During the pandemic we are starting to see some things that have been obvious to URFA and our supporters for some time now. For example, that a global food system is uncontrollable and many factors make it that way. It is unmanageable because it is a system built on national and even international lines of supply and transport, which under a catastrophe like COVID is totally vulnerable.
Despite Joe Buffone, director-general of Emergency Management Australia, saying that 'there was no food shortage, ... it's about staffing levels', supermarket shelves are empty in many products, including fresh produce and shoppers are turning to small, independent butchers and greengrocers for their fresh produce, who, while trying to source produce locally as much as possible, are increasingly turning to the centralised markets system to bridge the gap in supply. However, as Clive Erbacher of Erbacher's Fruit and Veg pointed out "Green cabbage I paid $3.50/kg yesterday and $5/kg today — beans I paid $4/kg on Tuesday, looking at $6–7 today. It just goes up and up all the time."
According to URFA, a regional food supply which is controlled by urban consumers, passionate about fresh, healthy, regional produce and supporting small businesses like Erbachers Fruit and Veg, experienced retailers like Mr Erbacher and his family, and regional farmers who are committed to cooperating to develop a regional food plan is what will make a regional food supply sustainable and manageable.
Sources and more info about the current situation: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2022-01-08/buy-local-supermarket-fruit-vegetables-prices/100743822 and https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-06/supermarket-shelves-bare-again-panic-buying-supply-chain/100739894
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Shane and Jerry
Both Shane and Jerry are long time educators and learners. Jerry has been a committed activist over many years, while Shane likes to think of both of them as being 'social entrepreneurs'.