Coff’s Coast Advocate articles

From July 2010 to October 2014 I wrote for the Coffs Coast Advocate.

This is a list of most of my articles over that time – not necessarily in chronological order!

The real costs of cheap food

The real costs of ‘cheap’ food Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 19.2.11 There’s been plenty of talk over the past month or so about the impact that the extreme weather events north of the border will have on food and grocery prices, vegetables and bananas especially. There’s lots of … Continue reading The real costs of cheap food

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Agricultural Democracy

This mode of production and social organization, the mindset that the earth is only here for us to endlessly exploit regardless of the consequences, so that a few ‘rich’ people can become ‘richer’, for a while – this is what has to change.

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There is a hunger and thirst for connection

The local governments and their communities are investing heavily in urban agriculture as a strategy for urban renewal and revitalisation. On one level it’s about growing food, but more fundamentally, it’s about re-creating the connections that sustain healthy communities and healthy people.

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COMMUNITY FUNDED FOOD

“Your support helps us reach our goals to be ethically viable without taking on debt from the banks to line shareholders’ pockets. Instead of feeding the banks, let us feed you with our range of tasty rewards in return for your pledge to help us reach our goal!”

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The Trans Pacific Partnership – An attack on our democracy and sovereignty

Not heard of the TPP? That’s hardly surprising, because, like nearly all free trade negotiations since the infamous ‘battle of Seattle’ back in 1999, the 12-nation TPP talks, involving Australia, the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, have been conducted exclusively behind closed doors. More than that, it’s only due to the leaking of 2 of the 26 chapters under negotiation that we know anything about the substance of this agreement.

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Crowd-funding for farming

In Australia, the Pozible website (www.pozible.com) was launched in May 2010, and by August 2013 had raised $13 mn for more than 4000 projects. These have included in the past few months: $12,000 to send 5 Australian farmers to the Via Campesina global conference in Jakarta (June 2013), $27,570 to finance an on-farm butchery at the free range heritage pig farm, Jonai Farms in Daylesford, Victoria (June 2013), and $29,250 to finance the making of Just Food, an Australian-first Fair Food documentary (August-September 2013).

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Suspended Coffee in Sawtell

That suspended coffee can be redeemed by someone in need, who may have just lost their job or otherwise find themselves in financial hardship. They can simply walk into the café and ask for a suspended coffee, which will be provided courtesy of the generosity of the paying customer. We can hardly have too much kindness and generosity in the world, and this is a great way to build up those reserves.

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Fair Food Week arrives in Australia

Australia’s first Fair Food Week A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 17th August, 2013 On the 1st August this year I attended Australia’s first Symposium on Supermarket Power. Jointly organised by the law schools of Monash and Melbourne University, the aim of this event was to explore … Continue reading Fair Food Week arrives in Australia

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Local Food, Local Farms

Many people in rural and regional Australia will be sceptical that the Greens are or ever could be the friends of farmers. That said, direct marketing and local food is growing at 5% -10% per annum in North America, with solid and bi-partisan political support at both state and federal levels, and with clear benefits to farmers. Indeed, net farmer numbers in the US recently increased for the first time in decades, with many new entrants being considerably younger than the average age of 58. Clearly something is going on here.

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Fair Trade – A story not told enough?

Fair Trade Coffee A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 20th July In food and beverages, ethical and sustainable products are a booming niche market sector, which has doubled in the last four years. Fair Trade is leading the way, averaging an astonishing 50% year-on-year growth over the … Continue reading Fair Trade – A story not told enough?

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Bootstrapping independent coffee roasting on the Coffs Coast

Amelia Franklin A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 22nd June, 2013 Sugar and tea was said to be the fuel that drove forward the workers in the mills and factories of England, as it led the world into the industrial revolution. In our time, coffee has replaced … Continue reading Bootstrapping independent coffee roasting on the Coffs Coast

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A vacuum of political leadership on food policy in Australia

Questions for the Federal Government – and the Opposition A version of this article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 8th June, 2013 Two weeks ago the Federal Government launched the National Food Plan White Paper, after nearly three years of preparatory work. With colleagues at the Australian Conservation Foundation, the … Continue reading A vacuum of political leadership on food policy in Australia

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Vic Health’s Seed Challenge 2013

    Sowing the Seed A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 4th May, 2013. On Wednesday this week I was in Melbourne attending VicHealth’s ‘Sowing the Seed’ information day at the Melbourne Convention Centre. VicHealth – the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation – is a semi-autonomous state government … Continue reading Vic Health’s Seed Challenge 2013

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Globalise the struggle, globalise hope! Viva La Via Campesina!

While peasants maintain their struggle, corporations’ mouths water over the ‘dining boom’ A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 20th April 2013 Nick Rose Two events this week mark sharply diverging paths for national and global food systems. Wednesday (17 April) marked the 17th anniversary of the murder … Continue reading Globalise the struggle, globalise hope! Viva La Via Campesina!

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Local food production means resilience

Expanding trust horizons in Karangi A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 6th April, 2013 In February last year , Canada-based blogger Nicole Foss (www.automaticearth.com) spoke at the Cavanbagh Centre in Coffs Harbour, as part of her speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand. Nicole is now back … Continue reading Local food production means resilience

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The 3rd National Sustainable Food Summit

An agenda for transformation – or business as usual? A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 23rd March, 2013. Transformation was the goal, of the organisers at least, of the 3rd National Sustainable Food Summit, just concluded in Melbourne. The summit organisers and promoters describe it as a … Continue reading The 3rd National Sustainable Food Summit

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Two supermarkets, no farmers

A country with two supermarkets, but no farmers A version of this article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 9th March 2013. In my last column I quoted ‘Farmer Bluey’, who runs a mixed farm producing not insignificant quantities of wool, wheat, oats and lamb. He is joining ‘all his friends’ … Continue reading Two supermarkets, no farmers

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Cheap food = A country without farmers

Sugar, Rice and supermarket power A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 23rd February, 2013. A big fortnight for food news. We saw the release of new national dietary guidelines, which basically reaffirmed good, solid, grandma’s advice: eat a variety of healthy foods, above all your five veg … Continue reading Cheap food = A country without farmers

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The Networked World – The Connected Food System

The networked world is here A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 9th February, 2013 The National Broadband Network has arrived in Coffs Harbour, and soon all of us will have access to super-high speed internet services. Amongst other changes, the NBN is expected to significantly expand the … Continue reading The Networked World – The Connected Food System

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An Australia Day resolution

An Australia Day resolution A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 24th January, 2013 The traditional and conventional thing is to make resolutions on New Year’s Day, or shortly thereafter. That makes perfect sense. Start the year off on a positive note, turn over a new leaf, and … Continue reading An Australia Day resolution

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Real Food for Real Kids

Real Food for Real Kids A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 12th January 2013 It’s no secret that this country is facing a public health crisis of truly large proportions, much of it linked to diets based on so-called ‘energy-dense, nutrient-poor’ foods – aka junk foods. Anyone … Continue reading Real Food for Real Kids

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Community Garden Road Trip, North from Coffs Harbour

Community garden road-trip A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 22nd December 2012 Last month, Steve McGrane, President of the Coffs Harbour Regional Community Gardens Association, and a team of fellow gardeners headed north for a few days’ exploration. They were on a mission, to visit half a … Continue reading Community Garden Road Trip, North from Coffs Harbour

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Communal gardening in aged-care homes

Project Eden spreads its wings A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 8th December, 2012 “I love to see things grow, and to eat what grows. We’ve eaten radishes and lettuces, that’s all we’ve got so far. But we’ve planted beetroots, shallots, garlic, lots of herbs, and lots … Continue reading Communal gardening in aged-care homes

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Community-run edible streetscapes

Community Spirit alive and well in Sawtell A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 24th November, 2012 A quiet revolution is underway in Coffs Harbour and its nearby towns. Supported by small grants from Coffs Council, first under the Local Food Futures Project and now via the ‘Our … Continue reading Community-run edible streetscapes

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Prospects for co-ops in Australia

The Co-operative Revolution – can it happen in Australia? A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 24th November, 2012 The National Co-operatives conference, held in Port Macquarie at the end of October, had two goals: to celebrate the successes of co-operatives in Australia, and internationally; and to identify … Continue reading Prospects for co-ops in Australia

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The ‘flight to trust’

Co-operatives on the march A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 27th October 2012 has been the International Year of Co-operatives, the first time that the United Nations has designated a year especially for this sector. According to Dame Pauline Green, President of the Internationa Co-operative Alliance, this … Continue reading The ‘flight to trust’

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Garden of Eden at Coffs Jetty

Garden of Eden – Garden by the Sea A version of this article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 13th October, 2012 For the past 21 years, Wayne Kirkland and Mary-Ann Crowther have been living with as low an environmental footprint as it’s possible to have – on a yacht, travelling … Continue reading Garden of Eden at Coffs Jetty

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The Homemade Food Act

The Homemade Food Act A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 29th September, 2012. At the end of August, the Californian State Assembly passed the California Homemade Food Act, and it was signed into law by the Governor of California on 21st September. This law aims to support … Continue reading The Homemade Food Act

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The People’s Food Plan, first appearance

The People’s Food Plan A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 15th September, 2012 I’ve mentioned a number of times previously that the Federal Government is currently working on Australia’s first-ever National Food Plan. The green paper is out for consultation until 30 September, and the white paper … Continue reading The People’s Food Plan, first appearance

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Kids and vegies

Permablitz in Perry St A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday  1st September, 2012 Last month, the Coffs Coast Local Food Futures Project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, concluded after three years. The centrepiece of this project was the establishment of two wonderful community gardens, in Coffs … Continue reading Kids and vegies

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More export markets – but who benefits?

Export! Export! A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 18th August, 2012. A fortnight ago the Australian Grains Industry Conference – ‘the premier industry-hosted conference for grain industry market participants and service providers’ – was held in Melbourne. Described as a ‘high-level market event that brings together the … Continue reading More export markets – but who benefits?

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Local Food Film Festival 2012

Local Food Film Festival returns to the Coffs Coast A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 4th August, 2012 “The reality is, if we don’t relocalize our food system over the next decade, you or your children will be lining up with your ration ticket at Coles, with … Continue reading Local Food Film Festival 2012

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A food plan for corporate agribusiness

A National Food Plan, but not for us A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 20th July, 2012 On 17th July, the Federal Government released its green paper for a National Food Plan. This is the next step in the development of Australia’s first-ever national food policy. The … Continue reading A food plan for corporate agribusiness

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Food Policy Leadership at the Local Level

Local leadership on food – or lack of it A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 7th July, 2012 A few weeks ago the City of Melbourne endorsed its inaugural Food Policy, following two rounds of extensive community consultation that took place from October 2011 to April 2012. … Continue reading Food Policy Leadership at the Local Level

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Climate madness in Melbourne

Climate madness in Melbourne A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 23rd June, 2012 Last month our Prime Minister spoke of her ambitions to make Australia a ‘food superpower’, so that we can become a ‘food bowl’ for Asia, and not just the region’s mining quarry. Her lead … Continue reading Climate madness in Melbourne

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Angelo Eliades – Practising Permaculture in Preston

A version of this article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 9th June, 2012 A little over a month ago I introduced Angelo Eliades, and his permaculture food forest experiment in the Melbourne suburb of Preston. What Angelo has done embodies the wave of food self-sufficiency sweeping the inner north and … Continue reading Angelo Eliades – Practising Permaculture in Preston

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The rise of the dachniks

This article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 26th May, 2012 The rise of the dachniks Last time I began telling the story of Angelo Eliades and his permaculture food forest in his suburban backyard in Preston, Melbourne. In response to that column, a friend sent me a link to some … Continue reading The rise of the dachniks

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Food Forests – food for the future?

A food forest in Preston A version of this article appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, 5.5.12 Recently I’ve been travelling to Melbourne a fair bit, as part of a team working on a research project funded by the Federal Government’s National Climate Change A­daptation Research Facility. NCCARF, as it’s known, is funding … Continue reading Food Forests – food for the future?

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Food Hubs – essential infrastructure for a Fair Food System

Food Hubs A version of this article appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday 21.4.12. Last time I wrote about the efforts underway in Girgarre to turn a new page in the history of the Australian co-operative movement, by launching a ‘Food Hub’ manufacturing centre that is co-operatively owned and run by workers, growers … Continue reading Food Hubs – essential infrastructure for a Fair Food System

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Heinz Meanz Mean

Co-operation in the Goulburn Valley A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, on 31.3.12. The spirit of co-operation lives – in the Goulburn Valley town of Girgarre. And just as the original Rochdale ethic of co-operation was born of the necessity of finding reliable sources of non-adulterated food, so the … Continue reading Heinz Meanz Mean

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La Vida Locavore: Food Sovereignty as Government Intervention: The View of Via Campesina and US Family Farmers

Republished with the permission of Brad Wilson – an ‘Iowa farmer in organic transition. Former farm organizer and farm policy staff for Iowa CCI and rep to regional Sustainable Ag Working Group. Wrote staff manuals on commodity title in 1990s. National Family Farm Coalition board.’ Originally published at the link below on 21st February, 2012: … Continue reading La Vida Locavore: Food Sovereignty as Government Intervention: The View of Via Campesina and US Family Farmers

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Idealism and pragmatism – the Co-operative movement in Australia

Co-ops in Australia A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, Saturday 17th March 2012. Co-operatives represent the ideal of business with genuine ethics, not just window-dressing and ‘corporate social responsibility’ statements. From the social perspective, it’s hard, at least in theory, to get more ethical than the workers in a … Continue reading Idealism and pragmatism – the Co-operative movement in Australia

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Co-operatives – business as unusual

Not Business as Usual A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 3rd March 2012 The United Nations General Assembly, at its 65th plenary meeting on 18 December 2009, adopted Resolution 64/136, which proclaimed 2012 as ‘the International Year of Cooperatives’. This was in recognition of the role played by … Continue reading Co-operatives – business as unusual

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Our shrinking trust horizon

The ‘trust horizon’, and what it means for the future A version of this article appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 11th February 2012 “Politicians typically make a bad situation worse, as quickly as possible. The [economic and political] systems that we have established have become sclerotic and unresponsive. Hostage to vested interests. They … Continue reading Our shrinking trust horizon

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The Master Resource

Nicole Foss – Energy:  the ‘Master Resource’ A version of this article appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 6th February 2012 This is the second of a series of three articles outlining the thought of Nicole Foss, who will be speaking at the Cavanbagh Centre in Coffs Harbour on Saturday, February 11, from 12 pm … Continue reading The Master Resource

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Nicole Foss and the End of Growth

New ideas about ‘progress’ A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 21st January 2012   “I don’t think anything remotely like business-as-usual is going to come back in our lifetimes, or probably ever again, quite frankly.” These are the words of Stoneleigh, aka Nicole Foss. One of the world’s … Continue reading Nicole Foss and the End of Growth

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Nature as a “free gift”

Nature as a free gift A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 7th January 2012 Last time I discussed, in the spirit of Christmas, the tremendous and little-acknowledged extent to which our monetary economy depends for its continued successful functioning on countless daily acts of generosity, especially by carers … Continue reading Nature as a “free gift”

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The Gift Economy

Christmas, and the gift economy A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 24th December 2011 “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, [and] good will towards men”. So reads the King James version of the Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 2, Verse 14. Christmas, the season of … Continue reading The Gift Economy

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The poverty of farming in the Tweed

The poverty of farming in the Tweed A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, on 10th December 2011 Last time I introduced Tweed mango grower Mike Yarrow, whom I met recently while in Murwillumbah as part of a team working with the Tweed Council to prepare a strategy for sustainable … Continue reading The poverty of farming in the Tweed

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Sustainable Agriculture in the Tweed

Sustainable Agriculture in the Tweed A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 26th November 2011 The Tweed Shire Council is preparing a strategy for Sustainable Agriculture. This is part of the multi-faceted Northern Rivers Food Links project, in which the seven councils of the Northern Rivers, together with Rous … Continue reading Sustainable Agriculture in the Tweed

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Backyard Aquaponics

A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 12.11.10. Aquaponics in Coffs Harbour Last weekend I was at the Sustainable Living Festival at the Coffs Harbour Botanical Gardens. I was there with Kirsten Larsen, Research Manager of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL), which is run out of Melbourne University. VEIL … Continue reading Backyard Aquaponics

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Local Food Film Festival, 2011

LOCAL FOOD FILM FESTIVAL This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 29.10.11. Last Sunday the Coffs Coast Local Food Film Festival was launched at Bellingen’s Memorial Hall. In previous years the Festival has featured documentaries and short films from overseas, covering topics such as the collapse of global fisheries due to over-fishing, the … Continue reading Local Food Film Festival, 2011

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Of thuggery and utopia

16th October – World Food Sovereignty Day Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 15.10.11 16 October is World Food Day. It commemorates the day in 1945 on which the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations was established. The FAO is the pre-eminent global institution charged with working … Continue reading Of thuggery and utopia

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The prawn mafia

Sustainable aquaculture? Nick Rose This article first appeared in the the Coffs Coast Advocate, 1.10.11 Commercial fishing in Australia is a major rural industry, ranking fifth most valuable after beef, wool, wheat and dairy. While the wild fish catch is declining, the shortfall is being made up by a booming aquaculture industry, which, according to … Continue reading The prawn mafia

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Canadians endorse food sovereignty in public forums

A Food Plan for Industry, or a Plan for the People? Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 17.9.11 Canada’s political parties, and its food movement, have in recent years thoroughly discussed food policy formation. As Australia grapples for the first time with the idea of a National Food Plan, it’s … Continue reading Canadians endorse food sovereignty in public forums

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The National Food Plan – Take 1

The National Food Plan – What prospects for change? Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 3.9.11 Yesterday (2nd September, 2011) the deadline passed for submissions to the Federal Government’s Issues Paper on its proposed National Food Plan. In recent days, the Government has also been holding a series of ‘invitation-only’ … Continue reading The National Food Plan – Take 1

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The Free Trade Taliban

Apples, pears and free trade Nick Rose This article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 20.8.11 On Thursday, the Federal Government made the historic announcement that henceforth New Zealand apples will be imported into this country. This decision had been resisted by Australian apple and pear growers since 1919, both for biosecurity reasons, … Continue reading The Free Trade Taliban

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Native bees and food security in Korora

A native bee hive in every garden… Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 6.8.11 There is in many people’s minds a link between, on the one hand, food security, and, on the other, sustainable, resilient and fair food systems: building greater levels of self-sufficiency amongst growing numbers of people. In … Continue reading Native bees and food security in Korora

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Feeding the hungry – life of service

Food for the needy Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 23.7.11 As food security moves up the political agenda, it’s important to remember that every person on the planet has a basic right to adequate food. In theory and in law, if not in practice, no-one should ever be hungry, … Continue reading Feeding the hungry – life of service

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Food insecurity amidst abundance

Food Insecurity on the Coffs Coast Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 9.7.11 Last time I wrote about the link between global malnutrition and agri-business profiteering, on the eve of Ugandan farmer Polly Apio’s visit to Bellingen. Now we learn of a looming famine that may affect 10 million people … Continue reading Food insecurity amidst abundance

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Ending global hunger means ending the corporate control of food

Ending Global Hunger – is it possible? Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 25.6.11 On Monday 27th June, Uganda farmer and mother of 11, Polly Apio, will be speaking at the Bellingen Uniting Church, from 5.30 – 7.30 p.m. She is in Australia on a speaking tour, organised by … Continue reading Ending global hunger means ending the corporate control of food

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Self-sustaining systems for the backyard gardener

Sustainability in Korora Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 11.6.11 Meet Steve McGrane. He’s the newly appointed Coordinator of the soon-to-be-inaugurated first-ever Coffs Regional Community Garden, to be constructed on 5000m2 at the Combine Street reserve. Steve brings a wealth of horticultural experience and knowledge to this position, as well … Continue reading Self-sustaining systems for the backyard gardener

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Local Food = Jobs + Health + Sustainability

The Economics of Food Localisation Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 28.5.11 Local food and food sovereignty advocates identify many social and environmental reasons as to why the shift to local food systems is necessary and urgent. And as I discussed a few weeks ago, this message is increasingly being … Continue reading Local Food = Jobs + Health + Sustainability

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The Happy Frog

Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 14.5.11 This is the second of a two-part interview with Kim Towner, owner and manager of Tangellos and Happy Frog, and Coordinator of the Sunday Harbourside Markets. Happy Frog was born two years ago, because Kim felt that Coffs Harbour was lacking a place … Continue reading The Happy Frog

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Pragmatic Idealism

Kim Towner – the ‘pragmatic idealist’ Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 30.4.11 This is the first of a two-part series on Kim Towner, owner and manager of Tangellos and Happy Frog in the Coffs Harbour CBD, and is also the coordinator of the Harbourside Sunday market. The story of … Continue reading Pragmatic Idealism

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Conversations for transformation?

The National Sustainable Food Summit Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 16.4.11 On 5th and 6th April, I joined 320 others at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands for the very first National Sustainable Food Summit. The Summit, presented by event organisers 3 Pillars, and sponsored by the likes of … Continue reading Conversations for transformation?

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Unity is power

Bananas in Coffs Harbour – will the Big Banana be all that we have left? Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 2.4.11 Bananas have left their mark on Coffs Harbour. Our local credit union, the BCU, was established by banana growers in 1970, by members of the Banana Growers Federation … Continue reading Unity is power

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Commercial fruit growing in Boambee

The ups and downs of lychee growing in Boambee Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate on 19.3.11 This is the first of a two-part interview with long-time lychee and banana grower Ted Knoblock. The second part will be published in a fortnight’s time. Ted Knoblock, his wife Liz and their … Continue reading Commercial fruit growing in Boambee

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The decline of the big banana – Part 3

The story of Bill O’Donnell – Part 3 Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 5.3.11 In the last of a three-part interview, veteran Coffs Coast fruit grower Bill O’Donnell shares his reflections on the future of agriculture in the region Bill has spent a lifetime growing fruit in the region … Continue reading The decline of the big banana – Part 3

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The real costs of cheap food

The real costs of ‘cheap’ food Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 19.2.11 There’s been plenty of talk over the past month or so about the impact that the extreme weather events north of the border will have on food and grocery prices, vegetables and bananas especially. There’s lots of … Continue reading The real costs of cheap food

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The decline of the big banana – Part 2

The story of Bill O’Donnell – Part 2 Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 5.2.11 In the second of a three-part interview, veteran Coffs Coast fruit grower Bill O’Donnell talks about his peach and nectarine orchards, and how his lifeline to farm-based economic viability was ultimately ended by the inflexible … Continue reading The decline of the big banana – Part 2

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The decline of the big banana – Part 1

The Story of Bill O’Donnell, Part 1 Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 22.1.11 In a career spanning more than 50 years, Bill O’Donnell has been a banana grower, a tropical peach, nectarine and Japanese persimmon grower, as well as a bookmaker and professional punter. In the first of a … Continue reading The decline of the big banana – Part 1

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Why chefs love local and seasonal produce

GOING LOCAL – FROM LAKE COMO TO COFFS JETTY Nick Rose First published in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 1.1.11 When he first arrived in Coffs Harbour five years ago with his family to open Fiasco’s Restaurant and Bar, Stefano Mazzina found himself in an unfamiliar landscape. Unlike his native Lake Como in Northern Italy (north … Continue reading Why chefs love local and seasonal produce

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Pioneers of the pecan industry in Australia

Reaping the Golden Harvest – Rosalie and Mark Nowland, Summerland Pecans, Nana Glen Nick Rose The article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 4.12.10 You don’t need to have been brought up on the land to be a successful farmer – or pecan grower. In the case of Rosalie and her son Mark Nowland, … Continue reading Pioneers of the pecan industry in Australia

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Making the suburbs edible – one backyard, one school, at a time

Permablitz – what’s it all about? Nick Rose This article was first published in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 20.11.10 First there was ‘guerrilla gardening’. In the dead of night, hard core local food activists would surreptitiously sow brassicas, leafy greens and even the odd citrus tree on urban nature strips. Now there’s ‘backyard blitzes’ or, … Continue reading Making the suburbs edible – one backyard, one school, at a time

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Seed saving – the foundation of a democratic food system

Preserving the Genetic Base of Tomorrow’s Food – the Bellingen Seed Savers Network Nick Rose First published in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 6.11.10 If a system is going to endure long periods of time, i.e. be sustainable, then it has to be able to withstand external and internal shocks, i.e. it must be resilient. Dealing … Continue reading Seed saving – the foundation of a democratic food system

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Herbal wisdom in a community garden

Recovering the Wisdom of the Herbs in a Community Garden Nick Rose This article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 23.10.10 When we think of sustainability, we think of the environment. Yet it’s personal sustainability – of our own health and well-being, mental as well as physical – that’s increasingly challenged by the nature … Continue reading Herbal wisdom in a community garden

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Sharing our land

Landsharing Australia  Nick Rose First published in the Coffs Advocate, 9.10.10 The soon-to-be launched Landshare Australia (www.landshareaustralia.com.au) is the work of ABC’s Garden Guru Phil Dudman and a partner, themselves inspired by the rapidly growing landshare movement in the UK. Launched barely 18 months ago through the popular UK TV series River Cottage, Landshare UK … Continue reading Sharing our land

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Discovering the secret of being able to live your passion

Small-scale farming in Thora, near Bellingen Nick Rose A version of this article first appeared in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 25.9.10 It’s no secret that small farmers are an endangered species. The logic of food production worldwide is ‘get big or get out’. Estimates suggest that Australia alone has lost as many as 50,000 farmers … Continue reading Discovering the secret of being able to live your passion

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Self-sufficiency in the Bellinger Valley

Living off the bounty of the land in the Bellinger Valley Nick Rose First published in the Coffs Coast Advocate, 4.9.10 Fears over food price inflation are back in the news. We haven’t yet reached the convulsions of May-June 2008, when there was rioting in over thirty countries. Though the situation in Pakistan, where nearly … Continue reading Self-sufficiency in the Bellinger Valley

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Building community through food

“Community Through Food”  First published, Coffs Advocate, 7.8.10 Nick Rose Farmers’ markets – ubiquitous before the age of supermarkets, then almost disappearing – have enjoyed a renaissance during the past decade. Ten years ago they were virtually unheard of in Australia; today there are more than 120, including of course the popular growers’ markets in … Continue reading Building community through food

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working for food sovereignty in Australia