In the Administrative Council’s roadmap 2015-2020, one of the priorities is to “encourage sustainable food”. It is against this backdrop that the Agenda 21–Sustainable city department introduced the Feed the City programme. This focuses on three main targets: promoting local agricultural products, making the population aware of “healthy eating” and developing urban agriculture.
The City of Geneva is characterised by so-called peri-urban agriculture, with rural areas very close at hand and a strong relationship between the city and the surrounding countryside. Most of the canton’s population lives and eats in urban areas (41% in the City of Geneva alone).
The issues relating to our food (distribution, product quality, price) are now strongly linked to the urban centre, all the more so as the food industry and large-scale distribution sector have increasingly taken over the role formerly played by small-scale regional farming, driving an ever-larger wedge between consumers and production sites.
For access to high-quality products
With a view to food sovereignty, city-dwellers are primarily concerned by food products to which they have access as well as the associated production, processing and distribution methods. City-dwellers should have access to high-quality products, be able to maintain dialogue with the agricultural sector and benefit from transparent information concerning the food value chains. Ultimately, their environment should be conducive to their involvement, making them stakeholders of local, healthy and seasonal food.
From the “field to the plate”, supporting local production, we encourage civic debate: where do products comes from, how are they grown, what nutritional intake do they provide and does the price allow producers to receive a decent income?
In recent decades, the roles of the different operators in the food sector have become highly segmented and specialised, each one acting in their own economic interests. The challenges of sustainable food nevertheless require these operators to coordinate their efforts via a network and to create a new governance system focusing on the collective interest. The end-goal: to sustain local agriculture while implementing production methods capable of meeting the key ecological challenges (in particular soil conservation, reduced carbon footprint and enhanced sanitary quality of products).
From the standpoint of the City of Geneva, it is therefore a question of revitalising an agricultural economy that is under considerable pressure by working in partnership with urban areas. Coordinated by the local authorities, the Agenda 21 programmes adopt a highly transversal approach encompassing different food-related issues.
Assuming that towns will play an increasingly important role in this field, the "Feed the city” programme makes perfect sense. To find out more about the three focal points of this programme:
Article modifié le 24.02.2020 à 08:33