We were pretty shocked when founders Cassie and Hayley told us that 60% of our personal eco-footprint is embodied in the food that we buy and the way we prepare and waste our food everyday. The over-packaging of food products, the wastage of food as you’re preparing (and all those leftovers) the way food is purchased and transported – it’s no wonder we’re harming our mother-earth. We also found out how easy it is to make simple changes to be more accountable for your food actions everyday. We encourage everyone to visit the Sustainable Table website – it’s a fantastic resource on where to find ethical food suppliers and how to eat seasonally and reduce waste!
We were welcomed to a home-cooked sustainable breakfast to learn all about this amazing organisation and the people behind this unique story… Hayley also answered a few questions about her journey and the organisation...
I spent 2 ½ years out of full time work. Volunteering, studying, researching, learning, working in a local organic store and constantly brainstorming and planning new business ideas. Things finally started to come together when I attended a youth leadership course on sustainable development in January 2009.
Following this I coaxed my high school friend Cassie Duncan and my sister Nikki to join me in starting an environmental charity. We were very general in our approach when we started, but I found myself on another life changing trip to Africa when I went to study sustainable agriculture and food security on a two week residential in Stellenbosch. On my return we decided to get an understanding of the food system in Australia and started talking with farmers to chefs, and basically anyone who would give us the time. We decided to collect these stories and people’s recipes and make a cookbook about sustainable eating; i.e The Sustainable Table. The book was an instant success, so we decided to go with the flow and rename ourselves to Sustainable Table and make sustainable food systems our core focus.
Aside from that the simplest and easiest peace of advice is to do your shopping at a farmers market for your meal. Then you know you are buying local, seasonal and ethical produce. Also try and reduce the meat and seafood you serve and show people how tasty fresh vegetables can be!
It was a real team and family effort. Cassie project managing and writing all the stories, my sister was re-creating all the recipes, my mum taking all the photos… A couple of months before the book was launched I gave birth to my daughter so I remember editing stories with one hand whilst breastfeeding with the other. I got quite good at one handed typing.
The launch event for the book was such a good feeling. Everyone responded so well. It was after this event that we knew we were onto something good.
The late Ray Andersen, Founder of Interface Carpets – After reading a book he decided to transformed his company into a leading example for business sustainability and pioneering the circular economy.
- Seeing the movement take shape and knowing we are a part of it. There are such positive signs of change happening in sustainable food systems. Each month there seems to be growth in numbers, media, interest and organisations involved in this space.
- An understanding of how bad the situation is. I could never imagine doing anything else in my life because I know too much. I don’t think I could turn a blind eye and hope that others solve the problem for me.
- A blind determination and passion. This is just part of me. When I want to do something I want to do it properly and wholeheartedly. I’ve never had trouble with motivation. My problem is learning when to stop.
In 2014 the Sustainable Table are pledging to go waste free, support their project on pozible here.