FOODTURE: FAIR FOOD FOR IRELAND’S FUTURE

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With her background in Economics, Marketing, and Media, Nathalie Markiefka worked for seven years in different industries around Europe before she changed her career path towards environmentalism. She gained experience working in an environmental NGO, holds a Permaculture Design Certificate, and is active in the Community Supported Agriculture movement, and supports her local CSA in Dublin as well as the International CSA Network Urgenci. Nathalie is interested in initiatives for building the solidarity economy as well as social farming/Ecotherapy for health and well-being. 

Sinéad Moran is a Trinity College Dublin Natural Science graduate with a background in research and in the NGO sector. She farms organically along with her partner on whats known as HNV (High Nature Value) Farmland and has a keen interest in how farmers can farm in harmony with the landscape, how ethical livestock production can play a role in that, and the ways in which we can re-connect to each other through food and farming. 

The Takeaways:

  • Foodture, a social enterprise in Ireland, was founded by Nathalie and Sinead to address Ireland’s growing food system insecurity
  • Foodture’s overarching goal is to reconnect people with farmers, and every action, movement, and initiative Foodture makes aligns completely with this goal
  • The Fair Food Finder is an impressive and convenient resource for community members to research and locate local farms, producers, and eateries that source ethical, sustainable ingredients.

Ireland is an extraordinary country, known for its stunning landscapes, gentle rolling hills, fields of vibrant green grass, neighborhood pubs, traditional folk music, and of course, the friendly locals. With two-thirds of Ireland’s land being dedicated to agriculture of some sort, it’s easy to assume this lush country grows exceptional sustainable produce for their residents. Despite the number of acres declared as agricultural land,  only 1% of those acres are actually used for growing produce.

Two proactive women, Nathalie Markiefka and Sinead Moran, noticed the growing food security problem in Ireland and founded Foodture to bring awareness to both farmers and food citizens. In addition to the alarmingly minimal number of farms producing fruits and vegetables, they recognized that there were a handful of farmers attempting to counteract this local food gap with innovative farming practices, but awareness among community members was simply lacking.

They recognized a problem, and developed a solution.

Our objective is to nurture a culture of food citizenship and help build strong community support around Fair Food farmers, producers, and more in Ireland.”

Foodture is shifting the culture from “food consumerism” to “food citizenship”, meaning they want individuals to be aware of where the food they purchase comes from. They encourage people to move away from placing a lazerbeam-like focus on labels like organic, local, green, natural, whole-food, or non-GMO, and focus more on whether the food was grown in a way that’s fair to animals, people, and the land.

If you’re interested in how Nathalie and Sinead are changing the structure of the food system in Ireland, take some time to listen to this week’s podcast (you can also watch the full episode here). They discuss Foodture’s Fair Food Finder, which is a database that features farms, producers, and eateries that source ethical, sustainable ingredients. Foodture is creating tangible changes in Ireland’s food system.

I cannot thank them enough for recognizing a problem and taking serious action to help their community and, ultimately, help the world.

Check out their website for more information, articles, tips, and up-to-date news about the farming scene in Ireland. If you want to stay up-to-date with their Foodture progress, be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you, ladies, for being on the show! We’re all inspired by your dedication to changing the world, one community at a time.

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