Small towns, large cities, counties, regions, federal states, all types of local territories all have at least two things in common: their residents need to eat and at the same time, they find I am on a planet where there is a similar need. bear the risk of climate change.
Some of them realize that food deserves a honored place in the global revolution. Addressing climate emergencies through food policies while at the same time calling on national governments to take action, seems to be in line with local leaders who have decided to speak with a single voice. says to unify and develop the Glasgow claim on food and climate. Launched in December 2020 a year before the next United Nations climate conference (COP26, in Glasgow), the statement is more than a commitment: it has been paying off.
On March 23, the event ‘COP26 took place!’, Supported by the EU Regional Development Fund, URBACT and BioCanteens, presented examples of schools that feed kids organic and real meals. made locally as a powerful way to appreciate the environment. The online conference is run by Catherine André, journalist and co-founder of Voxeurop.
Marc Tarabella, Belgian member of the S&D group and mayor of Anthisnes, said: “Europe has made some progress, but member states are increasing the hurdle. “We found it difficult to change our mindset and we saw a lot of resistance at the local level, people were looking for the lowest price with quality. Instead, I think we should allow the lowest level of choice for everyone. “
With that in mind, the URBACT program helps cities find sustainable solutions and make a positive impact through networking and knowledge sharing. It also confirms the Glasgow claim.
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Among URBACT sponsored networks, BioCanteens partners come from all over Europe: Mouans-Sartoux (France), GAL Pays de Condruses (Belgium), Rosignano-Marittimo (Italy), Torres Vedras (Portugal) ), Trikala (Greece), Troyan (Bulgaria) and Vaslui (Romania).
At a biocanteen, food becomes meaningful. “Where would you learn culinary education if not in the family?” Asked François Jégou, lead expert of the BioCanteens Transfer Network. The school must take on that role and teach the subject at lunchtime. After all, today’s children will be the creators, theorists, voters, consumers and leaders of the future. It makes sense to start offering them the best we can offer and what foods we will eat in 2045 and beyond.
However, since transforming food democracy into practice requires non-unifying beliefs, biological queens remain an exception. “When I look around the world, I have no impression that what we’re going to discuss at COP is going on: it’s the exact opposite,” Jégou said. “But, if I take a closer look, there are places that have begun a long transition, and at least I can see what a more sustainable city might look like.”
What are the secrets of these places? According to Jégou, there are five: the ongoing battle against food waste, job creation along the city’s food chain, sustainable land use planning, discussion of healthy food, and integrated governance.
However, “good practice is a dangerous word” as it implies a copycat approach. Instead, the “proud of it” approach proposes a reinterpretation whenever an active system is moved to another place.
To ensure more equitable access to quality food for all, it is key to come up with positive solutions to local challenges. In particular, three issues were highlighted in the event: restricting public procurement of food supply, building participatory food management and agricultural re-planning.
Located in the tourist paradise and real estate Riviera of France, Mouans-Sartoux becomes a champion of resistanceism. Although public procurement contracts are often not convenient for small local producers, the city has established a special deal and is today calling on the EU Parliament to fight for food out of the box. public procurement.
According to Gilles Pérole, the deputy mayor for childhood, education and food at Mouans-Sartoux, it was “neither protectionism nor an economic revolution, but collective intelligence and common sense ”. “Buying a radish or a pen is not the same thing. Food is essential to life and therefore must be protected by public procurement ”.
In Spain, Mollet del Vallès became one of the first cities to adopt a local food policy in 2015. “Children have the ability to collaborate” and “learn to make dietary choices. healthier drinking is on an individual level but through the active participation of democracy, they also explain Albert Garcia Macian, head of the EU project and international relations office at Mollet del Vallès.
Similarly, the Swedish city of Södertälje has been working on a number of different development projects and activities to increase sustainability since the early 2000s. “We have been supporting local vegetable production. small and rural-sized tissue, combining activities to support the unemployed, implementing a project called ‘Matlust’ (food for pleasure) for SMEs to help them become more sustainable, successful and hiring more people, ”said Sara Jervfors, head of the diet department in Södertälje (Sweden).
Even if biological queens are still rare, their experiences will inspire others to follow suit. For this, Europe is a great catalyst thanks to all the existing networks.
For example, Un Plus Bio is a French organization that accompanies cities towards positive change in the food system and, in part, of it is the so-called Territorial Club. Coordinator Amandine Pieux said “this has become a space where local governments share their practices by using public catering services as a tool for ambitious food policies.”
“The pace of ongoing discussions in Europe is very different and the debate over food is not prioritized at one point,” said Cecilia Delgado, researcher and director of portugues platform Alimentar Cidades Sustentaveis. country number. “Therefore, it is necessary to foster local debate in the local language before joining debates in Europe and equal learning is required.”
Today, European cities are truly at the forefront of ecological transformation. With a growing population and increasing vulnerability to climate change, all types of communities and local government cannot have the privilege of waiting to see what happens to them.
Scotland is paving the way with projects like Nourish Scotland, promoting human rights to food by integrating, localizing and democratizing it. Nourish Scotland is campaigning for “a good food country”, said food policy project employee Sofie Quist. “In the context of climate change, we are working specifically with policy makers, farmers, scientists and communities to understand how people can be part of the solution to climate change. food producers, especially food producers ”. And that’s a good part of the Glasgow claim.
Next November, Glasgow will be the place to deliver all of these messages. At COP26, member states will be required to highlight many positive local examples and actively support the development of progressive and integrated food policies at all levels.