Food Next Door

Food Next Door

Enterprise name  Food Next Door Co-op

What’s the trading activity 

We operate Out of the Box, a weekly local produce box scheme of 100% local produce grown to organic and regenerative practices. Approximately 80 households in Sunraysia currently subscribe to Out of the Box.

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?

Out of the Box supports small-scale farmers; we guarantee a minimum 50% return from each box directly to local farmers. We donate $1 from every box directly to support an intern in our on-farm training program for new migrant farmers. Remaining profits are re-invested in Food Next Door’s Community Demonstration Farm to build community and sustainable local economies through food.

How are you going with the work?

Since COVID-19 restrictions we have seen a 30% increase in weekly sales. We were able to respond quickly by increasing plantings at our community farm and supporting our small-scale farmers to increase plantings on their farms too. So far our supply is keeping up (more or less) with demand and we hope to continue building our customer base.

Go to  foodnextdoor.org.au

Grow Lightly

Grow Lightly

Enterprise name  Grow Lightly

In 2004 it all started with surplus fruit and vegies from two gardens and a couple of weekly vegie boxes, with money in a biscuit tin. Numbers of growers and customers grew, and we moved our Sunday morning packing from a farm shed to a shop and then down into Coal Creek. All this with no formal structure, but some very clear principles.

Grow Lightly grew from a concern about global environmental trends, particularly global warming and peak oil, and the prospect of ongoing water shortages. People must eat, but we believe it’s important to make truly fresh food available, to reduce food miles to an absolute minimum, and to recognize the environmental cost of food production. We also believe that it’s important for kids to understand where food comes from, and to grow up as part of a food culture other than the culture of fast food. It wasn’t until 2013 that we became incorporated. We’re now a not-for-profit company, with a Board of Directors and a constitution.

Our official objectives are introduced like this: Grow Lightly Connect has a commitment to sustainable use of resources and the building of a resilient local community. In particular, GLC seeks to encourage local food production and distribution using organic methods and sustainable agricultural techniques –in other words, to help South Gippsland feed South Gippsland. This is what we continue to be about. In 2016 we moved into what is now the Grow Lightly Food Hub next to Coal Creek, Korumburra and were able to start doing lots of different things to advance our objectives. We opened a shop (initially two and then three days a week), and began to run workshops, film showings and other community activities as well as continuing with our vegiebags. We employed our first paid staff. In 2018 we introduced a system of on-line bulk ordering.

Absolutely none of this would have been possible without an immense amount of voluntary work by a very large number of people. The amount of fresh produce we turned over continued to grow astronomically and our beautiful but small building with its teeny coolroom built into an unused toilet space almost burst at the seams. So in October 2018 we moved all our fresh produce operations to our present building in Commercial Street Korumburra That freed up the Food Hub for more and better community activities.

Grow Lightly, work harder, do more.

 Go to growlightly.com.au

CERES Fair Food

CERES Fair Food

Enterprise name

CERES Fair Food

What’s the social or environmental cause your enterprise addresses?

CERES Fair Food works to bring fairness and resilience to our local food system, allowing small organic farmers, young innovative businesses and new migrants a pathway to thrive. We proudly employ many staff from Melbourne’s refugee community, and return 100% of profits to CERES Environment Park to inspire action for a liveable climate future.

Describe your trading activity (what do you sell and who are your customers?)

We deliver fresh organic produce and ethical groceries to homes and businesses across Melbourne.

How are you going with the work?

Since our beginning in 2010 we have grown to deliver to over 1000 households a week, directly supporting over 100 farmers and producers. Fair Food employs 45 staff and is currently supported by a network of around 70 volunteer Food Hosts and about 2500 regular customers. It is an absolute pleasure to see our diverse and engaged community connect and grow, as households embrace the power of their everyday choices to impact environmental and social change at a local level.

What is the biggest challenge?

Scaling our impact is probably our greatest challenge at the moment and something we are curious about as we look ahead!

What is your hope for the future?

That together we are able to transition from a wasteful, extractive economy to a resilient and regenerative one. A natural economy that sustains and nourishes everyone in our community.

For more information, click here