Food Smart Cities for Development - Ghent Seminar

Food Smart Cities for Development - Ghent Seminar


Food Smart Cities for Development The City of Ghent partnered with 12 European cities in the Food Smart Cities for Development project, financed by the European Union. The project aims at fostering the role of cities in changing urban food production and consumption patterns by promoting inclusive, resilient and fair local food systems. The cities involved work on the further development of local food strategies. They are also drivers of a global Urban Food Policy Pact that will be signed in October 2015 by the major cities of the world. The first activity of this project organized by the City of Ghent was the international seminar Local Urban Food Policies in the Global Food Sovereignty Debate on June 11/12, 2015. The seminar is an important contribution to the project by formulating recommendations and building concepts on sustainable local food strategies and the interrelation between cities’ choices globally. This international seminar takes the policy option to build urban local food systems as the starting point for analysis and debate.

The goals of the seminar:

  1. to enhance the knowledge on how local food systems can contribute to sustainable cities worldwide and what role it can take in the global challenge to increase food sovereignty,
  2. to build usable concepts to understand how local food systems are globally linked to the same objectives,
  3. to gather inspiration and advice for policies at local, EU and global level that can maximize local urban food systems’ contribution to food sovereignty and sustainability worldwide. Central questions in the debates will be: How do these local options link to fair food systems and objectives on international solidarity and cooperation? How do food strategies relate to other dimensions of cities, such as the governance model or participation of citizens? How does one strategy for food safety impact other strategies for food sovereignty? How sovereign can an urban food system become?

Case from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

One of the cases was presented by Fausto Rodríguez Escobar, Regional programme-coordinator VECO Meso America. He explained how the “Agribusiness Consortium of Honduras” (Consorcio Agrocomercial de Honduras) consisting of 8 small farmer producer companies, provides the city of Tegucigalpa with fresh vegetables. It was interesting to see how the distance between Ghent and Tegucigalpa was reduced. The full report of the seminar can be found here.