The Barcelona city-region food system.

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona hosts actors of the agri-food industry and has a well-developed distribution network, including Barcelona’s port, dealing with large amounts of import and export goods.

Small businesses are losing market share at the expense of wholesalers and online retail having an increasing presence. Nevertheless, public street markets are key elements of the local infrastructure, providing fresh produce. Gastronomy can be seen as part of the cultural heritage of the region, with a wide range of high quality and diverse, traditional and innovative restaurants.

The city-region sees a need for improvement when it comes to people’s health and nutrition, as the prevalence of food-related diseases is on the rise, with more than 50% of men and 40% of women being overweight.

Food-related policies with a more holistic perspective are already being implemented and several public administrations in the city-region are now incorporating the food dimension into their public policies.

The PEAC – Strategic Food Plan of Catalonia is proposal of measures to be developed at the regional level in Catalonia, led by the government itself and being based on a participatory process.

Barcelona Tomorrow - The Metropolitan Commitment 2030, including food as a transversal dimension accross the different challenges faced, is the new strategic plan for the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona, aiming to promote a new model of prosperity, based on knowledge and innovation, to reduce social and territorial inequalities.

The Barcelona Healthy and Sustainable Food Strategy for 2030 constitutes a roadmap developed by the Barcelona City Council, together with food system stakeholders and civil society, for achieving a healthier, more sustainable food system for the city.

Banc de Terres ("bank of land") is a public program promoting agricultural testing spaces to support and accompany farmers, to help revalue and enhance the primary sector.

XAMEC, the Agrecological Network of School Canteens of Catalonia, includes five school canteens, an organic vegetable garden, an agroecological purchasing centre, a restaurant association and an NGO. Together, they offer 17,000 agroecological menus on a daily basis, managing 24 schools and 22 restaurants.

Terra Pagesa is a project within the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona with the aim to articulate an efficient and transparent system of distribution of local products, supporting small and medium-sized producers, allowing them to gain competitiveness in the market.

The image shows a map of Europe with a placemarker identifying Barcelona in Spain.
Quick facts:

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona has 3.3 million inhabitants. Comprising an area of 636 km², it is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in Europe.

The city-region’s agricultural land represents only 2% of the whole territory and is mainly legally protected as agricultural parks.

The image shows 3 men pushing a trailer loaded with fish and seafood at the Barcelona port.

A sustainable food system guarantees access to a healthy and environmentally friendly diet, with a balance of social, technological, economic, environmental and political aspects, and the coordinated participation of stakeholders from the private, research, public and civil society sectors.

Food Policy Network

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona hosts a large number of regional and national associations that are active at different levels of the food chain.

Particularly noteworthy is the great diversity and number of actors pursuing social and solidarity-based economic approaches, engaging in transformation processes to achieve better food sovereignty.

On top of that, public administrations of the city-region (e.g. Generalitat de Catalunya, Diputació de Barcelona, Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, City Councils of the 36 municipalities, Consell Comarcal del Barcelonès) engage in the agri-food sector with a focus on internationalisation, research, development of agricultural spaces, commerce, public health, and water management, among others.

A coordination office for sustainable food has recently been created as an attempt to promote greater complementarity between policies developed at different administrative levels or in different sectors. 

Project partners located in the Barcelona city-region:

Metropolitan Area of Barcelona

Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa

The images shows a view over 2 towns and agricultural land and the sea in the back.
FOODCLIC. We are connecting people, food, policy & places.

FoodCLIC is a four-year project funded by the EU. The project runs from September 2022 to February 2027. The acronym FoodCLIC stands for 'integrated urban FOOD policies – developing sustainability Co-benefits, spatial Linkages, social Inclusion and sectoral Connections to transform food systems in city-regions