable farming and affordable access to healthy, locally-grown food for the Taupō district.
The idea of a local food network was raised and discussed as part of Taupō Safe District. Taupō Safe District is an inter-agency working group that strives to create a safe and caring community where people and the environment are valued and respected.
Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service Senior Health Improvement Advisor and Taupō Safe District member, Dana Thomson, says organisers of the Taupō local food network are hoping to bring together those “growing, producing, processing, distributing, selling, and giving out” food.
“The food system can seem distant, bewildering and impossible to influence – most of us don’t know anything about the food we buy and eat. By bringing together many people involved in the local food system, we have the opportunity to improve Taupō’s food environment through networking, discussion, and taking action together.”
Dana says, “We want to hear from a diverse group of people to learn what their visions are for our community’s food system. We are also looking to connect with local growers because if we are able to purchase more food locally, we will be able to reduce the costs of fresh produce to the consumer.”
“Reducing food waste is another goal that we have in mind – and redirecting any edible food to charities and families who can’t afford to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables is an important part of what we want to achieve. The possibilities are unlimited and there are bound to be other projects and initiatives that will come up at a meeting of such a diverse group of people.”
New Zealand is seeing increased interest in community-driven food movement’s that steer demand for healthy, sustainable and fair food. On an international scale, farmers’ markets have seen a nearly three-fold increase in the last decade, and more young people are considering a career in farming. Furthermore, grocery stores are now displaying local, natural and organic foods with pride.
WHAT: The Taupō Community Food Meeting
WHEN: 6pm - 8pm, Wednesday, 4th May
WHERE: Taupō District Council Chambers, 72 Lake Terrace, Taupō

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