1. Assisting Food Connect with their 2011 goal to improve the relationship they have with their farmers

Scott, Dianne and Tove are organising a listening tour amongst all Food Connect farmers to explore their relationship with Food Connect how it works, what works and what doesn’t.

This project consists of:

  • Tove working with Food Connect people to develop a broader and deeper understanding of the relationship between Food Connect and the Food Connect farmers - conducted in February
  • Interviews with 6 founding farmers to help plan the project and tell Food Connect what they think the project should focus on - conducted in February
  • Planning of the project with Food Connect based on the information collected from the founding farmers
  • Conducting the listening tour with all Food Connect farmers - June - December 2011

2. Building solidarity amongst La Via Campesina and Australian farmers

In late June 2010, Scott and Dianne assisted Food Connect and the Food Connect Foundation in their organisation of a visit by representatives from La Via Campesina (LVC), the forefront of the global peasant movement and Food Sovereignty.

Scott and Dianne continue to support Food Connect and the Food Connect Foundation in their future work in assisting family farmers to take back their own voice and develop solidarity with others in Australia and with La Via Campesinain their struggle against the liberalisation of agricultural trade.

They are also keeping regular contact with LVC representatives through:
  • A visit by Scott to the LVC representative in Japan and her tea farm in January 2011;
  • Sending through Australian farmer stories and Australian farm news to the LVC representatives.
In their quest to promote the voice of family farmers and develop solidarity and a global discourse between farmers:
  • Scott is spending the month of November 2011 to consolidate the campesino networks established in previous visits.
  • Dianne travelled to Korea in October 2011 and reconnected with Haesook Kim, Regional La Via Campesina South East Asia and East Asia, and farmers in this region.
  • Scott and Dianne have developed a farmer-to-farmer exchange to Venezuela in April 2012.
  • Federico and Steph have connected with Venezuelan Agroecologist, Miguel Angel Nuñez, and continue to liaise with him about future connections between campesinos in Venezuela and Australian family farmers.
  • Tove has created a logo image for Reciprocity - sharing the voices of family farmers across the world, and has developed materials for further promoting the campaign for food sovereignty.
  • Alejandra Varona Domblas has translated the venezuela.foodsovereignty.com.au into Latin American Spanish.
  • Dianne and Tove have undertaken to complete an organic farming course with Bev and Geoff Buckley, Growing Healthy Organic Food.
  • Scott and Dianne travelled to Venezuela in April 2011 to set up permanent projects and a network of campesinos to enable a cultural exchange program with Australian farmers;
  • Scott and Dianne joined a study tour to Venezuela in July 2010 to look at how food sovereignty is understood and applied in Venezula. They are promoting the voices of the Venezuelan farmers on their website: venezuela.foodsovereignty.com.au
  • Scott and Dianne travelled to East Gippsland, Victoria in November 2010 to attend the Organic Agriculture Association's Sustainability conference to begin to understand and promote the voices of Australian farmers.
  • Scott and Dianne have developed an Australian food sovereignty website to promote the voices of the family farmers in Australia: australia.foodsovereignty.com.au
Pictured: LVC representatives Ayumi, Haesook, Aresno and Irma with Scott, Dianne and Robert (Food Connect)

3. Reciprocity Internships

Reciprocity is excited to have 3 students join the Reciprocity team to participate in their work towards achieving Food Sovereignty across the world. Tove, Reciprocity's senior intern, is currently developing an internship program to consolidate and articulate the opportunities available for those wishing to join the Reciprocity team as an intern.

4. The Organic Economy Shared Understanding and Shared Agreement Project

Reciprocity has been working with African Pacific Pty Ltd since November 2009 to document:

(a) the principles of the ‘Organic Economy' model which seek to provide the philosophical foundations for building ethically sustainable business models for trading in thePacific Region

(b) the African Pacific business model

(c) the African Pacific / Fairmatch business model, known as the Pacific Growers Export Partnership (PGEP)

African Pacific Pty Ltd is defined by it's owner and founder, Andreas Lombardozzi, as a business with development outcomes using ethical, sustainable and fair principles.

Reciprocity's work in this area involves building shared understandings and agreement amongst all stakeholders in the PGEP value chain of the foundational principles of the Organic Economy and their operationalisaiton within associated business models.

Our specific focus over the next 12 months will be on the registration of farmers throughout the different PGEP countries.

If you want to learn more check out this great video featuring African Pacific's 'Big Chief' Andreas Lombardozzi, Fairmatch's CEO Herman uit de Bosch and the members of the PEGP team discussing their work in the Pacific!!