Firstly, I would like to start with a big thank you to all who have provided advice and assistance to myself this year in fulfilling the role of President of the IGFG following the departure of our previous president Wendy Johnston. Wendy served our group for over seven years as a member and volunteered her time as president for the three and a half years prior to my engagement. I would like to extend my best wishes to Wendy in her future endeavours and thank her for her continued service to our community group.
What a steep learning curve it has been for me serving as an Executive Committee member (in any organisation) for the first time. Being appointed in this position has provided me with an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. I have learned that the operation of a volunteer run community buyer’s group can be challenging, but also very rewarding. So much goes on behind the scenes each week to ensure our group can continue to provide local, sustainable foods to our members.
After quite an extraordinary start to the year with floods once again decimating our community and the pandemic continuing to disrupt our everyday lives, it has been nice to take some time to sit back and reflect on some of our achievements as a group this year. It has been truly heart-warming to see first-hand how the IGFG principles are applied when sourcing produce for our members. Our relationship with Ellia’s Garden (a local farm at Moorang), has provided a two-way opportunity for both the group and farm to support one another. This partnership has resulted in produce being planted at the farm directly for sale to our members. We have also been able to source delicious raw honey directly from Dunlop Apiaries in the Lockyer Valley, reducing the retail price of honey for our members.
This year also saw updates to our ageing computers (three new laptops were purchased), and the successful implementation of a new accounting system which Nelson has worked so hard to establish and operate. A new twice-yearly membership process also commenced and has been successful in cutting down administration time.
The IGFG 10-year anniversary celebrations in August at the Park Street hub were a huge success! How fantastic it was to see members mingling and chatting with each other whilst enjoying some delicious home-made foods and beverages. This demonstrated the true meaning of the term ‘community’. As is stated in the IGFG principles: “Food is the universal communicator, every culture on the planet recognises the importance of the shared meal. Our ties to our family, neighbours and the wider community are strengthened over good food.” I am sure that all who attended would agree.
Finally, I would like to recognise the efforts of our team of volunteers. The group would not be able to function without your efforts. There are many who have worked tirelessly this year to ensure the IGFG has been able to continue to provide members with quality, locally and ethically sourced produce. Our group is 100% volunteer-run. We are a community that has made the decision to work together towards a fair food system. With this comes an expectation that members will take an active role. Volunteering can suit different levels of physical capacity. If you would like to assist with the many areas required to keep our group running, please contact our volunteer coordinator Nicola Farrington for more information. As the old saying goes, “many hands make light work”. Please don’t hesitate to lend a hand, even if it’s just for an hour when the time suits.