(Yep, I live in Griffth, Kevin Rudds electorate)
On 26/07/2010, at 9:21 AM, Dash, Bianca wrote:
Good morning Emma-Kate Rose, Greens candidate for Griffith,
I am writing in the hope that you might be able to assist me, or at least direct me towards the relevant person who can.
I would like to write a letter to the person responsible for, well I am not sure, if it would be food imports or food labelling law.
My concern is, over the weekend at a local farmers market, I came across a store selling Californian Cherries.
Additionally, at a different stall, lemons from California were also being sold - during the peak of Australia's own citrus season!
It started me thinking about food miles and how much carbon is being produced in transporting these foods, and whether, given the information, would people continue to chose to buy these foods.
With the assistance of an online food miles calculator, I have calculated that 1kg of cherries, coming from California to Brisbane, -an approximate distance of 15,932km equates to the production of 973kg of carbon. Figures which I am sure you will agree are astounding.
Are you able to advise, if I would like to commence action and potentially begin a petition or movement towards having the 'food miles' and subsequent embodied emissions of imported foods labelled at point of sale made mandatory, how I would best begin? Who I should contact and what if any requirements of such communication might be for best results?
Many thanks for your time and assistance at a time which I am sure you are very busy.
Best of luck for the coming election. Go the Greens!
Well, just a few hours later, I received a response direct from Emma-Kate Rose, which she is happy for me to share with you on this forum;
From: Emma-Kate Rose [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, 26 July 2010 1:54 PM
To: Dash, Bianca
Subject: Re: Question of where to direct a letter.
Thanks very much for your email and expressing your concerns.
There is currently a national Review Food Labelling is currently underway, headed by Dr Blewitt, who is reportedly a staunch supporter of consumer rights. Submissions closed a couple of months ago, but you can check them all out here: http://www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au/internet/foodlabelling/publishing.nsf/Content/submissions-public
Recently in Qld a group of food advocates and academics got together and formed SUSTAIN QLD to lobby for healthy, ecologically grown food. They don't have a website yet, but google it in a few months and I'm sure it will be up and running.
Additionally, while Qld doesn't have many rules placed on market sellers, there have been recent moves in Victoria which are encouraging. Take a look at this website for more information: http://www.farmersmarkets.org.au/
As for the Australian Greens, you can find more about the sustainable agriculture policy here: http://greens.org.au/policies/agriculture-natural-resources/sustainable-agriculture as well as other food policy initiatives recently released here: http://greens.org.au/content/day-5-healthy-food-advertising-press-conference
As a co-owner of a national social enterprise dedicated to bringing city folk close to their producers, I am fully aware of the environmental and social damage caused by the industrialised food system. You might like to check out the website: www.foodconnect.com.au
We know there is a lot more that can be done in our food system that will help the environment, our soil health, the livelihoods of our farmers, and the people who have a right to healthy, nutritious food. So don't hesitate to contact me for more information.
2010 Greens Candidate for Griffith
0411 595 831
facebook: Emma-Kate Rose, Greens Candidate for Griffith
Suffice to say, I have some reading to do! I am also going to send the same email (Omitting the 'Go the Greens' comment at the bottom) to the office of Kevin Rudd. It will be interesting to see the response from his office.