Towards a Healthy, Regenerative and Equitable Food System in Victoria

A Consensus Statement by cross-sector organisations to catalyse a transition towards a healthy, regenerative and equitable food system in Victoria.

Our Shared Vision

An equitable, regenerative, prosperous and resilient food system that ensures access to healthy and culturally appropriate food for all Victorians; a system that values nourishment, fairness, dignity, democracy, participation, inclusivity and stewardship of the natural environment.

Guiding Principles


the right to food unconditionally – meaning that all Victorians, at all times, enjoy dignified access to healthy and culturally appropriate food that is produced and exchanged fairly, in ways that regenerate agroecosystems.


inclusion, self-determination and adopts a rights-based approach so that people, especially historically disadvantaged groups, participate in the decisions and activities to (re)shape the food system.


healthy foods within planetary boundaries – diverse, nutritious, minimally processed foods that are produced and exchanged through agroecological and circular economy principles – conserving water, regenerating soil and promoting biodiversity while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, food and packaging waste and pollution.


local and regional food economies – fostering social connection, diversification and resilience, and creating rewarding job opportunities.


food literacy in the broader context of ecoliteracy – the vital knowledge and skills to sustainably grow, prepare and enjoy healthy food.


fair incomes and working practices for farmers and food workers and ensures animals equal regard and compassion.


the traditional food practices of Victoria’s multiple ethnicities and diverse communities.

1. Right to Food Law

Create an enabling policy environment to transform Victoria’s food system by legislating the right to food in Victoria and embedding it into all relevant State and Local Government policies, budgeting processes and activities.

Leverage Points

2. Food Systems Governance

Strengthen food systems governance capacity by establishing a whole-of-government Food Systems Committee to oversee the participatory development and implementation of a Victorian Food System Strategy and Investment Plan.

3. Food Systems Monitoring

Advance better food systems strategy and policy design by establishing a comprehensive performance measurement and monitoring framework in Victoria’s State of the Environment Report.

4. Agroecological Food Production

Support the transition to regenerative farming practices to enhance ecological function and build resilience by proactively supporting and resourcing agroecological solutions.

5. Local Food Infrastructure

Strengthen local and regional food systems by creating a Local Food Investment Fund to grow capacity, improve coordination and drive efficiencies in local food infrastructure.

6. Public Sector Food Procurement and Retail

Transition all public sector food procurement and retail to preference healthy and sustainably produced food sourced locally or regionally by developing compulsory social and ethical food procurement and retail standards and implementation assistance.

7. School Food Systems

Transform Victorian school food systems and enhance food systems literacy by working with our educational community and allocating appropriate resourcing and investment.

8. Community Food Systems Strategies

Require, empower and resource local councils to lead the participatory development of community food system strategies by amending the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

9. Community Food Systems Planning

Prioritise and promote healthy community food systems by reforming Victorian Planning Provisions legislation to explicitly state the promotion of health, alongside economic, environmental and social well-being considerations.

10. Food Relief Models

Improve dignified access to fresh and healthy food by developing a new, coordinated and collaborative approach with the food relief sector.

Supporters of the Consensus Statement

Just Food Collective endorses the Consensus Statement as the best pathway to a future where all people in Australia have fresh and nutritious food on their plates. – Just Food Collective 

CERES stands in support of the guiding principles of this Consensus Statement and moving towards a healthy, regenerative and equitable food system. – CERES

As a social impact professional with a strong interest in food systems. I support the right to food as a basic human right and a food system that regenerative, fair and operates within planetary boundaries – Karin Sitte, Jumping Through Hoops

Melbourne Farmers Markets is dedicated to building a resilient local food system and actively supports the Consensus Statement. Our purpose, in working towards a healthy, fair and regenerative sector, is directly connecting Victorian farmers, urban communities and hospitality. – Miranda Sharp

This Consensus Statement clearly sets out values, principles and approaches much needed to address the wicked problems of the Victorian food system. We particularly endorse its expression of fairness, stewardship, participation and inclusivity. We are thrilled to join other voices in this state-wide movement for change – Moving Feast

Compost Revolution supports the guidling principles of this Consensus Statement and the approaches it advocates towards a healthy, regenerative and equitable food system. Our purpose is to engage, train and equip households to grow soil and food at home, and in the wider community. In partnership with councils, business and NFPs we help create resilient community food networks and systems while building support in the community for the principles articulated in the Consensus Statement. – Compost Revolution

I would like to offer our in kind support to this work on the Development of Healthier more equitable food systems. All of your work to date has been very important topics to focus on for the whole of the food system and that should include the chefs and Product development and food manufacturing sector. Sarah Maric President, Australian Institute of Technical Chefs 

STREAT endorses this Consensus Statement and the criticalities of cross-sector collaboration, community-centredness and participatory governance to bring about a thriving Victorian food sysetm. – STREAT

We endorse this consensus statement to bring together, and work collaboratively with some of the best and most forward thinking food system leaders in the country, here in Victoria. We desire the opportunity to nourish our local communities with a fair and resilient food and farming system, particularly for us in the continuation of producing agroecological food and the need for strong systems and infrastructure locally to support that.  – COMMON GROUND PROJECT

Richmond Churches Food Centre supports the consensus statement as a pathway towards food security for all. We believe that dignified access to food is a right and that food should be produced in a sustainable and equitable way.  – RICHMOND CHURCHES FOOD CENTRE

The City of Merri-bek endorses the actions and leverage points in this consensus statement because we believe it will lead to a better food system for Merri-bek, other local government areas and for Victoria more broadly. A food system that is healthy, regenerative and equitable for decades to come. One that guarantees a right to food for all and fosters a resilient, thriving community. Amid the sky-rocketing cost of living and speculation on vital agricultural land in Victoria, it is imperative that we commit to strategies that enable access to food for all, protect our food production industries and regenerate the land. – CITY OF MERRI-BEK

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians throughout Victoria, their enduring connections to land, sea, sky and community and pay our respects to Elders past and present. In the spirit of reconciliation, we affirm that the Traditional Custodians never ceded these lands and severe and enduring harm has ensued. We recognise the food sovereignty of Victoria’s First Nations peoples and their rights to self-determine their food systems and extend that recognition to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

Victorian Food Security and Food Systems Working Group

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