“The Milan Pact, two years after its launch, is proving to be an extraordinary
means to promote collaboration among cities on food policies and
sustainability.” These were the words of Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, at the
2017 gathering of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact in Valencia, and the 400
mayors, experts and city delegates surrounding him were a testament to the
truth of his statement.
The event opened with EUROCITIES members Lyon, Almere and Birmingham, among others, discussing the steps they had taken to secure and improve their food policies. They not only showcased their successful practices, but also explained what challenges they had come up against – administrative boundaries, responsibilities held at different levels of government, and getting citizens on board – and the methods employed to overcome these.
The EUROCITIES working group on food also met alongside the annual MUFPP. Among the topics discussed were the development of joint European projects focusing on citizen engagement and how to recognise the role of cities and peri-urban agriculture in the Common Agricultural Policy and the FOOD 2030 initiative. The meeting was also an occasion to present the results of our project on food in cities to which WG food members actively contributed.
At the gathering, EUROCITIES members Ljubljana and Copenhagen picked up a special award for their outstanding work: Ljubljana is shortening the food supply chain, ensuring that food gets quickly and cleanly to their citizens’ plates and Copenhagen has almost reached the ambition to serve 90% organic food in all public city canteens.
In the words of Joan Ribó, Mayor of Valencia, “cities are the essence of civilization… Only by working together we will make a difference.” Cities are taking this message to heart, and striving to set the bar on food policy.