City, University of London
Connectin regions_The 2024 City Food Policy Symposium.pdf (5.44 MB)

Connecting regions through a Sustainable National Food Network: the case of Portugal

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posted on 2024-04-11, 09:35 authored by Catarina Vasconcelos, Gabriel Távora, Ana Farinha

Food systems encompass a set of actors that participate in the different stages of the food chain in each territory. Therefore, network collaboration between the various sectors is crucial to ensure a sustainable, nutritious, and equitable food system for all.

The National Network for Balanced and Sustainable Food is a research and innovation project addressing the challenges of the Portuguese food system. Through four key axes, the project aims to: 1. Integrate and Articulate: establish a network governance model to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing between 25 regions fostering the alignment of national and regional food system strategies. 2. Mapping and Monitoring: develop a dynamic observatory to map and analyze food systems across each region, aiming to support decision-making and identify priority interventions. 3. Participate and Facilitate: create participatory tools and training programs to engage local actors in research and information collection. 4. Communicating and Empowering: launch a communication campaign to educate consumers about healthy and sustainable eating and food waste reduction.

After one year of implementation the project faces challenges such as mobilizing partners, integrating different agendas and perspectives, securing resources (human and financial), and ensuring continuity strategies. As opportunities, we can highlight the integrated approach to assess the different dimensions and actors of regional food systems, the promotion of good practices, and the implementation of a more participatory governance.

This network will be an important step towards building a more sustainable, nutritious, and integrated Portuguese Food System.


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