If you’ve read About Us, you’ll know that YFM Australia is aiming for a healthy and secure food future for all Australians.
It ain’t no small feat, but we believe this future is possible when communities of open minded young people are given the opportunity to genuinely understand and make active choices around the food they eat. A big part of this involves sharing skills, knowledge and experience around food with one another, and young people have got this, they’re good at sharing (not just on Facebook but in real life) and have a lot to teach and learn.
Since farms aren’t exactly a short stroll away when you live in the city, we create food education projects and online platforms to fill in the gaps. These gaps can be knowing how and who grew your food, its impact on the environment and how it reached the supermarket in the first place. The idea is that you take this new knowledge, run with it and have a positive impact in the big wide world by making informed food choices.
Beef. We’re lookin’ at you.
There’s no denying that we Aussies eat a whole lotta beef (head over to our BeefJam FAQs to get the stats). The thing is, not many people actually know how that steak or rack of ribs got to their plate. Not because they don’t want to, but because so many things stand in the way.
With beef being one of the most talked about meats when it comes to sustainability and the impacts it has on the environment, it made sense for it to be our starting point for better understanding the system in order to change the way we eat.
If we’re aiming for that sweet food future, we believe understanding the ins and outs of the current food system is the first link in the chain. That’s why BeefJam is taking young producers and consumers along the journey from calf to shrink-wrapped steak, to make all the steps in the red meat supply chain come to life.
We’re jammin’ to fill in the gaps.
Whether you’re a meat-eater or non-meat-eater, we reckon it’s pretty important to understand the journey from paddock-to-plate. So, we got talking to Target 100, an initiative run by Australian sheep and cattle farmers to deliver sustainable sheep and cattle farming, and realised that both our organisations are driven by a desire for a resilient, sustainable food system.
BEEFJAM. A project to jam out ideas for change.
Our approach to shakin’ up the food system for the better – and there are many ways to do this – is about two things. Firstly, to open up honest dialogue between farmers (and those who represent them) and consumers, so that as young people we can help support the food system we want. And secondly, it’s to use the energy of young people to channel that dialogue into action. So that ultimately we don’t just talk about change, we actually do it. That’s what BeefJam is all about.
We want to share with producers the things that drive our beliefs, our motivations for getting up in the morning, and what we value. Equally, we want to understand the realities of how food in Australia gets to the table. We’d like a first hand experience of how farmers manage their animals, how they are care-takers of the land and how we, as informed consumers, share some of the responsibility. Summarised in one word, we want transparency, and we this information freely available to our community.
Still got questions? Keep on reading.
If YFM Australia advocates for sustainable consumption, why are we working with Target 100?
Let’s go back to basics. The food system is founded on the simple principle of ‘supply and demand’. Farmers and producers supply the food to the people who eat and demand the food. Since we are a consumer-focused organisation that values transparency, its important for us to understand how the other half of the ag-equation works. BeefJam is a project that allows us to gain better insight into the world of food supply.
Our collaboration with Target 100 is not only a way for YFM Australia to learn more about the experience of farming from a farmers perspective, it’s also an opportunity for BeefJam’s ‘Jammers’ to share their skills, knowledge and experiences with each other.
Are we promoting the consumption of meat?
BeefJam doesn’t promote eating more meat any more than it promotes eating less meat. What we’re promoting is the need for young people to question and seek experiences that enhance their understanding of how that steak or Bolognese ended up on their plate, and then to make their own decision on how much meat to eat, where to buy it and what type of meat cuts to choose. After all, food doesn’t just rock up to supermarkets, chill in the fridge and wait for some hungry person to make eyes at them.
It’s about understanding the impacts that your food choices have and making the best possible choice for you when buying your meat.
Is YFM Australia in partnership with Target100?
BeefJam is a one-off event that has been co-designed by our organisations. We are working collaboratively to fill in the gaps and give young producers and young consumers the chance to journey through the Australian beef supply chain and challenge them to ‘jam’ and play out solutions to sustainability challenges surrounding red meat.
If you’re keen to find out more about the project, or want to apply, stat., head on over to our project page.