National and other food organisations


Citrus Australia is an industry body representing the nation’s commercial citrus growers. One of their initiatives is CitrusWatch, which “aims to ensure that the Australian citrus industry is better equipped to minimise the entry and spread of high priority pests, such as Asian citrus psyllid.“. Part of CitrusWatch is the Citrus Watch Early Detector Network, where volunteers put out sticky traps in Autumn and Spring to help with citrus biosecurity surveillance. Sign up here. Once you sign up, a CitrusWatch Coordinator will get in touch with you and will send you the trapping kit. (posted September 14 2022)

The Global Food Security Index is a website where a bunch of academics rate every country in the world on a variety of factors associated with food security.

Of the 113 countries in the world, where do you think they rank Australia? See their country rankings. The answer is 32nd. The top rated country is Ireland. New Zealand is 16th. (posted May 4 2022)

The Australia’s food environment dashboard provides a wide range of statistics about “the healthiness of Australia’s food environments“. For example, number of TV ads in children’s peak viewing time for unhealthy vs healthy food: 2.3 per hour vs 1.0 per hour; cost of a healthy diet per fortnight for a family of four in rural Victoria: $702; and the proportion of packaged food and drinks that displays the Health Star Rating: 41%. (posted February 23 2022)

Bass Coast Edible Gardens are having an open food garden weekend on 19th and 20th February. 17 gardens are participating. $5 per garden or $20 for all the gardens. Read their brochure and map. Soo Mei Leong writes in “In addition to penguins and pelicans, Bass Coast (from Inverloch to Philip Island) can also boast of having many varied backyard, acreage and community gardens. There will also be a celebratory dinner on the Saturday evening in Corinella using produce from the region ($55 per person for a 3 course meal inclusive of soft drinks, with wine extra).” (posted February 9 2022)

Creative Harvest is an annual opening of food gardens in West Gippsland (from Warragul to Moe). $8 per garden or $60 for all 15 gardens. One of the organisers of the event, Kristy Plumridge, has written an article about the event for our website. (posted January 12 2022)

Local Seeds is a Melbourne-based website where you can buy seeds. They describe their mission as “to encourage more people to save seeds, to help preserve genetic diversity, and to give people access to seeds that are adapted to their local environment.” Although it is not immediately apparent, you can also register to sell your seeds by going to the registration page. (posted August 5 2020)

Sustainable Table is a Melbourne-based not-for-profit that “provides Australians with the tools and information to make ethical eating easy“. They have recently launched the Ripe for Change program which “offers community grants of up to $10,000, to improve our local food system and deliver health and sustainability outcomes for the population and environment“. This program is currently focused in Casey, Cardinia and the Mornington Peninsula. (posted May 15 2019)

The Vegetable Orchestra, from Vienna, play music using instruments made of fresh vegetables. (posted May 15 2019)

VegeSafe, a program run by Environmental Science staff at Macquarie University, offer a very cheap ($20 donation) say of getting your soil tested for metal and metalloid contaminants. Read more. Submit sample. (posted October 31 2018)

RetroSuburbia is David Holmgren’s new book, to be published on 10th February. Click here to read about the book or here to buy the book. The book discusses a number of case studies from around North East Melbourne, including: Alistair and Christine’s (Northcote); The Plummery (Northcote); Saba and Matt’s rental property (Lilydale); and Sharehouse (Preston). (posted February 7 2018)

Sustainable Table is a Melbourne-based organisation that aims to provide Australians with the tools and information to make ethical eating easy. Their website has recently had a facelift. (posted March 22 2017)

Australia’s Right to Food Coalition: “Australia’s Right to Food Coalition (RTFC) exists to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians by working to ensure equitable access to nutritious food. We are a coalition of organisations, practitioners, researchers and community workers united in our cause.” They have a Victorian branch and they would welcome new members. Click here to join. (posted November 16 2016)

Some food-related apps for your smartphone: food-related apps that I have on my Android smartphone/tablet include (in alphabetical order by category, where the categories reflect what is available rather than where my interests necessarily lie!):

  • Personal recipe database: My CookBook.
  • Planting guide: Gardenate.
  • Vegan food: Happy Cow.
  • Eatery finders: Yelp and Zomato.
    And, of course, there is the free app that I wrote myself: Local Food Connect. In passing, as well as the Android version of the app above, I also wrote an IoS version (the two operating systems use different languages). But Apple demanded that I pay them $100 a year before I could even put it onto my own phone! Obviously, on principle, I’m not going to do this. If you have an Apple smart device and want my free app, blame Apple not me. (posted May 4 2016)

    Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: whilst most of their events are based in the CBD, some are more local to us. For example, in 2016: Regional World’s Longest Lunch, Coldstream; Garden Vineyard Table, Dixons Creek; The Family Block, Coldstream; Finding Our Place, Eltham; and Farmer Wants a Knife, Coldstream. Whilst on the subject of non-local events, Sustainable Living Foundation’s Great Local Lunch takes place in the CBD. (posted February 3 2016)

    Melbourne good food month: although not local, this interactive graphic is, in some ways, quite cool. (posted November 11 2015)

    Open Food Network: This is a group of local people who have been working for a few years on providing an online marketplace, a way to distribute and hence buy direct from the farmer. It provides the tools and information to make it easier to run ‘food hubs’ (i.e. independent retailers and wholesalers and small social enterprises/coops/buying groups) of all shapes and sizes to work together to reduce distribution costs. See the current hubs at (posted July 17 2014)

    The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. (posted January 16 2014)

    GMO-ID Australia: A great opportunity for non-GMO labels in Australia – Australia now has a company that can analyse, monitor and certify non-GM food. It is called GMO-ID Australia and they also list non-GM suppliers. (posted April 4 2013)

    Pick your own: Even though it is lovely to grow and pick your own produce, sometimes you need more for preserving. There a number of ‘pick your own farms’ around which you may want to visit over the holiday period. See this site for details. Not all are organic, but many are. (posted December 12 2013)

    Seed bank website plugin: New software for the Cleveland Seed Bank, a seed saving initiative, has been released to the public as an open source website plugin that can turn any WordPress site into a community seed bank. The software, called WP-Seedbank, was conceived by Marilyn McHugh, Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Hummingbird Project (THP) and developed in collaboration with Cleveland GiveCamp. (posted October 10 2013)

      One Response to “National and other food organisations”

    1. Thank you so much for supporting Welcome To Eltham. I re-posted the beautiful welcome photos of facebook.

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