Affordable quality food for Quito's consumers

Affordable quality food for Quito's consumers

City policies can offer opportunities for farmers and push food production and consumption towards more sustainability.
This project is part of the following focus area:

What we eat is a reflection of the traditions and customs of our country. Every country has its own typical dishes that express its cultural and natural richness. Ecuadorian cuisine is particularly diverse, varying with the altitude of specific geographic zones and the associated agricultural conditions. This ranges from seafood and plantains in the coastal regions, over cuy (guinea-pig), corn and potatoes in the mountainous regions, to a wide variety of fresh fruits rare or unknown outside the country (gooseberries, granadillas, tree tomatoes, naranjillas, ...), and high-quality coffee and cocoa.This variety and richness should not be taken for granted.

Today, more than 50% of the world population lives in urban areas, and this number a percentage that is expected to grow to 68% by 2050. (UN, Dept of Economic & Social Affairs, 2018). Moreover, with current global trends in diets and population, 60% more food would be needed by 2050 (CCAFS/CGIAR). How to make sure that there will be enough, affordable, quality food available for all consumers, and specifically urban consumers?

There are almost 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide and they provide 80% of the global food production. Linkages and exchanges between cities and peri-urban and rural areas are of crucial importance to food systems and city policies can offer opportunities for farmers and push food production and consumption towards more sustainability.

The same global dynamics can be observed in the region of Quito where the majority of food production rests lies in the hands of small producers in rural areas (61.5%) and 4.6% of the population of the Quito Metropolitan District is engaged in agriculture. However, low wages (USD $15 per day) are hardly an incentive for rural youth to dedicate themselves to agriculture.

The challenges

Like the majority of cities throughout the world, Quito is facing challenges to feed a growing population of more than 2.5 million persons, such as:

  • Chronic infant malnutrition that affects 29% of children in the city, while 63% of the adult population is overweight or obese.
  • The generation of 2,100 tonnes of waste per day, of which 57% is untreated organic waste.
  • Food production that is only able to supply 5% of all the food consumed in the city. The production of the surrounding Pichincha region supplies some 12% of food demand in Quito. The rest comes from other provinces such as Santo Domingo and Manabí.

Consumers' habits in Quito

Without sufficient food production of food, who supplies the city?

In Quito, Rikolto promotes an approach that moves the analysis of food systems beyond supply chain' studies. We investigate the interactions between diverse different levels of government and the sectors implicated in the food supply chain such as health, transport, education and the environment. We aim to support the transition towards sustainable, inclusive, and healthy local food systems

We should think about these systems with an integrated perspective. There is set of planning instruments that government officials can utilize to include food and nutrition in their policy.

Alain Santandreu Social Researcher (RUAF Foundation / HIVOS)

In order to achieve this Rikolto works to

1 | Professionalize farmers’ organizations of Pedro Moncayo and Cayambe (UCCOPEM, RESSAK, and Biovida) to supply quality food to the Quito Metropolitan District in a timely and sustainable manner.

  • By contributing to the improvement of quality management and sustainable processes.
  • By empowering farmers and youth to adopt climate change adaptation practices.

28 years ago I joined UCCOPEM working in children’s centers. Afterwards I started to grow vegetables but we didn’t have a place to sell what we produced. Now, since we sell in the agroecological market in Quito and I am more motivated.

Carmen UCCOPEM farmer

2 | Strengthen responsible consumption in Quito Region with the cooperation of the stakeholders in the food system.

  • By encouraging a commitment to family and agroecological farming in the business environment through various communication strategies and through the establishment and promotion of a new commercial network for Yachik’s agroecological products.
  • By documenting and replicating different urban food initiatives that are already in place in Quito.
  • By supporting new studies and research to better inform decision-makers.
  • By advocating the National Association of Food and Beverage Manufacturers (ANFAB) for the incorporation of sustainable practices in the production of mass-consumption foods for the local and export markets.

3 | Support the development of a sustainable food policy for the Quito Metropolitan District of Quito through a local and international platform, and by working closely with the Agency for Economic Growth CONQUITO and the Latin American Center for Rural Development (RIMISP)

  • By participating in the Rural Dialogue Group to establish synergies with decision makers and public policy managers in the Quito Region.
  • By encouraging the systematization of learning in the promotion of youth entrepreneurship among rural young people that are members of RENAJER.

In the construction of an urban food system in Quito, one of the biggest challenges is the supply of quality food to the city; we still don't know how it is produced (conventional, organic, agro-ecological production system), how it is processed and how food reaches the population in formal and informal markets

Nataly Pinto Rikolto in Latin America
Food Smart Cities

Food Smart Cities

Through the international Programme Food Smart Cities, Rikolto supports the transition towards sustainable, inclusive, and healthy local food systems in six countries around the world: Indonesia, Vietnam, Tanzania, Belgium, Honduras, and Ecuador.

Discover more

Rikolto’s approach

We implement the project activities by adopting a three-teer approach

  • Level 1 | Piloting with cities. Together with our partners, we develop and disseminate innovative and scalable practices at the city-region level that contribute to sustainable, fair and healthy food systems.
  • Level 2 | Learning cycle. We facilitate the sharing of experience and peer-to-peer learning among cities in close collaboration with strategic allies such as the City Food Network, ICLEI and RIMISP.
  • Level 3 | Influencing the international agenda. We share the evidence we gather from the field to advance the political agenda in favour of sustainable food systems and inclusive rural-urban food chains.
A local coffee culture

A local coffee culture

We are supporting the coffee chain development, namely by promoting the consumption of coffee that is processed in the country instead of imported coffee. We want to install a real, local coffee culture.

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Project duration

2017-2021

THE BOOK!

THE BOOK!

What will we eat tomorrow?

Food smart cities leading the transition to sustainable food

Between March and August 2019, three journalists from the magazine Eos Tracé visited partner cities of Rikolto's Food Smart Cities programme. During these visits, they interviewed more than 130 people and discovered initiatives that make safer, healthier and sustainable food more accessible to citizens. This book tells their stories from 9 cities in Vietnam, Belgium, Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Get a soft copy of the book

The Quito Food Charter

On 2 October 2018, Quito became one of the few cities in Latin America to have signed a food charter outlining its commitment to a sustainable food system in the city. The “Quito Food Charter” comprises 17 agreements between food system stakeholders in the city-region that are built on 5 pillars:

  1. Management of food resources for the future
  2. Food security, sovereignty and nutrition
  3. Urban-rural linkages and an inclusive food economy
  4. Reducing food losses and waste
  5. Food governance

Working together with Rikolto meant that we jointly developed the city's food policy. This process involved strategic planning, gathering multiple actors to listen to their point of views and bringing in new ideas from Latin America and other parts of the world

Paola Ramón Director of Productivity, Quito Municipality

The Quito Agrifood Pact

We participated in the development of a sustainable food strategy and its implementation through the multi stakeholder platform “Quito Agrifood Pact” composed of farmers, civil society, the agri-food industry, nutritionists, researchers and international partners. Rikolto together with ConQUITO and the RUAF Foundation has been leading the discussion within the platform.

The City of Quito was awarded a Future Policy Award from FAO, IFOAM and the World Future Council for its innovative and participatory food policy.

Creating markets for agroecological produce

We supported the partner organisation UCCOPEM (the Union of Rural and Indigenous Organisations Chochasquí Pedro Moncayo) in the creation of Yachik, a commercial brand that enables smallholder farmers to sell their agroecological produce in the city. Nowadays their products are sold in existing urban markets and thanks to an agreement with the government, a retail area has been allotted to the farmers in the Agroecological market on the Government Financial Management Platform in Quito.

Yachik: Urban Markets connecting farmers and cities

Yachik: Urban Markets connecting farmers and cities

Farmers of Yachik, a commercial brand of small-scale farmer organisations from Pedro Moncayo and Cayambe – rural provinces in the north of Ecuador - are banking on themselves and their agroecological products by taking part in existing urban markets or by organising new ones.

Read the article!

“With Yachik we aim to resolve one of our principle problems as farmers: the lack of markets. More selling areas and more clients bring more income for our families and our products don’t go to waste.”

Rosa Inlago Horticulturalist, and member of UCCOPEM

A solid collaboration with RIMISP to involve youth and spread rural knowledge

RIMISP is a network that generates and systematizes knowledge, with the aim of understanding the transformations of the rural world and contributing to the formulation of improved strategies and policies for a sustainable and inclusive development. Together with Rikolto, RIMISP carries out on a monthly basis a “Rural Dialogue Group” and has launched a youth entrepreneurship network involving 15 provinces throughout the country.

ConQUITO

ConQUITO

ConQUITO (Economic Promotion Agency)

Consejo Metropolitano de Responsabilidad Social

Consejo Metropolitano de Responsabilidad Social

Metropolitan Council for Social Responsibility in Quito

City of Quito

City of Quito

The Secretariat of Productive Development and Competition, the Ministry of Environment and the Secretariat of Planning

Banco de Alimentos

Banco de Alimentos

The Food Bank of Quito (National Polytechnic School)

Consejo provincial de Pichincha

The Provincial Council of Pichincha

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

RUAF Foundation

RUAF Foundation

Global partnership on sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems

RIMISP

RIMISP

Latin American Centre for Rural Development

Slow Food

Slow Food

Slow Food Movement

UCCOPEM

UCCOPEM

The Union of Peasant and Indigenous Organisations Chochasquí Pedro Moncayo (UCCOPEM) is a tier organization with more than 4,000 families, belonging to 32 communities located in 5 parishes of the Pedro Moncayo area: Tabacundo, Malchingui, La Esperanza, Tupigachi and Tocachi, approximately 60 kilometers north from the capital, Quito.

Minga por la Pachamama

Minga por la Pachamama

Consumers' movement

ANFAB

ANFAB

The National Association of Food and Beverage Manufacturers (ANFAB), brings together more than 75 companies at national which produce food or food additives, beverages, processed natural products, raw materials and preparatory supplies.

Asociación de Chefs del Ecuador

Asociación de Chefs del Ecuador

The Chef’s Association of Ecuador

UDLA University

UDLA University

UCE University

UCE University

ISIP Escuelas de Agronomía y Economía

Schools of Agronomy and Economics

School of Gastronomy

School of Gastronomy in Ecuador

Interested in knowing more or being part of this program? Contact us!

Nataly Pinto Alvaro
Nataly Pinto Alvaro
Directora de Programa Sistemas Alimentarios Sustentables y Resilientes | Ecuador