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Food Policy Councils


Collaborating for healthy food access

Toi Te Ora Public Health (Toi Te Ora) is committed to working locally with authorities, community groups, organisations, local businesses and local iwi to make healthy food choices the most accessible and easiest choice across our region.

To improve , Toi Te Ora aims to support the establishment of local food groups or networks (known internationally as local food policy councils).

What is a local food group, network or a 'Food Policy Council'?

A local food group, network or a food policy council is an organised group of people working collaboratively to build a healthy local food system.

Such a network ideally includes stakeholders from across the food system and representation from a wide range of sectors including government, health and environmental sustainability. 

While food policy councils are the formal name, such groups are typically named by the local community and may be known more commonly as food networks, food coalitions or food alliances. Examples include Kai Auckland, Food Fairness Illawarra or the Toronto Food Policy Council.  


A local food groups across the Bay of Plenty

Kai Rotorua (formally the Rotorua Local Food Network) was established in 2016. You can look at their Facebook page here. Toi Te Ora partnered with Healthy Families NZ - Rotorua and Rotorua Lakes Council to build this network. The network now has multiple members and has had some successes already, including the establishment of the Rotorua farmers market. As a group, Kai Rotorua plan to work towards:
- A local, sustainable food system
- Food education for our community (nutrition, cooking, gardening)
- Reducing food waste
- A food hub
- Food sovereignty

In the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty region, Toi Te Ora has been a founding member of Kai Western Bay.  This newly established local food group is underpinned by a wider local food network of many people interested or actively involved in the Wastern Bay of Plenty food system in some way.  Kai Western Bay includes representatives from Tauranga City Council, Sustainable Business Network, Good Neighbour-Food Rescue, Toi Ohomai Institute, the University of Waikato, Rethink and Smartgrowth. Priority areas have been set by the group to address local food system challenges, opportunities and add value. These include:
-Supportive food policy
-Education around food
-Land use planning
-Reducing food waste
-Community gardens
-Supporting growing local.

Please refer to the events page for most up to date information on the progression of this local network. Toi Te Ora is also in discussions with other local authorities and community groups who are considering the development of a food policy council in their district.

More information

To learn more about this project, follow the link to the project summary.

Alternatively, please contact us to get involved, find out more and join the mailing list.      

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