The Future is Local in Taranaki
Farming to Flourish - Celebrating Taranaki’s Local Producers
Last weekend in Oakura, 100 people gathered together to celebrate and acknowledge small-scale food producers in Taranaki. The event was a result of an 18 month long Massey University research project which found that locally grown food and small farmers are pivotal for building a resilient and thriving local economy.
Project co-leaders Professor Sita Venkateswar and Dr Nitha Palakshappa of Massey University found that the message from local growers was a priority to feed their local community first, rather than focus on exporting their produce. Professor Sita shared, “Our research demonstrated the ways Mana Kai, that nourishes people and environments, enables thriving local communities.”
In the room were representatives from Freeman Farms, Peihana Farm, NZ Plant & Food Research, Hua Parakore and ReGenerative Solutions. They spoke to urban and small scale farming, indigenous perspectives, innovative practices, and our CE Angela Clifford was also in attendance and spoke to the national food story and the context Taranaki plays as part of that.
The long local-lunch was created using food grown by small scale farmers and was celebrated by five Taranaki based chefs including Martin Wojniusz and Terry Parkes - Table Restaurant at Nice Hotel, Landon Elder - George's Moturoa, Jeremy Webling - Fork n Knife and Nico Vogliotti - Toret Cucina Italiana.
Not only did the menu celebrate local produce, it connected every dish directly back to whakapapa, the place from which it came…
The small local producers included: Krakin Chillies, Kahu Glen, Oākura Māra Kai, Coastal Market Gardens, Freeman Farms, Batemans Bakery, Kaitake Farms, Emacadamia, Buckeye Products and Kaitake Fresh Milk.
The future is local - has never felt more powerful and true.