Food policy: Rome warms up engines

It will be a long and articulate path that will lead Rome to the definition of its own food policy. In the meantime, the Nutrition Council has started work and we will start with the definition of the 7 work tables.

Food Policy: Rome

The first call of the Food Councilwho took office on 23 February 2022, marks the start of a process leading to the definition of a Food Politics fir Rome Capital, that is, it adopts set of practices, initiatives, rules and actions of the administration on agricultural and food issues. As in Milan, the first city in Italy to have an operational vision on the sector, a heritage of expo experience, and as happens in London, New York and other cities in the world, the capital will also have its own strategic food plan have, from production to distribution, from transformation to administration, from consumption to the fight against waste and waste reduction, also through catering, including school and collective.

To give a push in that sense, the Capitol adviser on agriculture, environment and waste recycling Sabrina Alfonsi who supported this path and who provided institutional support to move from the phase of comparison and reflection to that of concrete realization, “We are not just here for the founding of an organization” commented the mayor Roberto Gualtieribut to pursue an ambitious food policy. Rome can do a lot not only for itself but also for its citizens “. Also because food policy means the right to food, attention to the environment, social and employment justice, with a strong impact on health and education, integration and the economy.

The First Food Council

This is the first meeting of the Council, which will take place almost a year later Resolution 38 of 27 April 2021 (which indicated this 60-day call to implement a food policy within six months) is a goal, but also a starting point. “The food policy is the policy of the city “ explained Gianmarco Palmieri, President of the Food Council in this initial transition phase. In this passage, there is an important challenge: rethinking Rome, from the point of view of “A more sustainable, fair, efficient city”.A transformation of the city that must be implemented by the EarthCouncilor Alfonsi recalls how Rome is the largest agricultural community in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, with agricultural real estate managed directly by Rome Capital (Castel di Guido and Tenuta del Cavaliere), around 150 urban gardens , hosted on public land, experiences of recovery of green space – real laboratories of inclusion, sustainability, resilience – with the network of gardens in the community.

Food policy. In Rome, politics is participation

The work on the food policy is an example of a bottom-up policy that connects different actors in the food supply chain. It is an important and complex challenge arising from the work of a promotional committee, which brings together about 50 different associations – from Slow Food to Terra !, from the Botteghe del Mondo association to the agricultural cooperatives working on the Capitolines. Territory insists, social cooperatives to the Roman Association of Doctors in Agriculture and Forestry, to the various non-profit organizations dealing with issues related to food, hunger, job placement, circular economy and many others – which have evolved over the last two years. a participatory path, which represents a unicum on the national territory of the right bottom-up policy, in which the institutions welcome a process that is desired by civil society. A heterogeneous team that brings together different sections of civil society, a group that is not necessarily aligned, that must now work together to write the food future of the city. Today, a number of other realities have joined the promotion committee, reflecting an already very active but extremely fragmented landscape, “he said.Rome has a lot of real experiences, so far never systematized “ explains Sabrina Alfonsi, who added “now it is necessary to create a coordinated way to relaunch potential that has not been fully expressed“.

Topics at stake include many of the key points of the 2030 agenda, and not only the second – defeating hunger – but also combating poverty and disease, reducing inequalities, and protecting natural resources. To carry out the project, 7 working groups have been defined, each with 2 coordinators.

Food policy: the 7 working tables

  1. Food Governance
    Which government of the agricultural system for Rome? The table asks the question as to the form of regulation that defines the activities of the Food Council provided for in Resolution 38 and the communication and workflow between the different levels of the commune of Rome, as well as between the municipality and other institutions.
  2. Access to resources, local production and agricultural ecology
    The table works on policies for access to primary resources for agricultural production, for the creation of new farms (especially on public land), the entry of young people into agriculture, the development of maintenance programs and the restoration of the to promote agrobiodiversity. , the training of farmers for the agro-ecological transition, the fight against land use, territorial planning and landscape protection.
  3. Markets, local food and logistics
    The work of the table will focus on the development of proposals and strategies for a better link between rural production and urban consumption: this key will play the role of local markets, farmers’ markets and agro-food trade mentioned that by the Rome Agri-food Center (CAR) and other logistical poles, which establish the criteria of transparency of the supply chain and the prevention of phenomena such as exploitation and illegal employment.
  4. Solidarity economy and alternative supply chains
    The table will work on the proposal of policies, programs, projects and initiatives to strengthen the presence in the territory of local products and producers connected with the networks of social and solidarity-based economy, fair trade and solidarity buying groups. In this space, topics such as the creation and support of solidarity-based economic districts, small organized distribution projects and logistics for the so-called “alternative” supply chains are discussed, along with the promotion of social agriculture and urban gardens.
  5. Fight against food waste and poverty
    The table deals with thinking about the promotion of strategies, policies and programs to combat food waste at all stages of the supply chain. Proposals focus on systematic actions to prevent, sensitize, distribute and re-use surpluses, the circular economy and access to local and quality food. Among the main objectives is the creation of opportunities for socio-work inclusion and support for the most vulnerable groups.
  6. School catering, collective catering and food education
    The school catering supply chain, the collective catering and the role of green procurement to favor supply from the territory, the short supply chain and agroecology will be one of the cornerstones of the work of this table. This justification will be linked to a broader approach to the development of proposals on food formation and the relationship between food and health, to provide indications on the sustainability of the diet.
  7. Gastronomic culture, catering and food transformation
    The table will work to dilute the role of restaurants and commercial activities as a driving force for the improvement of local and organic food, to ensure sustainable, healthy and economically accessible nutrition. Aspects such as training for chefs and restaurateurs focusing on the ecological transition of the food system, the construction of networks of restaurateurs and commercial activities aimed at food sustainability and the supply chain are addressed.

Curated by Antonella De Santis

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