Farm to Plate Victorian Peri-Urban Planning Scheme Audit

This publication is the result of a research collaboration funded by the McLeod Family Foundation and involving Sustain – The Australian Food Network (Sustain) and Plan-it Rural Pty Ltd.

Regenerative agriculture, artisan agriculture, and agroecological food systems are increasingly aligned with climate change action and ethical food production. Whilst there is more information than ever about what these production systems are and why they are important, less attention has been given to how they can be implemented (and encouraged).  

Existing regulatory systems, including land use planning, have been calibrated to support industrial-scale production with an export orientation and well-organised peak bodies. In contrast to this, small-scale producers who direct-market and distribute their own local seasonal produce are more likely to fall into a regulatory grey area.  

Rural lands on the fringe of cities offer local food production and processing opportunities close to markets, but industrial food production is not well suited to these closely settled areas. Small-scale, innovative, productive and sustainable farming systems can be implemented in peri-urban areas and would result in greater economic, environmental and social sustainability, as well as climate resilience. Regulators and policy makers are undervaluing the potential of this land for food, and it is being lost to non-agricultural uses through policy inertia. 

The Farm to Plate Peri-Urban Planning Scheme Audit (the project) has established implementation principles for local, sustainable food systems and examines the potential for land-use planning regulation to support peri-urban agriculture.

Download the Farm to Plate Victorian Peri-Urban Planning Scheme Audit