The objective of the C4FT cluster meetings, promoted by VECO, was to elaborate a joint work agenda together with delegates of our strategic partners RUAF, the Global partnership on sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems, and RIMISP, the Latin American centre for rural development. The main players of this proposal are the municipalities of Ghent, Tegucigalpa and Quito, who, for having signed the Milan Pact, have a framework to support sustainable food systems in their territories.
As a result, a 3 level approach was established:
Implement 3 pilot projects between VECO and the cities of Ghent, Tegucigalpa and Quito to design and carry out an urban food policy.
Support knowledge exchange, learning and co-creation between cities and strategic allies like RUAF and RIMISP.
Influence the international agenda, for example the Milan Pact, through evidences from cities and our international network.
VECO has been generating concrete experiences working hand in hand with producer organizations, enterprises and other allies, sharing a vision of food security, urban-rural linkages and inclusiveness. Nowadays, in the northwest of Quito, VECO Andino works with coffee producers to improve the quality of their product and to promote the local consumption of coffee in the Ecuadorian capital. Additionally, VECO Andino and RUAF worked together on a case study to explore the role of the private sector in food distribution in Quito and surroundings. On the other hand, in Belgium, we have 8 years of experience in sustainable catering. We co-develop learning tracks together with schools, enterprises and public entities that are being successfully implemented. Because of this experience, VECO was commissioned by the city of Ghent to support the making of an urban food strategy. In Honduras, we have strengthened farmer organizations to sell their vegetables, fruits and herbs to big market players like Walmart and other important retailers. Together with cities like Ghent, Tegucigalpa and Quito we want to take a step forward towards building resilient urban food policies, within multi-actor platforms.
What we can already reveal, is that sustainable food chains and catering in schools will be at the top of our list. We´ll keep you posted about the next steps of the C4FT cluster!
Written by: Claudia Van Gool, Nataly Pinto and Gabriela Gonzalez
** we are still brewing a name for the cluster, this is a first proposal