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A Social Produce Market - by Eat New Zealand Kaitaki - Teri Styles
(Conceptual design using the Mana Kai Framework)
Seeing the Mana Kai Framework inspired me to put together a proposal of an alternative type of produce market that could exist in Aotearoa.
From where I currently sit in the food system (working at a food bank) I see the negative impact of rising food prices on peoples access to kai. There is a lack of competition for supermarkets in Aotearoa and this keeps the prices high. Tāngata will often forgo buying food to pay their rent or other bills and they need to rely on food banks or food grants. The following pages go into three of the key concepts for an alternative type of produce market that would reduce the need for food banks and change the way we distribute kai in our community.
The concept of Ngā Nuinga speaks to a joint effort to share and exchange local food resources and dictates that everyone has access to kai. Following this principal, there would be social produce markets set up across Aotearoa. In each market the produce would be locally sourced and community members plus businesses could donate food. There would be a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ approach allowing everyone to enjoy the food. Community gardens would also be incorporated into the market to provide a source of kai and inspire people to grow their own kai.
Ohaoha explores the economic benefits from the supply and distribution of food, plus the focus on creating business and employment opportunities for people. To honour Ohaoha, people from local community would be offered jobs at the market first. The local producers would have a platform to highlight their products to visitors and residents. The market would also be a place that food could be ‘recycled’ as any surplus food could be donated rather than being thrown away.
Hauora focuses on the wellbeing food brings us as we enjoy it as a community. The goal for the market would be to have mainly fresh and unprocessed products available. In current supermarkets over 85% of the products are ultra-processed. In creation of an alternative type of market, hauora would be considered in relation to products that are sold, plus their placement and promotion. Fresh and unprocessed foods would be the easier options to choose as they would be strategically placed. Seasonal products would be promoted to encourage variety throughout the year in people’s diet.
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