Victorians have long been enjoying the perks of the elegantly illustrated Locavore Edition, a comprehensive field guide connecting consumers with local food producers and providers. Following the success of their Victorian edition, The Locavore Edition team began scouting our state last year, surveying some 500 food producers for their New South Wales guide and website, which launched earlier this month.

Rising out of a workshop at the 2011 Queensland Ideas Festival, The Locavore Edition is edited by founder Ewan McEoin, renowned for his work with the Melbourne Design Guide. “One of the issues that came up was food security and there wasn’t much on design and food,” says McEoin on Locavore’s beginnings. “There was a simple gap: how to create a sustainable food system that reconnected consumers with small independent businesses (employing one or two people), many who don’t have websites or use email.”

The Locavore website explores ideas surrounding the local and global context of food supply with opinion pieces, interviews, features on artisan producers and producer profiles (like Riverina’s Bundarra Berkshires and the Central Ranges’ Budgi Werri prunes), showcasing how accessible local produce can be.

“Our aim is to help build their capacity and how they’re presented online, without charging any money,” explains McEoin of the guide’s mission. “We wanted to create a platform for the local independent food sector, allowing us to build a community that represents their interests.”

While the number of locavores (a term to describe people who eat locally) steadily grows, McEoin is positive that the increased interest in the local food movement will continue. “People are becoming more aware of where their food is coming from and there is a shift in consciousness and the prevalence of food generally,” says McEoin. “A lot of farmers were initially targeting people who bought on price. It’s a trap because they weren’t valuing the product and were competing with the global market.”

With a Tasmanian website in the works and the New South Wales field guide expected to grace shelves by Christmas, McEoin has grand plans: “We want to build a website for each state, highlighting Australia’s 2000 food producers and get them to talk to each other.”

The Locavore Edition