Sustainable Table Fund

Principles.

Eight principles underpin our work, from funded projects and investor partnerships to the way we move as a team and live as people.

While we’re proud to wear these principles on our sleeve, we acknowledge that trendy terms like ‘regenerative’ and ‘relational’ have been forever embedded in a living culture of caring for Country. Traditional Owners have tended these ancient lands, sustainably and regeneratively, for thousands of generations – and we’ll spend our lifetimes learning from them, striving to make these principles ring true.

Transformative

Transform. verb. To change the form of something; to change in form.

Enabling the activities we now know contribute to transformation including:

  • Diversity & Multiplicity of actors & activities.
  • Networks & Collaboration are essential for seeding momentous shifts
  • Innovation requires funding the outliers, the unproven, the truly new.
  • Incremental steps – meet people where they are with a focus on expediting change

REGENERATIVE

Regenerate. transitive verb. To generate or produce anew; to restore to original strength or properties.

Key regenerative principles are a checkpoint for our work and activities we support:

  • Progressive improvement and evolution of living systems: organisms, farms, landscapes, communities, organisations.
  • Context specificity & holistic thinking
  • Just and reciprocal relationships across all stakeholders

RELATIONAL

Relationship. noun. The way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected.

The ST Fund isn’t only about mobilising capital – it is just as (if not more) about mobilising, connecting, threading and deepening relationships which dismantle hierarchies and are generative, not extractive.

BIOREGIONAL

Bioregion. noun. A region defined by characteristics of the natural environment rather than by man-made divisions.

Nurturing place-sourced capacity to express bio-cultural uniqueness, honouring the fact that food systems are physically connected in place.

A SYSTEMS LENS

Systems. plural noun. A set of things working together as parts of an interconnecting network; a complex whole.

Investment/effort is often compartmentalized and lacking a system-wide view and evidence-informed pathways. The S.T. Fund departs from this way of working.

When assessing projects we straddle a big picture perspective alongside the detail, and work responsively to our emerging systems of focus through close listening, connectivity and agile ways of working.

DECOLONISING

Decolonisation. noun.

  1. Has taken on a wider meaning as the ‘freeing of minds (and systems) from colonial ideology’ including cultural hegemony and the ownership of “truth”. Lip service has no place here.
  2. Requires a ‘radical compassion that reaches out, that seeks collaboration’. (Linda Tuhiwai Smith).

It is beyond time, and the ST Fund will actively walk this path – with funding, focus, representation, and consideration. This is not just about the “right” thing to do but also the critical recognition that colonial thinking perpetuates the problems we are trying to solve.

OPEN SOURCE

Open source. adjective. Denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

There is no room for hoarding in a regenerative transition – our learning is to be shared, far and wide, and available open source in order to inspire, inform and ferment activity and seed networks of hope.

CATALYTIC CAPITAL

Catalyst. Noun. An event or person that initiates great change.

The capital we are deploying is rare, precious and urgently needed so our use of it is strategic, directed towards cracks and niches (‘small moves, smartly made’) and initiatives that catalyse change.

Put yourself on the map.

We’re creating a nationwide picture of food system change + innovation.
Tell us about your organisation, initiative or idea (and get on our funding radar while you’re at it!).

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