Regional Development Australia Central West launched Farm to Institution Central West NSW – a first-of-its-kind project in Australia last week, and part of an embryonic movement in the region supporting not just regional economic development, but also social and environmental development.
Farm to Institution Central West NSW is about creating new pathways to market for regional producers and farmers into regional institutions.
The ultimate outcome of this project will be for local institutions, like schools, hospitals, universities, aged care and disability providers to buy more of their food from Central West NSW, for the sustainable economic development, health and resilience of the region.
RDA Central West has been piloting the project between 2017-2018 with a number of interested institutions and producers, forming the ‘Farm to Institution, Central West NSW Network’.
“We have been working with the Farm to Institution Network to identify priority activities for implementation, detailed in our Roadmap Report, which are research, education, connection and collaboration” said Ms Julia Andrews, RDA Central West CEO.
“The project arose out of a need to bridge the disconnect between the region’s agricultural industry and institutions with catering, which is a missed opportunity for Central West NSW,” said Ms Andrews.
Cadia Valley Operations, the Funding Partner for the project has provided a commitment to support the initiative through to 2020 with Charles Sturt University being the Research Partner for the project.
With the launch of the project, RDA Central West is putting the call out to the Canowindra region to join the movement.
“We have created a Sign-Up page on our RDA Central West website for interested institutions and producers in the region to join the Network and work with us to create more efficient regional supply chains” said Ms Andrews.
More information including the ‘Farm to Institution Central West, NSW Roadmap Report’ and the Farmer Sign-up page can be found on the website – http://www.rdacentralwest.org.au/initiatives/farm-to-institution