4th Regional Food Cultures and Networks Conference

RFCNC logo Southern Cross University's Regional Food Network is pleased to announce the 4th Regional Food Cultures and Networks Conference. The conference will take place from 16-18th of November, in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia. We invite you to join us for another exciting and thought-provoking event, on the back of the Inaugural Conference in Kingscliff, NSW (2011), the Barossa Valley, SA (2012, hosted by Le Cordon Bleu) and Daylesford, Victoria (2013). SCU is a leader in regional food research and networking, and offers the Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism.

Food is enjoying an unprecedented focus in global media as well as in the minds of consumers. While food has become truly a global trade, increasingly, consumers are focusing on food from a local perspective. The renewal of interest in food origin, how it is produced and by whom, its impact upon our lives, our environment, our cultures as well as its security into the future are some of the threads of discussion, debate and research that centre on food.

The Regional Food Cultures and Networks Conference will again bring together people from industry, academia and government to explore key issues; showcase innovative thinking and demonstrate approaches to the development and sustainability of local food; and examine the cultural, economic, social and environmental implications and opportunities around local and regional food.

Food is at the core of every culture on earth, and expresses who we are and what we stand for perhaps more than anything else. Food accentuates cultural similarities and differences arguably more than any other aspect of life. Local food movements are re-establishing links between consumers and producers and rebuilding cultural and economic ties between regional and urban communities.

Australasia, perhaps more than any other region, is rediscovering and re-establishing its food cultures as the tourism industry re-brands locations to gain tourist attention and global political uncertainty challenges our reliance on food producers. Issues such as the re-establishment of regional and local food systems; rethinking the future of food and indeed who our future food producers might be; urban agriculture and short supply chains; and relationships between food cultures and obesity, health and nutrition all add to the complex discussion and exploration of ideas and solutions for the future of regional food.

The Conference will showcase research, industry application and extension, and innovation that are occurring within and beyond the farm gate. The presentations will focus on thought provoking ideas followed by interactive discussion. Networking opportunities will enable attendees to explore case studies whilst experiencing local food at its best.

The agri-food sector and tourism and hospitality represent two of regional Australasia's key industry sectors. The Conference will be a unique opportunity to connect with key stakeholders in regional food, this time in the beautiful Byron Bay region of Northern New South Wales.