Paddock to Plate: Food, Farming & Victoria's Progress to Sustainability

Paddock to Plate: Food, Farming & Victoria's Progress to Sustainability

Publication TypeGovernment Report
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsCampbell, CAndrew
Keywordsclimate change, energy, External, Land & Water Australia, lifestyles, livelihoods, Victorian Food and Farming

This study explores the future of the Victorian food and farming system in a rapidly changing and more demanding world, focusing on the period between now and 2020. It explores ideas and tries to anticipate and imagine the sorts of activities and investments that will be needed if Victoria is to equip its food and farming system to produce more healthy foods, more sustainably, in a much more difficult climate, while consuming less water, nutrients and energy. If current trends in human population and consumption patterns continue, the world will need to produce about twice as much food by 2050, in a rapidly changing climate, with declining production of oil and rising prices for energy, water, fertilisers, and soon, carbon. Healthy environments, healthy farming systems, healthy foods and healthy people are intricately intertwined. This draft background paper analyses drivers for change, looks at international trends, outlines areas for improvement, and explores new ideas that would substantially improve the performance of the Victorian food system in delivering healthier foods and healthier profits. The fundamental challenge that emerges from this study is to develop farming systems that are more intrinsically Australian:… After reviewing recent literature, a number of recent scenario planning exercises in Australia, and the very good food supply scenarios developed by Chatham House in the UK in 2008, a range of key uncertainties emerge, as do some key propositions about probable trends in the Victorian food and farming system. The Victorian food and farming system will have to get used to a drying, warming climate, with more frequent and intense droughts, much lower run off into storages, a less Mediterranean seasonality with shorter growing seasons, more extreme and unpredictable weather events, and greater risk of losses due to storms, floods, bushfires, pests and weeds. A more coherent policy framework for the Victorian food system, linking agriculture, food and health, will only be as good as the knowledge base underpinning it. From a human health, environmental health and economic health perspective, there are very strong imperatives to improve the performance of the Victorian food and farming system right now.

Government Body

Australian Conservation Foundation


Citation and export

Campbell, C. Andrew. Paddock to Plate: Food, Farming & Victoria's Progress to Sustainability. The Future Food and Farm Project Background Paper. Australian Conservation Foundation, Melbourne 185pp (2007).

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