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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. Our temperate climate allows a wide variety of foods to be grown close to Melbourne all year round. This ready food supply has drawn people to live and eat here for thousands of years, from the first Indigenous communities through to European settlers and the current population.

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.

The food policy has been informed by the outcomes of a discussion paper and a community consultation process. Community consultations were conducted with community members and stakeholders from October 2011 to April 2012, to explore what food means to people in the City of Melbourne and what the most important food issues our community will face in the future are. 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


Since the introduction of the food policy we have been involved in some great initiatives. These include:

  • helping city dwellers and workers get to grips with creating their own kitchen garden, and eating healthier, as part of our Grow Show Melbourne program
  • supporting the Grow It Local – Local Growers Feast held at Queen Victoria Market during The Age Good Food Month
  • sponsoring the production of the Just Food documentary
  • launching Green Light Eat Right (City of Melbourne’s healthy and nutritious food choices program) at Moomba and through kitchen garden programs in our child care centres
  • launching the sustainable food information tool
  • reducing food waste through a 12-month pilot of the Degraves Street Shared Recycling Facility – food dehydrator machine, education and  behaviour change program
  • our EcoCity Food Forum which brought together organisations and individuals who are working toward a sustainable, resilient and fair food system (see also the EcoCity Food Forum on Storify). 
  • the Melbourne Conversation topic of Feeding a Growing Melbourne: issues and opportunities (Word, 116kb)
  • giving Southbank’s 15,000 residents greater access to healthy, fresh, locally grown or produced food via Southbank Farmers’ Market, accredited by the Victorian Farmers’ Market Association. This market started at Boyd Community Hub on Saturday 2 August and will be happening on the first Saturday of every month, 8am-1pm. 

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