Thanks to you, our valued customer, because you’ve done it again. You’ve turned the food you buy into funds for a wonderful range of environmental projects. You’ve eaten well, licked your lips and just provided $30,000 to make four local organisations environmental dreams come true. As an advocate for healthier futures, you are a driving force towards healthy and vibrant communities.

Times are really changing don’t you think?

Your purchasing is now a powerful investment in our future and we are happy to announce the projects your purchasing has just funded.

A new seed sharing and food growing community hub

A project by Byron Hinterland Seed Savers to showcase the 45 perennial foods that grow in the Northern Rivers, an online seed sharing space, and a food security register to preserve our seeds in home gardens not in a storage shed. Nice!

This will:
Empower people in the Northern Rivers to grow and consume locally grown food more easily. It increases the amount of food grown in home gardens, s reducing food miles and the energy used in storage of purchased vegetables. Rich Pirog of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture reports that the average fresh food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there! Home-grown food will travel only by foot, and include root crops, leafy greens and vegetables. This has a positive impact in reducing green-house gas emissions.
Create more ecologically balanced backyard landscapes throughout our community by increasing diversity and providing increased habitats to wildlife, including bees!
As these plants are perennials and have been grown here for many seasons, they are accustomed to this climate and therefore require less management and external inputs, and grow ‘organically’ very easily. This reduces the need for resources and energy consumption used in conventional production. Many Perennial plants simply grow by themselves coming back each year and our website will promote and share them.
By more community members growing their own food it reduces the demand on ‘agricultural systems’ that are energy intensive often using heavy machinery and fossil fuels in their production methods.

Aboriginal Bush Regenerators and Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare training days for our community

2. A project by Federal Community Childrens’ Centre to provide training days that involve bush regeneration and maintenance by Aboriginal Bush Regenerators and the Byron Chemical Free Landcare.

This will:
Focus on the removal of environmental and invasive weeds that are encroaching on the outdoor classroom based on bush regeneration techniques to increase Subtropical Rainforest flora and fauna species diversity, habitat and soil health
Educate and train community members to care for country

Information access, skill sharing and resource hub for amateur bee-keeping

3. A project by Mullumbimbees dedicated to increase the learning of how bees contribute to our environment. Focusing on the ways they improve and amplify food security through maximising pollination of crops and edible plants that are essential for a healthy productive garden.

This will be achieved through sharing cumulative experiences, skills, and knowledge with the community through social media discussion, researched best practices, meetings, visits to schools and interested groups, and workshops that offer practical learning experiences and educate the community on the importance of biosecurity and the damage to both flora and fauna caused by pesticides.

There is significant research on the critical role bees play in creating and sustaining our natural environment. There is also significant research on the bee crisis we are facing with a world-wide phenomenon called colony collapse and the introduction of fatal diseases such as American Foul Brood which have had a costly and devastating effect on Australian bees. This project will enhance all participants’ understanding of the Integrated and symbiotic role that exists between bees and the environment. It will improve the quality and quantity of food production within our established community gardens and it has the potential to improve our local environment in the district. It will provide support, confidence and skills for those who are considering becoming bee-keepers.

Through a range of activities and shared learning experiences we aim to collaboratively develop a group of skilled and knowledgeable members who have the skills to work with bees to improve the environment. They will be able to use and borrow equipment for their own beekeeping purposes and share their knowledge with others, increasing local community understanding of the significance of bees in sustaining our environment.

Community gardens gets a kitchen upgrade to provide more educational programs

4. A project by Mullumbimby Community Gardens to upgrade the kitchen and function space. This permaculture designed space will provide a facility that is sensitive and complementary to the community gardens environmental and cultural requirements, focusing on recycled materials where possible and natural building design techniques.

This venue will enhance the community’s ability to learn and participate in whole foods and organic meal preparation, enhance exposure to local produce and permaculture perennial plant preparations and sustainable food techniques.

This funding will also upgrade the function space by completing the rotunda upgrade to make it a pleasant and attractive space for functions.
So what does this all mean?

It means you can feel empowered by simply shopping with us.

It means that we have created the new way for food to fund environmental projects and you are the driving force.

The more our customers commit to investing in the future, and eating damn well while they do so, the more we can continue to enhance the natural environment through a range of great projects.

Don’t live locally? That’s not a problem.

We will be investing in national projects too, we’ve got our strategy cap on as to how to make the greatest impact.

And it doesn’t stop there. We want to share this model. We want every community in Australia to reconsider how and where they buy their food and look at how to mimic our model. We want to share our 40 years of experience and we want food to fund environmental projects throughout Australia.

So thank you for being part of our community.

Thanks for spending wisely. Thanks for funding these environmental projects. Your body got a good dosage of healthy goodness with products that didn’t harm the earth and now the earth gets a whole lot of love from with these great funded projects.

The new way is coming and you are driving it. Thank you dear customer. Enjoy the sweet taste of your food funding healthy futures.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

For more information about our grants program click here.