Output Tool Technical Report 2
Jingwei Ke, Pexels

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Partnering for Change: Pilot and replicable model

February 2024

This project provides evidence that physically connecting urban consumers with farmers and growers can positively influence beliefs and attitudes of all involved parties and as a result, urban consumers have a more accurate view of farmers and growers, which leads them to have more realistic expectations and be more supportive of food and fibre industries. Moreover, farmers and growers feel empowered, heard and valued, when they are in control of the narrative about environmentally sustainable practices in their businesses and industries.

The initial hypothesis, that if farmers could see urban groups making equal change to improve the environment, they would be more motivated to make change themselves, is supported by the evidence presented in this report. However, the greatest realisation of this project, is that a shared responsibility approach works as a catalyst to creating changes to improve the environment, as can be seen by the multitude of changes made by participants that would not have been made otherwise.

Recommendations for those interested in replicating the Partnering for Change approach include: using existing rural groups, providing rural businesses with opportunities to lead and inspire, having a clear value proposition to maximise recruitment efforts, managing expectations from the onset, embracing diversity while maintaining a common thread, meeting face to face and visiting each business, tracking progress and providing participants with feedback, providing leadership and structure, and keeping momentum without overwhelming participants.

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