Food Connect: Brisbane

Pages: 2 (443 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Food Connect Brisbane started in 2004, with the vision of
establishing a highly effcient food distribution enterprise that is both equitable to small farmers and provides affordable
great quality fresh food to urban residents. To counteract the unsustainable and inequitable practices of the food industry, founder robert Pekin sought to develop a participatory model for food production and distribution which would ‘look after and dignify small farmers’. The company began in Brisbane, working with farmers in South East Queensland. The model

has been replicated in Sydney and Adelaide and ventures
in Melbourne, Canberra, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and
Tasmania are under development.
A nonproft Company Limited by Shares, Food Connect is a
community shared agriculture enterprise. Established almost single-handedly by robert, Food Connect now employs thirty-
fve staff members with a core group of seven to ten people. Robert stresses the importance to Food Connect of fnding the right people, ‘who see the job as part of their life, not just as a job’ and who are a cultural ft, understanding the purpose of Food Connect. Employees who remain with the company and demonstrate commitment eventually receive share ownership.

recently, employees who have been with Food Connect for
three to four years have been issued shares. Shareholders must be employees and while they don’t receive a dividend, they do own the company and form the board which elects managers
and makes all fnal decisions about the company. Within
the company there are four decision making teams: Board,
responsible, Coordinators and Co-workers. Food Connect’s
constitution stipulates that anyone who has been with the
company for a year may participate in the decision-making
process (but without the right to make the fnal decision).
Coordinators meet weekly, responsibles meet monthly and the Board meets on a quarterly (seasonal) basis. Bottom-up reviews are held twice a...
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