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«Feed the city»: Promoting short circuits, sustainable food and urban agriculture

Festi Terroir Genève

One of the objectives of the legislature programme of the Executive Council 2020-2025 is to «foster food sovereignty within the territory of Geneva, support local trade and encourage people to buy local products».

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Where to buy local food and drinks in Geneva

At the same time, the City of Geneva’s climate strategy aims to «actively support the development of a sustainable food production system across the Greater Geneva area» and «promote healthy, decarbonised food consumption». 

This same strategy also wants to «develop urban gardening and kitchen garden initiatives with the inhabitants» and to «support companies experimenting with urban agriculture».

The Feed the City programme operated by the Agenda 21 - Sustainable city department therefore focuses on these three key objectives: 

Why is the City taking action in the fields of food and agricultural production?

Geneva city centre is characterised by so-called peri-urban agriculture, with a high level of rural proximity and a close-knit relationship between the city and the country. The majority of the population of the canton lives and consumes in urban areas (41% for the City of Geneva alone).

Nowadays, matters relating to our food (distribution, product quality, price) are closely linked to the urban centres, all the more so as the food industry and large-scale distribution have increasingly replaced regional small-scale farming, constantly increasing the distance between consumers and short circuits.

In favour of access to quality products

With regard to food sovereignty, city-dwellers are primarily concerned by food products to which they have access, as well as their means of production, processing and distribution. The city’s inhabitants should have access to quality products, be able to dialogue with the agricultural sector and benefit from transparent information concerning the food supply chains. 

From «field to plate», while supporting local production, we encourage civic involvement and make the general public an actor of the food they consumer: where do the products come from, how were they grown, what is their dietary contribution and do the prices allow the producers to be suitably remunerated? Similarly, it is essential to provide information concerning diets which are particularly favourable to both our environment and our health.

A food policy for the territory

Strengthening ties between the city and the country is essential. More generally speaking, the issue of sustainable food requires these different operators to work together in a network and create a new system of governance fostering collective interests. Above all, it is a question of perpetuating local agriculture while implementing production methods capable of providing a response to the major ecological challenges: soil preservation, reduction of our carbon footprint and the sanitary quality of the products.

From the standpoint of the City of Geneva, it would appear essential to reinvigorate an agricultural economy under considerable pressure by tying it more closely to urban areas. The Agenda 21 programmes coordinated by the public authorities promote a cross-cutting approach designed to encompass the different problems linked to food.

Cities are playing an increasingly important role in the food and agriculture sector. This is the very raison d’être of the Feed the City programme. In collaboration with the Canton, the municipalities and the civil society, the aim is to define and frame a territorial food policy. In particular, this can be seen in the emergence and development of the Maison de l’alimentation du territoire de Genève - ma-terre.


Discover all the events and workshops dedicated to short circuits, sustainable food and urban agriculture in the sustainable food diary.


Service Agenda 21 - Ville durable: «Nourrir la ville»

Gaétan Morel

5, rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville

1204 Genève


Tél. +41 22 418 22 42


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Article modifié le 02.06.2023 à 08:39