Atherton Tablelands Integrated Collaboration
There is a well-understood need to transition to regenerative farming practices across the Australian continent. This is particularly critical for the Atherton Tablelands region due to its close proximity to, and interacting relationship with, the fragile Great Barrier Reef system. With diverse food and fibre production sectors and an existing appetite for a regenerative approach, Sustainable Table has identified opportunities to support innovators in this region to thrive and lead the way for others to follow. This will result in improved land stewardship, water quality and a thriving regenerative culture.
The Atherton Tablelands Integrated Collaboration (ATIC) will be delivered by Sustainable Table and provide support to horticultural growers within the Atherton Tablelands by facilitating a transition to regenerative agriculture. The intention is to enable and scale regenerative agriculture opportunities to restore, improve, and enhance the landscape’s biological vitality, carrying capacity and ecosystem services.
ATIC will also support the development of a regional food hub in Cairns by connecting the regenerative practices in the Atherton Tablelands food production area with the Cairns market. These activities are anticipated to deliver benefits for agricultural systems and improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.
Funding of $1.5 million has been provided through the Queensland Government’s Queensland Reef Water Quality Program . The government’s investment will be matched by an equal contribution from Sustainable Table and an anticipated $500,000 of in-kind contributions across the life of ATIC.
Moving at ‘the speed of trust’ is key in this region. Taking the time to build collaboration with the right partners, identify the true leaders and understand the complexities of the localised culture, is critical - this is what Sustainable Table does best. ATIC’s cutting-edge approach will involve co-design with the local community; a grants program to identify interested stakeholders, potential opportunities and initiatives for implementation; and a funding program to enable and scale regenerative agricultural practices.
Image credit: Strawberries photo by Real Food Network