One of my indulgences is magazines.
My farmer and I subscribe to several and the Presbyterian in me doesn’t like to throw them out when they’ve been read.
Instead I usually take them to our local hospital where they’re read by many others in waiting rooms.
This must multiply readership by tens, possibly hundreds of people more than subscribers and casual buyers which is one of the motivating factors behind the Great Cafe Challenge.
It was sparked by a tweet from an Australian cafe:
A Twitter conversation ensued between Naked Espresso Bar, Erin, myself and Emma Field (a journalist with The Weekly Times Now) where we despaired at the ever increasing city-country divide despite so many efforts and programs by the farming sector to reconnect people with the source of their food (eg: Farm Day and Art4Agriculture); and we discussed what more can be done to change the situation … Let’s face it, no coffee shop in Australia would be possible without the farmers who grow the food and supply the milk.
Given the love we Australians have for our ‘café culture‘, it would make perfect sense then that cafés could be a place to “spread the ag love” and help bridge the country-city divide in small, manageable bites, just like Naked Espresso Bar are doing. So here it is … The Great Café Challenge:
We challenge every café owner across Australia to carry at least one weekly rural newspaper in their shop.
That’s it. So simple. It won’t cost much; it won’t take much time; but the benefits to rural Australians of having more urban people with a greater understanding of where their food and fibre comes from, of the people and communities who produce it, and the conditions under which they produce it, could be extraordinary!
The Great Cafe Challenge has now spread to New Zealand, prompted by Federated Farmers.
The average urban reader almost certainly won’t be gripped by discussions on kilos of dry matter. but magazines like Country Wide and Young Farmer have lots of stories about interesting people which should appeal to town dwellers too.
Country Calendar attracts a good number of urban viewers, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be just as interested in rural stories in print media.
Hat tip: Pasture to Profit