Promote local food production, sustainable consumption, healthy lifestyles.
Step 8) Local and Sustainable Production and
Rationale: High energy, high resource use and high consumption lifestyles are actively promoted through advertising, while the environment and other costs associated with these lifestyles are hidden from consumers. At the same time, production systems in the state are often unsustainable and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. A comprehensive strategy to promote sustainable production and consumption in all sectors of the Tasmanian economy is required.
For example, agriculture is a major source of emissions in Tasmania, while the footprint of the sector is larger still when transport, fertiliser use and supply chain linkages are taken into account. At the same time, Tasmania is a major food producer and exporter and this will become an increasingly important function as climate change impacts on food production in Australia and globally. Perversely, however, many foods are imported into Tasmania that are or could be produced locally.
Also, Tasmanian farmers are often economically exploited, notably by major supermarket chains, in many cases making their enterprises unviable, leading to the sale and often permanent conversion of their productive land to other uses. Commercial exploitation also limits the funds available for food producers to invest in more sustainable production systems.
Finally, Tasmanian consumers are poorly served by an absence of reliable, Government-endorsed certification and labelling systems that would enable them to express their preference for local and sustainably produced foods.