ConversatioNZ is a movement initiated by New Zealand chefs and other interested parties of the food industry to inspire and empower New Zealand culinary circles and the wider food community by creating strong sense of pride and respect to our natural (edible) resources. ConversatioNZ aims to place New Zealand food firmly on the world map. The organisation has created the Food Manifesto to capture the values and principles behind the movement, to rethink the meaning of New Zealand food, and to create a challenge for the future of our food.
Giulio Sturla of Roots Restaurant, the visionary who inspired ConversatioNZ explains that the Manifesto is something that relates to everyone. “I actually think this document is common sense.
Let’s talk (food) and look deeper into what we want to achieve! Internationally the culinary scene is changing and this initiative aims to facilitate change and progress in our current food system.”
The ConversatioNZ Manifesto focuses on social, environmental and economic change in our thinking and reflects the importance of the values and the choices we make as an individual, a professional, a business, a community and as a country.
“We talk about 100% Pure New Zealand. Let’s extend the pride of our beautiful natural scenery and the thrill of adventure to food and the abundance found in our country and take it to another level – 100% Pure Food.” says Liane Leesment, co-ordinator of ConversatioNZ.
Sturla concludes “We dream big and we want to push ourselves and show the world what we can do.”
ConversatioNZ kicked off in May 2015 with a day of talks in Christchurch that brought together bright minds from the from the top of the country to the toe, and from as far as New York. Speakers included Michael Meredith (Merediths), Lauraine Jacobs (NZ Listener food columnist), Matt Lambert (The Musket Room NYC), Bevan Smith (Riverstone Kitchen), Giapo Grazioli (Giapo’s), Darren Lovell (Fishbone) and many others.
ConversatioNZ seeks to provide a forum to encourage and enable collaboration between all levels of the culinary chain and move towards more sustainable food systems in New Zealand. There has been strong support from different chefs, growers, producers and writers to contribute to the Food Manifesto. Many events, projects and cooking collaborations are planned in the coming months as ConversatioNZ gathers speed amongst New Zealand’s passionate food community. The movement will only succeed if many more chefs and interested parties from farmers to writers participate.
CONVERSATIONZ FOOD MANIFESTO
ConversatioNZ Food Manifesto is composed of eleven main points that form the founding principals of the movement and describe the values behind it.
1. To express New Zealand’s history of gastronomy and the culturally diverse community (CULTURE);
2. To enhance the knowledge and bring together the entire community of people from all levels of the food industry (KNOWLEDGE);
3. To highlight the quality and vast array of edible resources available in New Zealand (BIODIVERSITY);
4. To combine gastronomic endeavours with the importance of human health and the natural environment (BALANCE);
5. To promote animal welfare and a sound production processes in our land, fresh water, sea and wilderness (RESPECT);
6. To encourage research, education and innovative thinking (INNOVATION);
7. To increase consumer awareness by promoting local, seasonal and high quality produce (AWARENESS);
8. To build a culture of quality and sense of fellowship in the food industry (FELLOWSHIP);
9. To empower the younger generation to build a more sustainable future (FUTURE);
10. To advocate nationally and internationally New Zealand’s unique and biodiverse food resources and food tourism (PRIDE);
11. To encourage people to address global issues and be part of the global food movement (INTERCONNECTION).
Some members of the ConversatioNZ Advisory Board to date: