Casey Food Hub

Driven By: Action Research. Locations: Australia. Location Detail: Victoria. Stage: Planning. Business Model: Social Enterprise. Function: Aggregation and Distribution.

The City of Casey, in Melbourne’s South-East, is striving to address the needs of a rapidly expanding urban population while offering new opportunities for highly productive farms and farmers close-by.

The City of Casey is 35 km south-east of the Melbourne CBD and contains some of Australia’s ‘most fertile and valuable agriculture areas’ (City of Casey 2008). It is also part of a broader regional ‘food bowl’ that includes the Cardinia, Baw Baw and Mornington Peninsula shires.

Many of the areas within the City, such as Berwick, Cranbourne, Devon Meadows and Clyde are known as prime agricultural and market garden areas, and are the major source of Melbourne’s spinach, celery, leeks, spring onions and herbs (The Age 2012).

Casey is home to a large and growing population and farms producing lots of great food but not a great deal of connection between the two.

Research suggests that the proportion of food produced in and around the City of Casey that travels directly to retail outlets and customers within the region is quite small. And that’s where the Casey Food Hub steps in.

2012 was a big year for the Casey Food Hub with extensive stakeholder engagement; research; and mapping of current local food systems. After a final stakeholder forum in February the project has now moved to Phase 3: Feasibility and Business Case development and potential Piloting of models. The interest and need is there, is growing, and includes a diverse range of farm and businesses sizes and modes of operation.