YFM has been doing some political advocacy to make sure our politicians and policy makers hear the voice of young people on food. That’s why we submitted two papers to the Federal and NSW agriculture policy makers on important issues that need change.
What is ‘advocacy’?
There are many different ways to make change happen. Advocacy is acting, writing, and/or speaking for a particular cause. Basically, it’s persuading people in power or the public to change the way they think about an issue. This can be through internet campaigns, reporting and events.
For YFM our political advocacy is about making sure that the voices of young people in the community are heard when decision-makers are developing food and agriculture policy. We do this largely by meeting politicians and key industry people and by making submission to State and Federal policy development processes.
Policy development processes?
Policy is the way governments get things done. Statements of government policy are expressions of government priorities, and how a government intends to get its objectives met. Policy can be implemented in many ways – through laws, through programs, through funding or not funding certain organisations and initiatives.
When a government is making a new policy it will often hold an extensive consultation process where interested people and organisations can make submissions about what they feel is important to include in the policy.
Recently YFM has made two submissions to agriculture policy processes – one at the Federal and one at the NSW State level.
In these submissions we called on the Government to recognise the important impact of young people on agriculture – both as consumers and farmers. We have called on them to support education and access to information for young consumers so they can make good purchasing decisions that supports domestic agriculture, and to back initiatives that distribute food via direct consumer/producer relationships (such as food boxes and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)). The submissions also emphasise that young people are quite literally the future of farming and so have called on the government to investigate barriers to young people becoming farmers and to improve tertiary agriculture degrees.
So what’s next?
Governments will use the submissions they receive to create a draft policy, often asking again for another round of feedback. YFM intends to stay engaged in both the NSW and Federal process, as well as broadening our advocacy work to include engagement with key policy makers. Whenever food or agriculture is being discussed, YFM intends to be there, speaking for young people.
Want to find out more?
Want to get involved?
Any would-be policy wonks and enthusiasts can contact Jo, YFM’s Advocacy Coordinator, to find out more! Email email@example.com