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Co-responsibility in local food

An increasing number of people in Europe are worried about the quality of the food they are eating as well as the environmental and social impact of its production. More and more people are therefore trying to eat locally, organic, etc. Despite this enthusiasm, access to quality food is limited to people with low incomes. All over Europe, initiatives are seeking to create spaces and experiences that take into account both the environmental and social impact of products as well as the need to facilitate access to quality food for all.

Image

Photo courtesy Daniel Obrecht CC2.0 BY-SA

General process

1In a Territory of Co-responsibility the local multiactors platform (or coordination group) : a NGOs/informal group of citizens/public institution (City Hall, for example) have the initiative to create inside itself or linked to itself a local group, called local food sovereignty group, a multi-sectorial group focused on the thematic of local food sovereignty and the possibility to ensure the access to local and healthy food for all citizens of the city. To do so the initiators have to identify different kind of stakeholders interested to be involved in this approach (examples: agriculture institutions, small farmers which provide foods in local markets, small shops which commercialize local food, consumers, educational institutions, mass-media, public services).

2When created, the local food sovereignty group collects and produces information (realize small research, or analyses of different studies) regarding the thematic of alimentation at local level : number of small producers in the region; type of products realized at local/regional level; situation of lands and the phenomenon of land grabbing at local/regional level, situation of local seeds, quality of products commercialized, the balance between local products and imported products, phenomenon of waste in food industry, situation of peoples affected by the lack of access to food, etc.

3It collects information about local/regional/national and international good examples in area of local food and select relevant information about the importance of this issue at international level (some suggestions: Food sovereignty movement, Community supported agriculture, Terre de liens, Food bank, Kokopelii seed foundation, Terra Madre, Slow Food, Colibris Mouvement).

4It organizes a local meeting/congress/conference in order to present the results of researches about local food and also to organize small workshops to inspire people regarding positive and possible alternatives: this occasion could be also used to launch the invitation to be part of a local group which will have the role to develop a participatory Charter regarding the role of co-responsibility in assuring the access of healthy and local food for all.

5It organizes several numbers of meetings with citizens and experts in order to develop the objectives and main principals of the Charter.

6It develops a public campaign to promote the Charter and develop the alliances.

7It organizes public meeting in different areas/districts/ neighborhood of the city in order to present and to explain to the citizens the objectives and principals of the Charter (in a second phase, participants could organize themselves other meeting in order to increase the number of informed persons).

Image

Photo courtesy Detached31 CC2.0 BY-SA

Inventary/Inventaire

Community supported agriculture (CSA)

Direct partnership between groups of consumers and local producers.

a) CSA – partnerships between a group of consumers and one producer (www.urgenci.net)

  • AMAP (France);
  • Reciproco (Portugal);
  • Teikei (Japan);
  • ASAT (Romania).

b) Multi-farm CSA – partnerships between a group of consumers and a group of producers.

Collective buying

Group of consumers which develop a common/collective order to a producer or a group of producers. Usually, they prefer to buy from local producers and pay in advance their order. The administrative work is realized by volunteers, members of the association:

Social farms

Social farms could be developed by associations which have one or more social goals:

  • to create work and trainings opportunities for disadvantaged peoples on the labor market – in this case, they function as working integration social enterprises) A specific example is represented by the initiative Jardin de Cocagne (France) (http://www.reseaucocagne.asso.fr) which function as a WISE which develop solidarity partnership with consumers (as we meet in AMAP model – in this case, the contract is between consumers and the association);
  • to produce food for disadvantaged persons – in this case, the production is donated to food bank, social restaurant, social shops, etc. Production could be realized using volunteer work or using disadvantaged persons which are paid for their work. For example : Food Bank Garden - ATV De Hoge Weide – “De Voesselbanktuin” www.atvdehogeweide.nl: was set up specifically to supply fresh produce for the Food Bank. All vegetables grown in this garden are donated to the Food Bank, and before each pre-arranged pickup, society members can donate excess produce as well. Last year for example, we donated 50 crates of different types of vegetables.

Community gardens

A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. Land for a community garden can be publicly or privately held. One strong tradition in American community gardening in urban areas is cleaning up abandoned vacant lots and turning them into productive gardens. Some gardens are grown collectively, with everyone working together; others are split into clearly divided plots, each managed by a different gardener (or group or family). Many community gardens have both "common areas" with shared upkeep and individual/family plots. In general, what is being produced in community gardens is shared among the people taking part in the care of the garden. In most cases, these places contribute to the recovery of public spaces (shared gardens are often developed on reclaimed or abandoned land) as well as to the construction of social ties within the same community, between people of all ages and backgrounds. Obviously the food aspect is not the main goal in this type of project, but the contribution in terms of usability and social links.

The main activities which are important:

  • Entertain a public space which hasn't been qualified yet;
  • Create conviviality and social links in a populous area;
  • Use the allotments gardens to act for socially disabled people;
  • Raise people’s awareness about biodiversity and nature in the city.

To take an example : The City of Paris developed a local program to encourage community gardens, called Main Verte (Green Fingers). The city hall offers a piece of land to a local organization. It can also set up a water supply, a fence, etc. The association commits to open the garden to the public and to take care of it. An agreement is signed between the city hall and the association for a period of one year, automatically renewable for a maximum of five years. More information http://www.paris.fr/viewmultimediadocument?multimediadocument-id=30192

Community kitchen/community cafes

The community kitchen concept is a restaurant based on a gift economy, allowing patrons to "pay what they can" and serving all members of the community regardless of their ability to pay. There are more examples of community kitchen:

  • local people are involved in preparing the food: they could pay for the food or they could help in cooking (Cozinha Popular da Mouraria);
  • people choose their own portions and let them price those portions themselves (pay what you can), but there are not involved in producing food (One world everybody eats (http://www.oneworldeverybodyeats.org/about/our-organization/)

Restaurants which offer food for people in need

  • Latrobada, social restaurant (Spain): this restaurant gives the opportunity for people out of the job market to be able to eat out and enjoy a quality meal in exchange of a few hours of work done for the service/cleaning http://latrobada.drupalgardens.com/
  • The beach café: a public area providing soup, sandwiches, coffee or soft drinks, just like any other beach café. Discount vouchers are made available for distribution by ordinary customers, and are also supplied by Social Welfare Assistants to persons in need (http://asocialdecaxias.blogspot.fr/)

Avoid waste in food

There are several types of initiatives which aim to avoid waste in food system. Their objectives are to collect products before they expire (the products could be donated or bought at special prices from persons or shops) and to redistribute them (the products could be donated to disadvantaged persons or sell it at special prices) or to transform them:

  • Social shops – Somaro (Bucharest, http://somaro.org/);
  • Food banks - :
  • Internet networks developed to encourage the collection of food -Ifoodshare:
  • Last minute market;
  • Transforming fruits and vegetable into juice and soups- Reclaim, Refresh, Rejuce

Education for a sustainable food system

  • Consumers' Schools:
  • Permaculture workshops;
  • Food not bombs - works to call attention to poverty and homelessness in society by sharing food in public places and facilitating community gatherings of hungry people (http://www.foodnotbombs.net/).

Others initiatives

Reference models/modèles de référence

  1. In a Territory of Co-responsibility the local multiactors platform (coordination group)a NGOs/informal group of citizens/public institution (City Hall, for example) hasve the initiative to create inside it self or linked to itself a local group, called local food sovereignty group, focused (multi-sectorial group) on the thematic of local food sovereignty and possibility to assure the access to local and healthy food for all citizens of the city: to do so itthe initiators have to identifiesy different kind of stakeholders interested to be involved in this approach (examples: agriculture institutions, small farmers which provide foods in local markets, small shops which commercialize local food, consumers, educational institutions, mass-media, public services);
  2. When created, the local food sovereignty group collects and produces information (realize small research, analyze of different studies) regarding the thematic of alimentation at local level : number of small producers in the region; type of products realized at local/regional level; situation of lands and the phenomenon of land grabbing at local/regional level, situation of local seeds, quality of products commercialized, the balance between local products and imported products, phenomenon of waste in food industry, situation of peoples affected by the lack of access to food, etc;
  3. It collects information about local/regional/national and international good examples in area of local food and select relevant information about the importance of this issue at international level (some suggestions: Food sovereignty movement, Community supported agriculture, Terre de liens, Food bank, Kokopelii seed foundation, Terra Madre, Slow Food, Colibris Mouvement).
  4. It organizes a local meeting/congress/conference in order to present the results of researches about local food and also to organize small workshops to inspire people regarding positive and possible alternatives: this occasion could be also used to launch the invitation to be part of a local group which will have the role to develop a participatory Charter regarding the role of co-responsibility in assuring the access of healthy and local food for all.
  5. It organizes several number of meetings with citizens and experts in order to develop the objectives and main principals of the Charter;
  6. It develops a public campaign to promote the Charter and develop the alliances;
  7. It organizes public meeting in different areas/districts/ neighborhood of the city in order to present and to explain to the citizens the objectives and principals of the Charter (in a second phase, participants could organize themselves other meeting in order to increase the number of informed persons).

New experimentations to be developed/ Nouvelles expérimentations à réaliser

Supports for exchanges/transfers/ Appuis aux échanges et transferts


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