Food Alliance Fruit and Vegetable Roundtable Summary

This Food Alliance/VicHealth report summarises the outcomes of a Fruit and Vegetable Roundtable hosted by the Food Alliance in October 2011 on ‘Addressing the barriers to a viable Victorian fruit and vegetable industry’.

Roundtable participants discussed the issues identified in the Food Alliance’s report, A Resilient Fruit and Vegetable Supply for a Healthy Victoria: Working together to secure the future, and identified broad strategies to address the issues.

Stakeholders emphasised that government, consumers, retailers and other parts of the supply chain all have a role to play in increasing demand for fruit and vegetables, improving farm profitability and in encouraging the development of sustainable production systems. They also emphasised the need for multisector, collaborative initiatives to address the issues, involving both government and representatives from across the supply chain.

The strategies identified by stakeholders to address the issues included:

  • government food procurement standards to encourage an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption and to expand the market for sustainably produced fruit and vegetables
  • a ‘food charter’ that defines principles for sustainable food production and consumption and encourages a ‘whole of government’ approach
  • diversifying retail channels for fruit and vegetables to include more options for growers to supply within their own region and to supply produce direct to consumers and businesses (e.g. food hubs and local markets established by local government authorities)
  • increased investment in supply chain research to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of the fruit and vegetable supply chain
  • development of additional sales channels for second grade produce that address the barriers of prohibitive packaging and transportation costs
  • increase the availability and accessibility of fruit and vegetables throughout communities by trialling new modes of access, such as food hubs, mobile fruit and vegetables stalls (in locations such as schools, universities and train stations) and methods of purchasing fruit and vegetables that reconnect people with farmers and with local, seasonal produce
  • broad strategic assessments of productive agricultural land that classify land not only in terms of its soil and climate, but also its access to water, labour, transport and other types of infrastructure.

Fruit and Vegetable Roundtable Summary: Addressing barriers to a viable Victorian fruit and vegetable industry
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