We submitted our final report to MPI's Sustainable Farming Fund in February for the Otago Food Economy (OFE) project completed by Ahika Consulting and Otago Polytechnic.
Local Food Economies (LFE) is the economic and social system for growing, processing, distributing and consuming food within a local area, building social capital and increasing resilience in farming communities by increasing activity within the local economy. Through collaborative processes, a LFE can build community cohesion and greater consumer understanding of food and farming systems which in turn further breaks down social barriers between New Zealand’s rural and urban communities.
The Otago Food Economy (OFE) project has created a better understanding of the capacity for the Otago region to supply its own food needs with the purpose to promote more resilient food economies that have a stronger focus on localisation.
It includes our Food Economy Toolkit that we created to help other communities or local councils explore the capacity for their town/city/region to supply its own food needs in a sustainable way. This toolkit provides the background research, case studies and step-by-step exercises to gather the information needed, as well as provide some processes and suggestions about how to then use the human assets in communities to explore the opportunities for potential change within existing food economies.
The primary funder for this work was the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF). We would like to sincerely thank SFF for both the grant funding and for staff support. We would also like to thank Dunedin Rural Development Inc. and Otago Polytechnic for their financial support.
Access the toolkit and learning more about the project through the Otago Food Economy website (www.otagofood.org).