Emma-Kate originally trained as a criminologist before climate change led her to start her own car-sharing enterprise. She joined Food Connect as General Happiness Manager in 2011, joining her partner and ex-dairy farmer Robert Pekin. The enterprise has led the way in transforming the local food system through paying farmers a fair price, employing marginalised people and engaging volunteers to distribute local food to eaters all over South-East Queensland.
Focusing on ecological agriculture and strong local communities, Food Connect has open-sourced its model with replications in cities and regions across Australia and New Zealand. Emma-Kate is currently Chair of Queensland Social Enterprise Council, Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Griffith Uni’s Yunus Centre and a contributing author to “Fair Food”, published by UQPress. Last year she successfully raised over $2 million to buy Food Connect’s rented warehouse with over 500 fellow community members through Qld’s first equity crowdfunding campaign.