Local challenges and successes associated with transitioning to sustainable food system practices for a West Australian context: Multi-sector stakeholder perceptions
Ros Sambell, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
Lesley Andrew, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
Stephanie Godrich, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
Amanda Devine, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study was funded by an Edith Cowan University Collaborative Enhancement Scheme grant, the Heart Foundation WA Division and Perth Natural Resource Management, WA.
Large-scale food system practices have diminished soil and water quality and negatively impacted climate change. Yet, numerous opportunities exist to harness food system practices that will ensure better outcomes for human health and ecosystems. The objective of this study was to consider food Production, Processing, Access and Consumption domains, and for each determine the challenges and successes associated with progressing towards a sustainable food system. A workshop engaging 122 participants including producers, consultants, consumers, educators, funders, scientists, media, government and industry representatives, was conducted in Perth, Western Australia. A thematic analysis of statements (Successes (n = 170) or Challenges (n = 360)) captured, revealed issues of scale, knowledge and education, economics, consumerism, big food, environmental/sustainability, communication, policies and legislation, and technology and innovations. Policy recommendations included greater investment into research in sustainable agriculture (particularly the evidentiary basis for regenerative agriculture), land preservation, and supporting farmers to overcome high infrastructure costs and absorb labour costs. Policy, practice and research recommendations included focusing on an integrated food systems approach with multiple goals, food system actors working collaboratively to reduce challenges and undertaking more research to further the regenerative agriculture evidence.