News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Changing Australia’s Organic Food Industry.

His name is Julian Lee, whose only priority in life is taking action for change. The 38-year-old established Sydney’s first fair trade, organic food delivery service in 2010, Food Connect Sydney.

Food Connect is devoted to supporting local sustainable farming, aiming to create a fair food system where farmers receive respect and a fair price.

Julian explains that farmers can be paid as little as five cents per dollar when consumers shop at a typical market store.

Food Connect buys fresh organic and chemical free produce direct from farmers within an average of 250kms of Sydney and in return, pays farmers 40 cents in every dollar for the produce.

To date, Julian has managed to secure over 30 “city cousins” across Sydney – where people and organisations offer their home or business as a delivering and pick up point to Food Connect subscribers. Church groups, childcare centres, universities, council libraries and office blocks are some of the listed “city cousins” helping Julian change the way the typical market works.

Julian explained that most “people thought organic farming was either a lie or impossible”. Julian explains he spent years trying to promote sustainable agriculture in Sydney until fate stepped in. Julian came across the story of Robert Pekin’s Food Connect venture in Brisbane and decided to launch the social enterprise in Sydney.

“I found it very inspiring that it offered farmers different market opportunities and I wanted to see that happening in Sydney,” Lee said.

Since starting the trade in February 2011, Julian believes it “would be such a shame for it not to succeed in Sydney”.

Starting the social enterprise in Sydney was an “exciting idea,” said Julian. “I would have loved to have started earlier”.

Julian’s social entrepreneurial efforts has not gone unnoticed and was named one of five environmentalists in The (Sydney) Magazine’s December issue list of Sydney’s top 100 most influential people.

Check him out at www.foodconnect.com.au





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