All over the world subnational governments are experimenting with new models to make local food systems in cities more resilient, healthy, sustainable, and inclusive. For the past few years, and together with our colleagues and collaborators worldwide, Rikolto has been a partner of some of these pioneering cities. All these practical experiences have taught us a lot, and we notice that ever more local governments and food actors are looking for systemic, future-proof solutions.
The concept of food sovereignty is no longer a theoretical strategy, but these new practices and models show that all actors active in the food system can and should be included to define their own food system and take up ownership and a role in it, resulting in more resilience and fairer food on our plates. It is a cornerstone of our work in supporting these dynamics in cities.
Despite the pandemic, we have been busy during the past year. An increasing number of local governments around the world are starting to appreciate food systems as an entry point to tackle a whole range of societal challenges, as a tool to work in a more interdisciplinary way, and to reach out to their citizens and stimulate collaboration amongst local food actors. Interested city governments reach out to us with questions that range from insights to requests for support and feedback. By definition, these systemic processes in cities do not have a one-size-fits-all solution. Each and every city has a unique finger- and footprint – potential solutions are therefore always tailor-made and co-created.