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Being Instrumental

Being Instrumental

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Eat New Zealand’s mission states that ‘we will be instrumental in creating a future where all New Zealanders will have access to their food in a connected way. This will be kai (food) which sustains us culturally, socially and nutritionally. It will be produced or collected in a way that supports the balance of our natural world; our land, fresh water and ocean.’

Being ‘instrumental’ in pushing for transformation can be scary sometimes, as it makes people feel uncomfortable. However, not as uncomfortable as people who don’t have access to nourishing food to keep them healthy and hopeful.

At last week’s Kaitaki ‘Talking Plates’ dinner I had a moment when I realised the influence of some of the people in the room. People such as Dr. Jessica Hutchings and Jo Smith, Julia Milne, Jules Matthews and Matthew Evans. They are all heroes of mine as they push for the same outcome as our mission. I was humbled to share a meal with them. It was exciting to see that meal presented by the next generation of transformational food thinkers.

These often unseen, mycelium-like network of transformational thinkers are much more powerful when we stand together visibly. For this reason we are launching a parliamentary petition to call for food system transformation. This work is being done alongside friends Freedom Farms and Vets for Animal Welfare Aotearoa.

If you are involved in an organisation that has a similar mission to ours no matter how big or small and you want to see a values-based framework for New Zealand food, join us. More details here: https://www.fixourfoodsystem.com/

In the meantime, here’s a short film clip from Frank Films that speaks strongly to our mission.

Ngā mihi, Angela Clifford, CE Eat New Zealand.


#KnowYourFarmer #KnowYourFisher #EatNZGrains #GrowFoodCommunities #EatNZKaitaki #RepurposeTheSurplus #LotOfLittle #Biodiversity #FeastMatariki

Have we lost access to our own food? A Frank Film produced by Gerard Smyth

Watch the Frank Film

Kaitaki dished up discussion

"That was extraordinary! A cacophony of flavours. Unforgettable. Thank you for sharing your stories, techniques and bringing your taste of home to us in Aotearoa.”

It was a wonderful thing to have our Eat NZ Kaitaki come together for the 'Talking Plates' event in Te Whanganui-a-tara last week. Our Eat NZ Founder chef Giulio Sturla led the team of five young chefs, who put together a feast that spoke to key ideas around what the future of kai could look like in Aotearoa. It was even matched with a full Kaitaki wine list.

The meal was served by more Kaitaki out front, to be able to connect in person again was a really special moment for all of us.

As part of the evening, our guests were given their own 'talking plate' which they contributed to throughout the evening. We collected them at the end of the night and we've loved reading through the responses. We'll be sharing them over the coming weeks but here's a few to get us started...

#LotsOfLittle "Feeding and sowing mycelium networks to enable a creative future to arise." / "Speaks to the power of community, how lots of little actions can have tremendous power when aligned with a common goal."

#KnowYourFarmer "We need to come together to create a new model to support small local producers who become the heart of our communities." / "...and love them like your life depends on it."

#GrowFoodCommunities "Local produce grown by local people in a way that works for the ecosystem" / "Where everyone has equity and resilience."

#KnowYourFisher "This is the only way to eat fish. I get this now." / "Trust them to nurture the treasure for our children."

#WildFoodLove "Accessible, no waste, culturally appropriate. Take what you need. Local can be sustainable." / "Connecting with the hunter-gatherer within. Being of and from the earth."

#RepurposeTheSurplus "Let's revalue our relationship with kai and expand our understanding of ways to utilise what is available."

We were grateful to have the support of Freedom Farms for this event. We were lucky to be able to use the LTD/Everybody Eats venue and a huge thanks to Jack Rainey for his help on the night. Thank you to the team at Wellington on a Plate for including us as part of the festival.

Matthew Evans of Fat Pig Farm

On Sunday in North Canterbury, we collaboraed with Quorum Sense for the first time. We brought together a crowd of farmers, chefs, eaters and some of our leading soil-to-stomach / farm-to-plate thinkers to listen to Matthew Evans of Fat Pig Farm.

Matthew is one of Australasia's leading food system thinkers. He's a farmer, chef, writer and TV personality. Together we reimagined thriving landscapes and access to food that nourishes us. He's pictured here with 16 year old Kaitaki chef, Baxter Neill from Wellington at last week's Kaitaki event.

Ngā mihi to Wellington on a Plate for bringing him to Aotearoa, and to Greystone Wines for hosting us. See more from the evening here.

See more from the Matthew Evans event in North Canterbury
It was awesome to have a few of our Canterbury-based Kaitaki farmers & soil fans; Jamie, Kaitlyn & Phil with us as we heard from Matthew Evans.

Sign the 'Fix Our Food System' Petition

Nominate your NZ Arable heroes

There is still time to nominate your favourite arable human for the 2023 NZ Arable Awards, as the date has been extended until the 24th May. If there is someone you think deserves to be recognised, this is the chance to put them forward. The details on categories and how to nominate here.

Nominate your favourite Arable Food Human!

Kaitaki Substack

We were thrilled to see that our Eat NZ Kaitaki Substack was announced as a 2023 Featured Publication on the platform a few weeks ago. There are so many delicious and interesting stories over there from within our cohort - we strongly encourage you to head over and take a look.

Check out the #EatNZKaitaki on Substack

We'd like to acknowledge the generous and ongoing support of our sponsors and partners including the Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Our Land and Water & Foundation for Arable Research.


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