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We recognise and value the Bunurong and Wurundjeri people as the traditional owners of this land. Underpinning any discussion of food and agriculture are the natural systems that sustain the diverse range of people who call this place home.

Our vision

Establish a healthy, delicious, sustainable and fair food system for all Cardinia Shire residents.

  • A healthy food system promotes the health of people and enhances the natural environment
  • A delicious food system nourishes, celebrates and enjoys a diverse range of local food and cultures
  • A sustainable food system strengthens our local economy and builds the capacity and resilience of our communities
  • A fair food system makes nutritious food accessible and affordable to everyone across our communities

The Community Food Strategy contains our vision, objectives and community created actions that support the delivery of the many food system initiatives we value and celebrate in our local Community Food system.

Download the Food Strategy


Community food systems are characterised by collaborative efforts to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies, one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental, and social health of a particular place. They are characterised by:

  • equitable access to healthy food by all community members
  • a resilient, thriving local farm and food economy that connects producers and consumers, sustains our farm and food businesses and creates jobs and income across the community
  • a culture of celebrating and valuing healthy local food, farmers and cooking and growing skills
  • supportive food and agricultural policies.

Food is identified as one of the seven Liveability Policy domains in Cardinia Shire and together we are growing a health-enhancing food system as partners of a collective impact project, based on the knowledge that individual actions and efforts are limited, but we can improve neighbourhood liveability when we work collectively towards a common aim, and we maximise our impact in our local community food system.

Community food systems promote people's good health, strengthen the local economy, and enhance the natural environment.

The Cardinia Shire Community Food Strategy 2018–26 aims to establish a healthy, delicious, sustainable and fair food system for all residents of Cardinia Shire and was the first of its kind for the Shire.

The strategy:

  • Was formed through extensive community consultation, known as kitchen table talks’ which took place between February to September 2018
  • Provides an integrated and strategic direction including actions to focus and align all of Council's existing and future work across the food system and wider municipality
  • Identifies the food system challenges facing the municipality and sets out an action plan for how we can work together
  • Has a common action agenda, that empowers a community of local food system supporters to connect, educate, engage and advocate toward a healthy and nutritious future, as the next generation is counting on us.
  • Focuses on place-based outcomes, to ensure future generations have access to affordable, nutritious food
  • Provides a clear outline that guides Cardinia Shire to be a liveable, resilient community where the environment flourishes and residents are healthy, included and connected.

More info: Community food strategy page


The Cardinia Food Circles is a collective impact project that brings people together to collaborate, in a structured way, to achieve social change. Together, we guide vision and strategy, support aligned activities, establish shared measurement practices, build public will, advance policy, and mobilise funding to establish a healthy, delicious, sustainable and fair food system for all Cardinia Shire residents.

More info: Food Circles project page

Our mission: Connect, Educate, Engage and Advocate

  • To connect people to land, food, farming and each other.
  • To develop and celebrate skills and knowledge in all things food: growing, farming, cooking and how it all fits together.
  • To raise awareness and engagement with the importance and value of our local foodbowl
  • To advocate to enhance and protect the health of our communities, farmers and land


Since 2017, the Cardinia Food Movement is a grass roots movement for change, driven by local people, seeking to support and develop local solutions to the challenges we face in food, farming and health.
Communities across Cardinia Shire experience social and health problems that are linked to the food system. Together we are uniquely equipped to tackle these issues, with our strong and diverse communities and abundant local agriculture and ecosystems.

We are building a network of local food system’s advocates and ambassadors, to form a wider Cardinia Food Movement, that includes community food leaders, whom are teachers, farmers, local business owners and passionate residents. Together, they support, enable, inform and where appropriate lead food strategy actions across the community and within their circles of influence as part of local organisations, schools, businesses and community groups. 

Our Objective

This Movement hopes for a vibrant, connected local food region that fosters pride in residents, nourishes people, nurtures country and provides fair food for all.

When we meet

The members of the Cardinia Food Movement meet regularly on the first Wednesday of the month. The place and time that we get together is shared on our Facebook page or e-mail us via 

Visit the Cardinia Food Movement website


Urban agriculture, urban farming, or urban / community gardening is the practice of:

  • cultivating
  • processing
  • distributing food in or around urban areas

Food growing spaces allow for the creation of social ties and build a greater feeling of community. For example: Grow Together, Food From Home, Grow it Local, Local Food Connect, Food is Free and Grow Free.

You can find and visit a local community garden across the Shire, where they provide hands on opportunities for residents to become involved in plant and food growing activities. 

Check our community gardens directory.

Related documents


Healthy Bites helps you find healthier food options at participating cafes and restaurants around Cardinia Shire.
These cafes have at least 3 items on the menu that are marked with a red apple which are:

  • low in saturated fat
  • low in salt and
  • high in fibre

Current statistics from Cardinia Shire adult residents show that:

  • 5% eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables (95% do not!)
  • 14% eat take-away meals or snacks more than once per week
  • 16% drink sugar-sweetened beverages daily

Healthier food options can reduce the risk of diabetes, tooth cavities and heart disease.
We partner with Monash Health Community to work with participating cafes.

Find a Healthy Bites cafe on a map

Local Healthy Bites - Cardinia Leisure are now healthy choices accredited facilities

Aligned Leisure, in partnership with Cardinia Shire Council and Monash Health, have been working together towards this Healthy Choices accreditation within Cardinia Shire recreation facilities. Each facility classified their food and beverages with the Healthy Choices traffic light system; green for the healthiest choice, amber items should be eaten in moderation and selected carefully, and red items are not essential and should be limited. Read more here

More information about Healthy Bites 

Contact the Healthy Bites Officer for more information or to sign up your café or restaurant.
Call: 5941 0560

Contact the Food Circles Facilitator or Healthy Communities Coordinator on or 1300 787 624.