So (f)route is on it’s way to becoming an arts-led SOCIAL ENTERPRISE.

Well … we spent our first CRUNCH session figuring out how to articulate the (f)route social purpose – and the social need that we are addressing. This is key to what comes next. This is what we said:

(f)route is an East Gippsland enterprise based on its natural assets – wild fruit,  slow art,  its people – and walking & cycling from one to another. 
(f)route aims to create an East Gippsland ‘destination’  – an alternative tourist trail that can connect  East Gippsland with new markets – particularly  younger, ethically aware urban travellers looking for an authentic  rural experience. 

(f)route’s social purpose is to stimulate sustainable economic development opportunities in small communities across East Gippsland – primarily through ‘local produce’ (ie. fruit)  related tourism experiences.
Those opportunities need to  embrace the key elements of the  (f)route ethos: caring for  locals and  local knowledge; the importance of culture and creativity; community health and environmental sustainability.
 (f)route’s social need has been flagged by shrinking job opportunities;  a continuing trend of declining average incomes; an ageing demographic of overworked and overwhelmed farmers and disappearing youth. Fewer hands, rotting fruit – and  in our minds, an unnecessary cycle of rural decline.
And while (f)route’s  primary purpose is to improve the liveliehood of East Gippslanders – it is an idea deeply rooted in a more global concern for food security and the desire to live locally and ethically. 

(f)route’s beneficiaries are the residents of East Gippsland who choose to connect with the (f)route movement.