How you can get your hands on fresh local produce

Could you do your weekly shop with items sourced only from the local area? Here in Ipswich, it’s simple with a little help from the Ipswich Good Food Group. 

They’ve made it their mission to make it easy for Ipswich residents to shop responsibly with a focus on locally sourced and environmentally friendly options.   

“The weekly shop for food and groceries is a relatively easy and regular way to support a sustainable future,” Ipswich Good Food Group president Wendy Johnston said.

“In shopping responsibly people need to consider how far their food has to travel.

“If it is locally grown and produced it will be at its freshest and best, and food miles are low.

“We help out by sourcing bulk local and chemical-free produce, dry goods and cleaning and hygiene products and make it all available to members four days a week.”

With major benefits for Ipswich residents, the region’s growers and producers, the local economy and the environment, shopping locally is a no brainer.

Tune in to the latest episode of Sustainability in the Suburbs, as Ms Johnston explains how it’s done.

Last year, the community told Ipswich City Council they had a strong desire to buy local produce, reduce waste and support the local economy – which are all key to the Ipswich Good Food Group way of life.

So, why is shopping locally so important? 

“It promotes a circular economy, keeping money flowing locally which benefits farmers, residents and businesses,” Ms Johnston said.

“Local farmers providing food locally increases community resilience. Ensuring local farmers get fair prices for their produce means local farms can operate viably into the future.”

It also has great benefits for your own household, including making food exciting again.

“Try menu planning around what’s in season and available fresh rather than trying to source out of season produce,” Ms Johnston said.

“Seasonal, local food gives you back the excitement around food for example you might think ‘Hooray, strawberries are back and they are bursting with flavour’.”

Ms Johnston said it can be really simple when the community works together.

“You don’t have to do it alone,” she said.

Sustainability in the Suburbs is all about sharing stories, knowledge and ideas help us all live, eat and play the sustainable way.

By working together we can protect and enhance our environment and its liveability for current and future generations.

Keep an eye out for more videos featuring sustainability tips and tricks from Ipswich residents or share your own using #sustainableipswich

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“Join a co-op or a buyers’ group and share the investment.”

Once you’ve got shopping locally down pat, Ms Johnston said there’s plenty more ways to help the environment when doing your shopping.

“We encourage zero plastic and zero waste,” she said.

“Shopping just for what you need rather than what is ‘packaged’ reduces food waste.

“Asking about growing practices and supporting regenerative agriculture, knowing that this reduces the need for chemicals in the environment.”

Become a member of the Ipswich Good Food Group

“Membership gives residents the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to their own health, supporting local community resilience and are consuming ethically,” Ms Johnston said. 

The details:

  • You must be a member to participate in the group’s weekly bulk buys.
  • Members will also receive weekly updates, discounts on workshops and invitations to attend free workshops.
  • There are two membership options: an annual membership for $50, or a six month membership for $25.
  • The easiest way to join is at one of their meetings – download the membership form, fill it in and bring it to a meeting.

You can find Ipswich Good Food Group at 21 Park Street, Ipswich or get in touch with them on 0403 975 153.

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  1. If you must have parking metres give the first hour free or get rid of the metres entirely and make it two hour parking. it’s not surprising everyone goes over to Riverlink where parking is free!!

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