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Food Policy Council Invite

Local Iwi & Food Growers Encouraged to Join BOP Food Policy Council

Local iwi, land owners, food growers and community groups interested in influencing land use and food systems are being encouraged to be part of a Bay of Plenty Food Policy Council.

An open lecture and workshop to discuss what food policy councils can achieve, who should be involved, and to showcase successful case studies from around the world will be held in Tauranga tomorrow (Thursday, 16 February 2017).

America’s leading advocate for change in food policy and practice, Anne Palmer will speak at the event.

Healthy Families Rotorua manager Mapihi Raharuhi says Food Policy Councils have influenced food systems, the environment, and the health of communities worldwide.

“Changes in public food procurement procedures, revisions to land use policy, and better access to healthier food are just some of the categories of food system change that have resulted from an increased emphasis on local and national food policy,” she says.

“Locally we need to be concentrating on food production that supports the environment and the health of our community, reducing food wastage, and increasing accessibility to fresh fruit and vegetables for everyone. Tomorrow’s open lecture and workshop is an opportunity for us all to learn more about the importance of food systems, their impact on public health, and how Food Policy Councils can influence positive change.”

Mapihi says the Rotorua community and in particular iwi, who have a vested interest in ensuring equal access to healthy food and creating more sustainable food production, must work together to address local food issues.

“Collaboration amongst various sectors of communities including land owners, food growers, iwi, council, government, non-profit and private organisations is the best long-term strategy to create systematic and meaningful improvements in the food system.”

She says the Bay of Plenty is extremely fortunate to be able to gain benefit from the extensive experience and expertise of Anne Palmer to assist them to establish a Food Policy Council in the region.

Anne Palmer directs the Food Policy Networks project at the Johns Hopkins Centre for a Liveable Future in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.

The Bay of Plenty Food Policy Council open lecture and workshop will run from 9.30am to 1pm in Room H236 at the Windmere Campus, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Tauranga.

For more information about Food Policy Councils and networks, email jasminj@tearawawhanauora.org.nz.

For all media enquiries contact Lani Kereopa at lanik@tearawawhanauora.org.nz, or on 022 542 6723.

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