Local Food Northland conference a success

22 February 2017

Local Food Northland conference a success

The inaugural 2017 Local Food Conference based at NorthTec was a great success. It bought together people from diverse interests in food production, distribution, consumption, diet and health, hospitality and education, specifically to focus on the move towards more sustainable food systems. There was strong support from Northland Inc, Tai Tokerau PHO, the Far North District Council, Channel North and several local food producers.

The opening powhiri at Te Punu o te Mātauranga and welcome from our Mayor, Sheryl Mai, set the scene. Visiting experts conferred more mana on the conference – Anne Palmer from Johns Hopkins University and Professor Barbara Burlingame from Massey University.

The benefits of connecting with other people that share aspirations towards a stronger local food economy was a common focus of feedback of those attending. Since the conference, there has been a continuation of discussions in Loomio and further connections made.

A feature of the conference was the superb food, mostly sourced locally and beautifully cooked and presented by Ian Sturt and his team. Among the outcomes of the Conference was the establishment of the NZ Tropical Fruitgrowers Association and the Northland Food Policy Network: He Kai Ora Tonu.

NorthTec's Peter Bruce-Iri was the lead convenor for the conference and presented on 'Accelerating Food Systems Change in Northland".