FoodCLIC kick-off: introducing the CLIC

To kick-off the 4.5 year long-lasting project, the FoodCLIC project coordinator, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Stichting VU), invited all project partners in October 2022 to meet in Amsterdam. Kick-off meetings mark the beginning of a multi-year cooperation period, with given milestones and goals. It is the objective of kick-off meetings to make everyone familiar with each other and with the main project's characteristics. For this purpose, this get-together was used to take a closer look at FoodCLIC’s methodological and theoretical foundations, such as the CLIC framework [1], the model that guides project partners in taking action that supports a transformation, such as the development of integrated food policies.

The CLIC framework is based on the understanding that food systems are complex entanglements of relations. Working under the assumption that, at present, these food systems are under high pressure, caused (amongst other things) by climate change, environmental pollution, obesity and diet-related diseases, as well as an increasing demand for food, FoodCLIC recognises the urgent need for these food systems to transform. The CLIC incorporates the place-based and multi-dimensional nature of food system transformation and aims to describe its processes, shapes and outcomes in a systematic way. The framework is built on four pillars, which can be seen as FoodCLIC’s (interrelated) goals for food system transformation:

  • The fostering of sustainability Co-benefits (social/ health, economic, environmental).
  • The establishment of linkages between urban and rural areas, and between land and water, to strengthen rural-urban food systems.
  • The inclusion of all food system stakeholders and actors.
  • The establishment or strengthening of connectivities between food and other complex systems and policy areas.

With this theoretical/ conceptual framework at hand, FoodCLIC aims to create more sustainable urban food environments and empower all people to access healthy and sustainably produced food.  From now (September 2022) on, 28 organisations and institutions will work together for 54 months to support the development of integrated food policies in 8 city-regions! 


[1] The CLIC concept has been derived from the work of Sonnino & Milbourne (2022) on place-based approach in food system transformation: Sonnino, R. & Milbourne, P. (2022): Food system transformation: a progressive place-based approach. Local Environment, 27:7, 915-926, DOI 10.1080/13549839.2022.2084723 

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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