The goal of Zero Hunger (SDG2) calls for a ‘fundamental transformation of the way we grow and eat food’. While Australia is not widely seen to have a food security problem – with food security efforts directly largely at building export-led agriculture – inequitable access to food is a significant local problem.

Some 3.6 million Australians are food insecure, and up to 40% of edible food is wasted. In Australia and elsewhere, civic food networks such as urban gardens, community supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, organic cooperatives, food charities and ‘fair food’ organisations are important civil society stakeholders who are actively confronting these inequalities within food systems. These networks emphasise equitable access to food that is ecologically sustainable, healthy and fairly produced, exchanged and consumed – widely understood as food justice. This idea differentiates them from food security approaches focused on producing more food and provides a potentially progressive framework for thinking about alternative food futures.

In this seminar, Dr Kiah Smith will discuss her ongoing research into civic ‘fair food’ initiatives in Brisbane as a means of achieving SDG2 (and others). How are Fair Food actors in Brisbane (and beyond) re-imagining what a better food system might look like, in light of multiple food, climate and economic crises? What specific mechanisms do they use to integrate, replicate or scale up their activities from independent initiative to systemic intervention? How do these place-based narratives connect to global sustainability goals?

Following the presentation of a broad typology of initiatives, she will present qualitative findings on visions, activities and outcomes related to food justice and food access. In the context of pursuing food justice within the framework of the SDGs – which themselves represent particular ‘alternative’ futures – the findings illustrate a range of factors affecting the ability of local initiatives driven by food justice, sustainable production and consumption and sustainable financing goals to inform national-level SDG implementation.

This presentation is a revision of Dr Smith's paper presented at the UN High Level Panel on Social Solidarity Economy (Asia-Pacific regional conference, South Korea, February 2019). It informs UNRISD’s research programme on ‘Localising the SDGs through Social Solidarity Economy’ and is due for publication in late 2019 in Asian Development Perspectives. This research was funded by a UQ-ECR grant.

Date: Thursday 17th October 2019

Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm 

Venue: Level 2, Seminar Room 275, Global Change Institute (20) ST LUICA CAMPUS

RSVP: Friday 11th October 2019


Global Change Institute (20) St LUCIA CAMPUS
Level 2 Seminar Room 275