Concerns about the relationship between food and the food system, nutrition, and population health are part of the motivation for the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) to facilitate a national conference seeking an overarching approach to food policy that looks well into the future. Although health may be the driver for the PHAA, any such national policy or approach must also take into account issues such as agriculture, scientific research, production and manufacture, environment, retail and community concerns, to appropriately encompass all aspects of food. Food is fundamental to our wellbeing. Food related disease plays a significant role in human health with the obesity epidemic that is currently being faced by developed countries throughout the world creating major human and economic costs. However, there are many other health issues associated with food production and consumption which are of concern to governments and the community. These include: poor nutrition, especially for particular groups such as infants and young children, older and Indigenous Australians; mental health problems in rural, food producing areas that are facing climatic and trade challenges; and food insecurity brought on by the economic downturn and rising food prices. The challenges of carbon footprint, food safety, food security, agriculture, research, husbandry, manufacturing and new technologies (eg nanotechnology and genetic modification) are exacerbated by concerns of climate change. In turn, these issues raise the spectrum of ecological risks, jobs, animal welfare, openness and accountability, alternative uses for food, the role of food literacy and the impact on wellbeing of lower socio-economic groups. The purpose of the conference Food Futures: An Australian Approach is to explore this range of issues, in order to encourage the Federal Government to work across departments and with all jurisdictions to develop a comprehensive, national approach to food. Abstracts and workshop ideas are invited around the following broad themes: • Food and health • Economics and equity • Food safety and regulation • Food security - within Australia and Australia’s role internationally • Communicating the food message, including food labelling and food literacy • Regional sustainability, biodiversity & agriculture • The impacts of environment and climate change on food policy in Australia • Food manufacture, small business and trade • Other issues impacting on approaches to food policy Abstracts and conference registrations are invited for the PHAA conference, Food Futures: An Australian Approach, 20-21 April 2010 in Canberra.