“This is the second inquiry into food security by the parliament in eleven years. And like the Closing the Gap targets, little has changed or improved for those Australian Aboriginal people who live in remote communities.” – Anne Stanley MP.
In December 2020, the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs tabled a report on food pricing and food security in remote Indigenous communities. The Standing Committee made this inquiry after reports of grocery price gouging during Covid-19 lockdowns. It also investigated concerns of fresh, healthy and affordable produce being unavailable to our most remote Australians – many of whom are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
The report resulted in 16 recommendations. These concerned the need to put downward pressure on food prices in remote communities for the sake of socioeconomic outcomes. The Federal Government is yet to respond to the report.
During this episode of the Time to Listen podcast…
We speak to the project lead for the Mayi Market, Rohan Gupta, as well as Mossman Gorge O-Hub staff, Robert Henning and Terrence Douglas. The Mayi Market is an initiative of the Cape York Partnership. It was established to address the enduring issue of food security and affordability in Cape York. In some communities, residents have been paying triple the price for groceries in comparison to Cairns, the nearest regional center. The mission of the Mayi Market is to ensure a healthy diet is attainable for all Cape York families.
We discuss the reality of food availability and affordability in Cape York communities, and address the ensuing health outcomes. We also speak about logistics, and how the initiative was co-designed with residents of Cape York. Finally, we conclude with Mayi Market’s plans to scale over the next 12 months.
Thank you for taking the time to listen.