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Food City

City of Melbourne's food policy

Melbourne is renowned for the quality of its food and we often assume we will always have plentiful access to good food. There are, however, signs that our food system is facing serious challenges, and the way that we respond will shape the quality of life within the City of Melbourne for many years to come.

Food City provides an overarching vision and framework that will guide coordinated action and decision-making to improve our food system. The aim of the policy is to improve people’s health and wellbeing by promoting a food system that is secure, healthy, sustainable, thriving and socially inclusive.

Food City was endorsed by Council in June 2012.

Food policy framework

Vision Themes City of Melbourne's role

To improve people's health and wellbeing by creating a food system that is secure, healthy, sustainable, thriving and socially inclusive.
  1. A strong, food secure community
  2. Healthy food choices for all
  3. A sustainable and resilient food system
  4. A thriving local food economy
  5. A city that celebrates food
  • Education and community development
  • Partnerships
  • Advocacy and leadership
  • Regulation
  • Research

Key initiatives

We’ve been working with our key partners to ensure our vision remains active. This includes:

  • helping city dwellers and workers get to grips with creating their own kitchen garden, and eating healthier, as part of our Town Hall Veggie Patch and  Grow Show Melbourne program.
  • supporting the Grow It Local – Local Growers Feast held at Queen Victoria Market during The Age Good Food Month.
  • providing a social enterprise grant to Community Grocer, which is a community-run fresh fruit and vegetable market, offering great produce at affordable prices, held Fridays at the Carlton high rise
  • sponsoring the production of the Just Food documentary.
  • supporting the Growing Green Guide for Melbourne which provides guidelines for the design, construction and maintenance of green roofs, walls and facades.
  • partnering with Doing Something Good to deliver the Fair Food Forum, Go Local and Local Food Project Big Ideas Jam Session to develop and test local food initiatives.
  • supporting the Know Your Foodbowl project to raise awareness of Victoria’s food supply and economy.
  • providing a social enterprise grant to Spade and Barrow who are helping to reduce unnecessary food waste and provide equitable access to affordable fresh produce, by purchasing directly from farmers. 
  • funding Melbourne Farmers' Markets, through a community grant to deliver the Carlton Farmers' Market. The market is held on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 8am- 1pm at Carlton Primary School, Palmerston Street, Carlton.
  • introducing a Healthy Eating Zone based on Green Light Eat Right (City of Melbourne’s healthy and nutritious food choices program) at Moomba.
  • developing a license agreement that will allow YMCA to implement Green Light Eat Right in their Victorian leisure and aquatic facilities.
  • launching the sustainable food information tool.
  • reducing food waste through  the Degraves Street Shared Recycling Facility – food dehydrator machine, education and  behaviour change program.
  • implementing the Street Gardens Guidelines.
  • endorsing the Community Gardening policy which provides information about City of Melbourne’s principles and intended outcomes for community gardening.
  • supporting VicHealth’s H30 Challenge Campaign which encourages people to go on a 30-day challenge of swapping soft drinks for kilojoule-free water. 
  • the development of a community food guide which provides information on agencies and services that offer free and affordable meals, food vouchers, food parcels and food growing initiatives. View our Community Food Guide at Food Access.

Download the food policy document and fact sheet

City of Melbourne Food Policy (PDF, 6MB)City of Melbourne Food Policy (Word, 159kb)
City of Melbourne Food Policy fact sheet (Word, 80kb)

Download the discussion paper

Food Policy discussion paper (PDF, 2.7MB)
Food Policy discussion paper (Word, 181kb)

You can also view the Food Policy infographic.

If you would like to receive Food City updates, please register your details at  

For more information, please contact City of Melbourne Health Services on 03 9658 9658 or contact us online.

Vegetables for sale at market stall