Our ecosystems on the land and in the sea are currently under immense pressure from over-exploitation of resources, a growing population, pollution and climate change. Meanwhile, consumers are becoming more educated and are looking to ensure their choices are not contributing to environmental and social problems.
The sustainable food movement is growing. We need to start asking more questions, beyond "is it organic?" or "is it sustainable seafood?" and really look at the practices occurring on land and sea (eg. land clearing & bycatch)
The problem is there are huge cultural barriers society needs to overcome to make it easier for consumers and businesses to source sustainable food. There are also issues with traceability, which make it difficult for cafes and restaurants to source sustainably.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) can audit your business to provide sustainable seafood certification. The process takes a whole "Chain of Custody" approach to monitor the sustainability of industry processes- from the fishing grounds to the consumers plate. After discussions at SO Manly workshops, we're stoked to hear that 4 Pines, Ruby Lane and Manly Ocean Foods will be undertaking the certification process with assistance from Northern Beaches Council.
Community gardens are a great way to bring people together to celebrate food. As the food is fresh, nutritious and locally grown, it is providing health benefits to the community and reducing food transportation emissions in the process. Community gardens increase the biodiversity of plants and animals and can be like an outdoor classroom to teach people about food. We're excited to be building a community garden in Manly this year so watch this space for more developments!