We are witnessing how strong demographic growth and evolving lifestyles fuel massive urbanisation. Concomitantly, our food systems are rapidly transforming and becoming more uniform and globalized, threatening smallholder agriculture and traditional diets, ostracizing part of the urban population, and suffocating our global ecosystem. This phenomenon creates new challenges for cities as they struggle to maintain food supplies ensuring a stable quality of life while diminishing their environmental footprint. Cities are being pushed to redefine their relationships with suburban and rural areas and adapt their food supply chains so that the needs of both are met : continued food security for urban-dwellers, sufficient revenues for small players in the food chain (including farmers), and protection of natural ressources.
urban by 2050
million people undernourished
of food lost or wasted
of greenhouse gases due to the global food system
Local governments are instrumental to the establishment of sustainable food systems. Through their mandates in land and urban planning, school and collective catering, market regulation, and education, they wield the tools to transform food systems and make them fairer economically, environmentally, and socially. To this end, it is critical to use a systemic approach enabling them to see past the sectorial or geographic boundaries which confine policy decisions, and thus tackle challenges in a transversal, tailored manner.
Food is not a part of the mandate of any local authority and human and financial resources are sometimes insufficient to move this complex and cross-cutting issue into the political agenda. However, faced with the commitment of certain elected officials and local authorities workers, the mobilization of local stakeholders or even societal demand, co-constructed and inspiring projects are emerging in many territories. Cities have more and more innovative initiatives to promote and would benefit from learning from each other.
Faced with these observations, Anna Faucher and Louison Lançon created the Let’s Food association in June 2017 with the objective of supporting the territories in the establishment of sustainable and resilient food systems, relying on territorial cooperation and exchange of good practices at local, national and international levels.