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Propelling Impact

While the Queensland Government are considering the various prototype outcomes that we submitted after the OpenIDEO Local Food workshop, a small team of us based at Propeller in Melbourne have decided to crack on and get something cooking.

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While the Queensland Government are considering the various prototype outcomes that we submitted after the OpenIDEO Local Food workshop, a small team of us based at Propeller in Melbourne have decided to crack on and get something cooking.
 
What we’re cooking up
 
One part food media, one part produce store, The Locavore Edition is an interactive guide to Australia’s regional produce and the people that grow it. We're planning a set of guidebooks, a website and an app to make it easy for anyone to be a locavore – to access quality produce from their food region or to enjoy regional food tourism by going direct to the source. These tools, mashing up many of the great OpenIDEO concepts floated at the Local Food workshop (such as the Celebration of Imperfection and Window to the Farm) will also connect growers to new markets by providing a platform for them to share their story and sell their goods. In the name of localism and authenticity we aim to celebrate quality local produce, farming and regional life.
 
We already have a brand and the first stages of the website in development. We are planning to start by profiling regional growers and their produce, while using social media to connect producers and consumers together – to learn from each other and do business together. Our editorial focus will be to reveal the fantastic produce accessible from Australia’s small farms and independent producers, encouraging chefs and foodies to go to the source and to share their knowledge in a growing community. We aim to provide an opportunity for growers to keep the market up to date through their own online profile, while our in-house research will enable us to connect likeminded individuals and businesses that are interested in collaborating.
 
Our aim is to inspire Australians and international visitors to look locally and to think seasonally so that they can discover the wealth of regional produce on offer. In doing so we will be able to support growers and providers who are passionate about sustainability – and are committed to growing and selling quality produce.
 
Why Now?
 


In an era of urbanisation, globalisation and environmental uncertainty, there is heightened awareness of the value of the local – resulting in increased demand for products and experiences that celebrate locality, authenticity, originality and quality.
 
This reawakening to the value of quality produce and the valuable role that is played by the people that grow needs to be nurtured and supported. It holds huge economic and social potential for farmers, small businesses and regional communities across Australia. We are excited by the economic, social and ecological potential of regional food systems that could create a bright future for Australian farming communities. We like good food. We like the idea of a better future. Enough said.

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Mr. McEoin,

The good work you rare doing down there on our southern Hemisphere has made its way all the way to my ears in America. I just reviewed your project, and I am delighted to see that it appears that you have what it takes to make it a reality. We are also working on something similar here in America, and it seems that this is an idea whose time has come.

Now, I know it may seem silly for me to suggest that the local growers in Australia would collaborate with Local growers in America, but the more I read what you are doing, the more sense it makes that any knowledge gained by either group should be shared.

Check out http://www.Top10Produce.com and tell me what you think.

If you are willing to consider it, your group would be welcome to have free use on Our website http://OurLocale.com for your group, for as long as you care to make use of it. Lord knows we won't be bumping into you promoting local food down there in Austrailia! But it would save you cash in the long run (since it is paid for already), and we might learn a thing or two from your group in exchange.

Also, OurLocale comes with an API that is interoperable with that mobile app you mentioned, so it would make sense to give it a look.
Not only does that website let your group of growers form your own group, but when that website is viewed from a mobile phone it automatically gives you a page formatted for that phone, regardless of your phone's brand. Also, you can log in with Facebook and Twitter, so it will be much easier for your to get the growers to log in every now and again. If you have a smart phone you can click this: http://CA0100.OurLocale.com - and see a local wine grower in my area. The vintners seemed to catch on to this mobile marketing concept right away, whereas the produce growers around here took a bit more convincing that there was value in the concept! :) I have also found that alot more people want to join the cause then there is wine involved! I am not above accepting kindness motivated by wine!

If anyone in your groups joins http://OurLocale.com just email me at jbailey@Top10Produce.com and I will give them a free membership for life, and you can start your own sub-group open only to the growers sharing the common brand. We charge a small fee to cover the operational costs, but since you already have a website it would not be worth you investing in a second, but I would like to offer my hand in solidarity anyway.

Best of luck to you all. Great work!

John Bailey
Executive Director
Top 10 Produce LLC

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