CERES Fair Food provides employment opportunities and career pathways for new migrants, with around one third of our staff coming from asylum seeking backgrounds.
With a varied workforce of folks from over 25 countries of origin, we aim to recognise everyone’s strengths and differences equally, offer good and stable work in a supportive environment, and genuinely lift each other up. There’s so much for us all to learn from each other.
Our farmers are conductors of soil, sun, seeds and water. Our makers take ingredients to create foods that nourish and products that delight us. We encourage them when they start out and we stick with them through good seasons and bad.
If you’d like to share what you grow or make with the CERES Fair Food community, please get in touch with us!
For organic produce email Joshua firstname.lastname@example.org
For all grocery items and artisan products, email Kitty email@example.com
Fair Food began life as a weekly staff veggie co-op at CERES Environment Park in Brunswick East. Each week staff members took turns to pack fruit and veg into boxes on a picnic table outside the teacher’s offices.
Word about the staff co-op got out and within a couple of years CERES was supplying ten neighbourhood co-ops around the inner-North.
When the GFC hit the Rudd Government’s Jobs Fund helped CERES turn our collection of co-ops into Fair Food – an online grocery just like our heroes Toronto’s Good Food Box and Brisbane’s Food Connect.
Of Fair Food’s original 13 employees almost half were people seeking asylum. When I last looked, Fair Food employed 67 people, 29 of them were either seeking asylum or had recently migrated to Australia.
From CERES we bought a philosophy of supporting local farmers which has carried through to today. Over the last ten years Fair Food has spent over $25 million dollars purchasing food from over 150 organic farmers, grocery makers and suppliers.
These days Fair Food feeds about 5000 regular customers – some of you have been with us since the co-op days some of you will have joined this week.
On behalf of all the farmers, makers and suppliers, every person who has found a job here, and from CERES (see below) where Fair Food’s profits help people fall in love with the Earth – thank you.
Chris Ennis, Founder and General Manager
What is CERES?
In 1982 from the passion and commitment of the local community CERES (pronounced ‘series’) was born on the banks of the Merri Creek – a 10 acre ex-tip site transformed into an organic farm, community garden, environmental demonstration centre and kids playground. Today CERES runs extensive environmental and cultural education programs for children and adults, with approximately 1 million people visiting the Brunswick East park, learning in affiliated schools or interacting online.
CERES is recognised as an international leader in community and environmental practice and has won many awards including the United Nations Australia World Environment Day Award and Premiers Sustainability Award. It proudly maintains its financial and political independence, largely through it’s social enterprises including Fair Food (that’s us!), Fair Wood, Joe’s Market Garden, CERES Nursery, the Merri Cafe, and the Organic Grocery and Bakery. Find out about them all here.