Food Connect have pioneered a viable subscriber-based Community Shared Agriculture model that fosters real relationships between farmers and those who eat their food. It is becoming more and more influential in Australia and internationally, helping challenge conventional, profit-driven food supply systems.
Food Connect supply food from local farmers living within a limited radius of consumption who are paid a fair price and who are encouraged to farm using the most sustainable methods possible. Subscribers know where their food comes from and can even participate in regular farm tours.
The organisation's founder Robert Pekin lost his dairy farm during notoriously difficult times for the industry. During this period he realised he had no connection with the people who consumed his produce. For six hard months he lived in solitude in the Tasmanian bush. This period of introspection led him to Community Shared Agriculture and eventually Food Connect.
Because the major supermarket chains are increasingly undermining sustainable food alternatives (with their use and abuse of terms such as 'organic' and 'local', for example), Inkahoots proposed a campaign that would simultaneously resist co-option and function as a critique of corporate food systems. A series of 'negative' terms are embraced by Food Connect: 'dirty', 'rough', 'imperfect', 'unruly' as a contrary badge of pride and 'real food' ethic.