City of Darebin
Business plan helps the Alphington community to create and connect to a healthy, flourishing local food system.
We advised the City of Darebin on the development of a multi-stakeholder and multi-functional community food hub. We also supported the City of Darebin’s successful grant submission to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Our work included:
- establishing an evidence base to guide the development and implementation of future strategies aimed at strengthening the local food system
- exploring the existing and anticipated market demand for local, fresh food products in the City of Darebin and adjacent municipalities, both retail and wholesale
- identifying business and governance models, and
- identifying effective strategies for linking customers and local fresh food in Darebin.
Our research and analysis found that:
- the Darebin food hub is feasible under the proposed business model
- the initial business plan will require ongoing refinement as costs and revenue streams become more certain
- the presence of two committed parties is a significant factor (the Melbourne Farmers Market and Sustain), and
- performance indicators can be used for ongoing assessment.
Sustain was granted $300,000 from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to help set up the Melbourne Food Hub in Alphington. The initiative has a dual impact:
- supporting the expansion of sustainable food networks and producers, and
- nurturing social cohesion by connecting people to their communities through food and innovative urban agriculture projects.
Launched in April 2018, the multi-functional site:
- provides learning and employment opportunities
- hosts a weekly farmers’ market and kitchen garden
- can be shared by small-scale social enterprises who are working on developing more sustainable food systems, and
- aims to address food insecurity in the inner and northern suburbs by increasing the community’s access to healthy, affordable, and in-season produce.