THE PLAIN OF LUCCA CITY-REGION FOOD SYSTEM.
The five municipalities Capannori, Lucca, Altopascio, Porcari and Villa Basilica are forming a coordinated and participatory food policy management initiative called “Piana del Cibo”. This initiative, active in the Plain of Lucca, aims to increase the well-being of people living in the area and to promote sustainable development.
For this purpose, the five municipalities are committed to a set of principles, goals and actions, outlined in a common food strategy. They join forces to improve the production, distribution and consumption of food to guarantee a right to food for all people living in the territory.
Moving towards a sustainable food production and distribution model.
In contrast to an industrially-oriented food production, local sustainable food production guarantees food safety, allows for a direct relationship between consumer and producer, reduces environmental damage and waste and increases resilience of the local food system. On top of that, sustainable food production promotes local economic development by providing employment opportunities, thereby contributing to value creation for the region.
In this regard, the common, intermunicipal Food Policy Strategy contains shared principles for food policy initiatives and six goals in five action areas:
- Enhancing knowledge on local food systems
- Supporting best practices, by creating a network of stakeholders
- Improving the wellbeing of all through knowledge sharing and capacity building
- Facilitating access to locally produced/ sourced food for all
- Reinforcing sustainable agricultural practices
- Working on a common approach.
In practice, the city-region chooses the approach of revising public procurement contracts for school catering services to implement more ambitious sustainability criteria (territoriality, seasonality, education, waste reduction) through new arrangements, with a focus on short(er) food supply chains.
Food Policy Network
The intermunicipal food policy group “Piana del Cibo” - the first of its kind in Italy - is an initiative for coordinated and participatory management of food concerns among five municipalities that started its food-related work with the signature of the MUFPP by the municipalities of Capannori and Lucca.
Subsequently, a participatory project called CIRCULARIFOOD involved about 300 actors from all five municipalities, eventually leading to the 5 city councils committing to the food strategy and plan.
Supported by arrangements for shared responsibility related to food-concerns between the municipalities, the governance model of the “Piana del Cibo” comprises three main acting groups:
- The Agora, a participatory assembly, open to anyone, is a space for discussion, exchange of ideas and networking. It aims to bring forward social innovations with a focus on five thematic areas: local production, school food, food waste, urban gardening and lifestyle.
- The Assembly of Mayors, a political body including the delegated Councillors of each of the five municipalities. The Assembly supervises the implementation of the food strategy, evaluates proposals of the Food Council, and follows and supports activities of the Agora.
- The Food Council has a strategic role in prioritising and bringing forward the needs and proposals coming from the Agora and the whole city-region. The Council has 13 members.
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