Our Mission

Empowering and educating future generations to grow food in the community, to improve nutrition whilst protecting the environment and enhancing the local economy.

Food Ladder is an Australian Not For Profit organisation and born through the development of social enterprises over 12 years ago for people facing challenges such as homelessness and long term unemployment.

Since 2010, Food Ladder have been using hydroponic technology and climate controlled greenhouses to provide remote and regional schools and communities with small scale food growing systems and specialised education resources, so they can grow their own produce. This has benefits such as improved access to healthy food, important life skills, increased health and nutrition, and education and employment pathways and outcomes – including the ability to establish their own social enterprises.

With initial projects on the roofs of schools in India, the center of the Katherine township in the NT, and central Arnhem Land, Food Ladder has grown to be a leader in developing and implementing customised hydroponic food growing systems for remote and regional locations, as well as school environments.

One of our keys to success has been the development of wrap around support that enables the community or the school to drive the design and outcomes of each project, on site training and commissioning of projects, and our ongoing support through the development of specialised education and training resources.

Our horticulture, project management, and business experts have worked with industry specialists to develop climate controlled hydroponic greenhouses suitable for Schools, Homeland

Our Online Learning Platform is home to over 200 resources from training videos and fact sheets, to paddock to plate education programs, and STEM aligned curriculum for Upper Primary, Middle School, Senior School, and even vocational programs. This free resource database is available to all schools and communities with a passion for food growing programs.

We also collaborate with community groups, government departments, NGOs, universities and more to help in the development of horticulture and agriculture activities and education. Our staff are available for consultancy and the delivery of customised training programs and social enterprise development.

Explore our website to find out more detail about everything that we do, and you can keep up to date on all of our exciting projects by following us on FaceBook and Instagram.

In the spirit of reconciliation Food Ladder acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that contributed to the development of these resources. 

Why we do it

One in nine people already goes hungry and the UN predicts there will be 2.3 billion more mouths to feed by 2050.

Climate change and population growth are putting the globe’s citizens in a fragile and tenuous situation, and unfortunately, the effects are most pronounced among the poor and disadvantaged. Those communities who previously relied on traditional farming practices are rendered powerless to the unpredictable and varying weather conditions. Meanwhile, traditional methods of food aid have done little to address malnutrition, an affliction which can only be truly remedied with locally grown fruit and vegetables.

Australia is not immune to this problem, with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities being unable to access nutritious foods, due to the availability and affordability of produce. In 2012-13, 31% of Indigenous Australians in remote areas reported running out of food over the previous 12 months, compared to 4% of non-Indigenous Australians.

Food Ladder is our response to the crisis.

With a legacy of over 10 years in social enterprise development each Food Ladder system is able to supplement the diets of up to 250 people with locally grown, fresh produce. As the world grapples with population growth and the burgeoning effects of climate change, Food Ladder has created a proven and highly replicable solution to the pressing challenge of food security.

True to its mandate of developing local economies, since its inception, Food Ladder has consistently assisted communities around the world in establishing successful social enterprises.

  • Food Ladder systems are five times more productive than traditional farming methods when operating at full capacity.
  • Each Food Ladder system is designed to address the specific climate and food requirements of each individual community.
  • Food Ladder projects address health, education and economic development outcomes through a multi-disciplinary approach in partnership with the local community. Programs include vocational training, STEM education and nutrition workshops.


All Food Ladder Systems

In the above map, the green pins represent current Food Ladder systems, and the blue pins are planned Food Ladder locations that have signed agreements and procurement has started. To view the exact locations of all systems click here.

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Get in contact

For media enquires email [email protected] with MEDIA REQUEST in the subject line.

If you think your organisation would be a great recipient of a Food Ladder system email [email protected] with PARTNERSHIP in the subject line. Tell us about your organisation and how Food Ladder could be a game changer for your community.

If you would like to volunteer send your resume to [email protected] with VOLUNTEER in the subject line. Also include a cover letter outlining how you would like to support and how your skills could enhance our work.

All general enquiries can be directed to [email protected], in the form provided or via post: PO Box 423, Manly NSW 1655.