Ripe for Change

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Ripe for Change is a funder-driven initiative looking for answers to the following questions:

  • How can funders support positive change in Victoria’s food system?
  • What are the most strategic initiatives which can be funded by philanthropy and impact investment?
  • How can we work together to make our food system more sustainable?

To help answer these questions we commissioned the Australian Futures Project to support us with research and the development of a map of the Victorian food system.

The following materials and reports came out of this process:

Mapping Victoria’s Food System – summary report

This report was designed by Republic of Everyone and provides an excellent overview of the process and the outcomes

Ripe for Change map of the Victorian Food System
Final Report on Mapping Victoria’s Food System

This report was compiled by Dr Fiona McKenzie of the Australian Futures Project and provides comprehensive information on the research undertaken

Why focus on the food system? 

The food system describes the whole array of activities involved in growing, producing, marketing, distributing and selling food.

Food is an integral part of our way of life and we all rely upon the food system to provide the food for our tables. But there is much evidence that our food system is not sustainable, and that current trends are going in the wrong direction.

Because of this, there are growing numbers of people and groups working in different ways to create a more sustainable food system, which is:

  • Secure and resilient to change (such as climate change);
  • Providing access to food for everyone in society;
  • Repairing environmental damage;
  • Providing economic security for farmers, farm workers and their communities;
  • Healthy, safe and fairly traded.

 

Why is philanthropy leading this initiative?

Collaboration between grantmakers is not uncommon and there are many examples of trusts and foundations co-funding projects.

However, it is less common for philanthropy in Australia to lead collaborations around the strategy which informs grantmaking and investment. Instead, funders usually receive applications for projects or pieces of work in isolation from the ‘big picture plan’.

With complex issues, it is difficult to know whether making a grant to a particular organisation or project will make any real difference to the issue.

Australian philanthropists and impact investors are increasingly keen to make a strategic impact with their funding. By designing Ripe for Change to meet funder’s needs, this project aims to unlock more funding for food systems work.

 

Who is involved?
The AEGN and Morris Family Foundation are working in partnership to design and implement Ripe for Change.

The AEGN is managing the project, bringing together funders who want to support food systems initiatives and engaging specialists to help with aspects of the project.

The Morris Family Foundation are providing leadership to funders and supporting the project through a philanthropic grant.

A steering committee of philanthropic funders and food systems experts are guiding the project.

Ripe for Change has engaged the Australian Futures Project, and the Republic of Everyone for their expert advice and support.

 

Who can be involved in the project?

Philanthropic funders and others who are committed to making sustainable investments are welcome to participate in Ripe for Change

Also at certain stages of the project we will be engaging with people who are food systems practitioners rather than funders.

We encourage everyone who is interested to keep in touch with the initiative through monitoring the AEGN website.