Food Policy

Food Policy Document No: CPL310.3
Approval Date: 11 August 2015
Approved By:  Council 
Review Date:  11 August 2018
Responsible Officer: General Manager Community Services Version No: 00
Authorising Officer: Chief Executive Officer 

1. Purpose

To affirm Councils’ vision for the City of Greater Geelong’s food system and provide direction for Council’s role in strengthening and making the region’s food system more accessible and resilient.

2. Scope

All employees and Councillors of the City of Greater Geelong.

3. References

  • City of Greater Geelong (2014) Food Policy Discussion Paper.
  • Department of Health, Victoria (2014) Healthy Together Victoria
  • Campbell CC: Food Insecurity: A Nutritional Outcome or Predictor Variable. J. Nutrition 121; 408-415, 1991
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation: World Summit, Food Security 2009
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council
  • City of Melbourne (2012) Food City: City of Melbourne Food Policy. Melbourne, City of Melbourne.
  • De Schutter, O (2014) Right to Food

4. Definitions

Adequate Food

  • Enough food that meets a person’s need for optimal growth, development and health throughout life and contributes to physical vitality, mental health and social wellbeing.

Community Food Production

  • Community food production and/or projects have a focus on production; such as community gardens, school food gardens and others on distribution; such as farmers’ markets and food hubs.

Fair Food system

  • A food system that supports access to healthy food for all, in which food is adequately priced for farmers and consumers and provided through a supply chain that has fair working conditions and high standards of animal welfare.

Food Access

  • Having sufficient access to physical and economic resources to obtain appropriate food for a nutritious diet. Resources include physical ability, money, transport opportunities and geographical location of food outlets.

Food Availability

  • Availability of sufficient quantities of nutritious food on a regular basis, similar to food supply.

Food Insecurity

  • Food insecurity exists whenever the availability of nutritionally, safe foods or the ability to acquire personally acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain.

Food Security

  • Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food System

  • Our food system is made up of all the activities that happen ‘from paddock to plate’ before our food reaches us. These activities include farming, food processing, transportation, the selling and eating of food and the disposal of food waste.

Food Use

  • Appropriate knowledge and skills in basic nutrition, budgeting, shopping and cooking; including access to adequate water and sanitation, food storage and cooking facilities.

Nutritious Food

  • Refers to a wide variety of food in accordance with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which is balanced against the body’s requirements for growth, metabolism and physical activity across the life stages and is consumed regularly and consistently; without periods of over consumption or severe restriction.


  • The resilience of a system refers to how effectively it can respond to shock and adapt to change while still continuing to provide food.

Right to Food

  • The right to food is a basic human right recognised under international law. It describes the right to feed oneself with dignity, either by producing food or buying it.

Safe Food

  • The expectation that food for sale is safe and suitable for human consumption, free of misleading labelling or conduct and that it is sold in conformance with the provisions of the Food Standards Code.

Sustainable food

  • Sustainable food is produced in a way that regenerates or improves the natural environment. It comes to our plates through short, efficient and fair supply chains which make healthy food affordable for all people and provides fair returns to farmers.

5.Council Policy


Council’s Food Policy aims to address the challenges facing our food system and leverage opportunities to ‘strengthen the food system and make it healthy, sustainable, prosperous and fair. The food policy considers all aspects of the food system that Council can influence, from ‘paddock to plate’ and brings together areas of council policy and operations that are usually considered separately, such as food safety and food waste. The policy will be accompanied by an action plan that sets out the work that the Council will undertake independently and with community partners. The action plan will be developed in consultation in 2015.


Council acknowledges that access to sufficient safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food is a fundamental human right, as recognised under international law. It also recognises that the food system is significant and complex, impacting on the environment, industry, transport and the economy.

Councils’ vision is for a healthy, sustainable, prosperous, and fair food system where:

  • all members of our community have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their cultural and dietary needs
  • food is produced and consumed in ways that protect our natural resources and increase the resilience of Geelong’s food system
  • food growers and other food businesses in the Geelong region thrive
  • we celebrate our cultural and culinary diversity
  • people have the knowledge and skills to participate actively in shaping the region’s food system.


City of Greater Geelong’s role

The City of Greater Geelong recognises that it has an important leadership role in strengthening the resilience of the region’s food system. We also recognise that food system change cannot be achieved by any one organisation working in isolation. Everyone has a part to play in creating a healthy, sustainable, prosperous and fair food system.

Although many, if not most aspects of the food system are not Council’s core business, Council is involved in the development, management, implementation and regulatory oversight of health and local laws, early years education and services, municipal planning and policy, economic development and facilitation, aged care services, procurement, environment and waste services, events, leisure services and sport and recreation facilities.

The City of Greater Geelong’s roles in delivering the food policy include:

Land Use Planning – using measures in the Local Planning Policy Framework to protect farmland and support community food production , and advocating to State Government for additional measures to assist farmland protection and increase water security; advocating for the establishment of intensive farming options (land and water based) that are identified as appropriate and sustainable for the region.

Licensing and Regulation – using our regulatory powers and/or policy position to create an environment that supports a safe, healthy, sustainable, prosperous and fair food system and where possible reduce the regulatory burden in order to improve access to nutritious food.

Facilitation, Advocacy and Leadership – leading by example with the food that we purchase and make available, for sale or otherwise, through council services, events and facilities that council manage or leases.

Partnerships and Civic Engagement – working in partnership with the community and other levels of government to deliver the food policy, and empowering local residents to participate actively in shaping the region’s food system.

Information – building an evidence base about the City of Greater Geelong’s food system to guide action, and evaluating policy outcomes.

Workforce Development – ensuring staff are well trained to deliver the food policy, and fostering an organisational environment that encourages continuous innovation to support implementation of the policy.

6. Related documents and Associations

The food policy aligns with a number of existing polices, plans, initiatives and legislative requirements in the City of Greater Geelong, including:

  • City Plan 2013-2017
  • The Geelong Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-2017
  • Greater Geelong Planning Scheme 2014
  • Geelong Port City 2050
  • Rural land use strategy 2007
  • The City of Greater Geelong’s Environment Management Strategy 2013-2017
  • Regional Food System Alliance, established in 2009
  • Geelong Food Assistance Network
  • The Food Act 1984, where the City of Greater Geelong continues to maintain its legislative requirements to monitor and ensure food that is sold is safe.

7. Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.

Name of Record Retained by/location Retention Period Location

8. Attachments

  • Nil

Page last updated: Wednesday, 19 May 2021