Previous Clients and Recent Projects
Transforming School Food Systems
The transformative potential of school food systems is widely underappreciated and far from being realised. This project explored the global landscape of state-level and national entities that take a systems approach to transform school food and illuminated best practice through selected case studies. This work was part of a larger project rethinking the role of young people in food systems transition and growing youth food sovereignty.
Schools are a unique connecting point in communities – where families live, work, and play together and where, as they learn and grow, children form lasting connections with the world around them. Food is the essence of so many of these connections made in schools, from sharing meals and conversation in the company of friends at recess, to learning how food grows and where the food we eat comes from. Intentional or not, these are teachable moments that weave throughout the fabric of school life – offering unrivalled opportunities to engage the next generation with food in positive ways.
Transforming the connections in school food systems offers enormous potential to directly or indirectly address all of the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, connections made when bringing food into schools including 1. What food is purchased (such as local, diverse, healthy, and culturally appropriate), 2. From whom (for example, family farms and other vulnerable producer groups), and 3. From what type of production systems (for instance, those that lean more towards industrial practices versus agroecological) can lead to ripple effects beyond the school itself into homes, communities, and the broader food economy.
Scoping a Food Policy Network for Victoria
- Serving as forums for discussing food systems issues,
- Fostering connections between sectors in the food system,
- Advocating for and influencing policy, and
- Launching or supporting programs and services that address local needs.
Our understanding of how systems change means more time should be spent on experimenting, learning, and sharing, in the way that food policy groups and networks make possible.
Life changes through emergence, not incrementally. Instead of the simple sum of individual parts, life mixes it all up in networks of relationships and produces something new.
Margaret J. Wheatley