Food security, i.e. ensuring that the population has access to sufficient, good quality food is a current topic of interest to many and very relevant as climate change challenges our agricultural industries. Gecko – Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council, is organizing a talk about food security. Our Guest speaker on 24 April will be Alf Orpen, whose vision has seen the Organic Farm Share become a reality. The latter is a publically owned farm project that blends a unique form of business enterprise with the values of a cooperative. “Food Security is one of the primary reasons for bringing Organic Farm Share into being”, says Alf Orpen, who is the director of the company.
is to ensure a secure, local food supply. Orpen: “This is the reason behind the requirement that shareholders must live within a 200km radius of the farm”. The Organic Farm Share farm is situated in Northern NSW, 14km south of the Queensland border and services owner-members in the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Byron Bay areas with a distinctive localised organic food distribution system, ensuring fresher, healthier food and financial savings.
Transport of food (food miles) is a major cost as well as increasing greenhouse gas emissions, which in Australia are one of the world’s highest per capita.
Based on the average Aussie meal travelling 2,000km, at Organic Farm Share they envisage food miles will be decreased by up to 92%. Up to 60% of the cost of food can be attributed to distribution and handling costs. By reducing the food miles, owning a supply chain and keeping it local, the organization seeks to eliminate many unnecessary and hidden costs in food. The regenerative and integrated farming practices, which return necessary nutrients back into the soil are achieved through organic-biodynamic farming, polyculture planting, the use of beneficial bacteria and composting systems. On the farm, farmers are growing food but owner-members also have the opportunity to participate through working bees and workshops. Some owner-members also produce and supply delicious organic foods and treats for Organic Farm Share. Items range from breads, cheeses, tempeh, miso, raw chocolate and kombucha to nut milks, ice cream, pastas, sauces and jams.
Gecko’s Speaker Night is on Wednesday 24 April 2013 from 6.30 pm in Gecko house, 139 Duringan Street, Currumbin. Nibbles and drinks for a gold coin donation.
For further information please contact Rob Hessing on 0405465528.