Former vegetarian academic Tammi Jonas is resident meatsmith at Jonai Farms, where she and her family raise pastured heritage-breed Large Black pigs and cattle in the central highlands of Victoria, and transform the meat into a range of fresh cuts, smallgoods, charcuterie and salumi in their on-farm butcher’s shop.
Jonai Farms is a paddock to paddock CSA (community-supported agriculture), with surplus from the boning room transformed into bonechar and returned to the soil to produce a small commercial crop of garlic. 95% of their produce is sold to 80 household members in Melbourne and the region.
Their livestock are only fed so-called ‘waste’ – surplus, damaged, or unwanted produce from other food and agriculture systems in Victoria (e.g. brewers’ grain, eggs, milk), creating a net ecological benefit by diverting many tonnes of organic waste from landfill, and exiting the fossil-fuel-intensive model of segregating feed production from livestock farming.
The farm embraces degrowth as a philosophy to ensure sufficiency for all, and the Jonai are embedded in many solidarity economies in their open, connected and deeply localised community. They value conviviality and mindful appreciation of the fruits of their labour, stopping to enjoy three meals together each day.
Tammi is President of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA), promoting everyone’s right to access nutritious and culturally-appropriate food grown in ethical and ecologically-sound ways, and our right to democratically determine our own food systems. Her role takes her around the world to work with peasant farmers and indigenous peoples in the global fight for food sovereignty, and she is a regional leader for the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), regularly attending meetings of the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), as well as many other UN governing bodies.
Tammi is an editor and co-author of Farming Democracy: Radically transforming the food system from the ground up (2019), and has been writing about food culture, politics, and ethics since 2006 on Tammi Jonas: Food Ethics. Her most recent publication was a co-authored chapter in the 2019 volume One Planet One Health, detailing a collaborative regional approach to building greater resilience into agricultural landscapes and regional and rural communities.