3 crosscutting questions that will systematically be considered


The transversal overview of the main lessons learned during the visits of the 10 partner cities reveals recurrent concerns that will be put forward as key crosscutting questions.They will systematically be considered in the network’s discussions and deliverables for each theme:

QUESTION 1: Governance, synergies & local syste

How can we link multiple promising food practices, develop synergies, increase resilience and generate the vision of a coherent local food system?

This question applies to all 3 themes combined (growing, delivering, enjoying). It requires learning from each other’s food governance approaches (e.g. Bristol’s Food policy council, Amersfoort’s bottom-up facilitation…), drawing on the URBACT methodology & capacity building related to Local Support Groups and Local Action Plans. It requires an initial inventory/mapping of what is already in place in the partner cities in the area of sustainable food, in order to each take targeted actions to generate synergies, upscale initiatives and strengthen the local food system.

QUESTION 2: Social Inclusion, Jobs & Economics:

How can we leverage on sustainable food transition to reduce food poverty, foster (re)engagement with growing and cooking food, support inclusion of marginalised and underprivileged population groups and enhance cohesion between communities? How can we consolidate promising food practices, transform them into sustainable businesses and upscale sustainable food initiatives to reach a larger share of the population?

Examples of how this question relates to the 3 themes:

Growing: What is the economic importance of the local sustainable food production and transformation sector? What is the job creation/preservation potential in this area, notably unqualified agricultural workers? What business models exist to upscale pilot farms and make them viable in the long term? How can local communities and marginalised or vulnerable population groups be involved in growing projects and benefit from them?

Delivering: What is the economic importance of the sustainable food distribution sector? What is the job creation/preservation potential in this area, notably start-up of new means of distribution and shift of existing actors? What business models exist to step-up from a niche market and ensure access of local producers to local markets? How can local communities strengthen their ties take an active role through purchasing groups and other bottom-up projects? How can commercial retail be complemented by social groceries to ensure fair access?

Enjoying: What is the economic importance of sustainable food demand (both private consumption and public canteens) as a lever to drive supply? What is the job creation/preservation potential in this area, notably through a shift in public procurement practices and in the services provided by catering? How can purchasing of food be made more sustainable and remain affordable within a limited budget for households and public bodies (through redefinition of menus, lowering share of animal protein in favour of vegetables & legumes, use of locally available produce…) with special attention to accessibility for low-income households? Reaching out to population groups less easily reached by communications on sustainable food (multi-cultural, low-income households…)

QUESTION 3: CO2 & resources efficiency:

How can we check and improve promising food practices in order to reduce emissions and impact on resources and energy? Examples of how this question relates to the 3 themes:

– Growing: Considering the carbon footprint and resource efficiency of various urban agriculture methods (greenhouses, aquaponics, indoor production…) and which growing practices should be promoted on environmental grounds in the local context. Avoid wastage at production stage.

– Delivering: Assessing the relative importance of transport distances and logistics to the city and within the city in terms of carbon footprint and resource efficiency. Avoid wastage along the food chain.

– Enjoying: Enable informed consumer and public procurement decisions with regards to carbon footprint and resource efficiency of different options. Foster behavioural change for more sustainable practices (purchasing, storage, cooking) and avoid food wastage.”