Food security is a topic that Australians might more readily associate with developing nations in famine or suffering food crises.

However, food security is a very real issue in Australia – regarding current rates of obesity, diabetes and access to affordable and healthy food, and, into the future as our climate changes and our population grows.

What do we mean by ‘food security’?
Food security is defined by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation as being access by all people to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. That is: food is available, accessible and our bodies are healthy enough to utilise the nutrients in food. ‘Access’ refers to:

  • physical access: being easily able to reach a market or source of food
  • economic access: that safe and nutritious food is affordable
  • social access: people’s access to food is not restricted by their social status or class.World Bank Food Price Index, 2000-2012

Food security is increasingly threatened by price rises in inputs to agriculture, such as fossil fuels and fertilisers, which lead to food price increases. Between 2002 and mid-2008, global food prices increased by 64% (FAO 2008), reducing many people’s capacity to purchase sufficient healthy food to feed themselves and their families.

Is Australia food secure?
Diet and nutrition
Food waste