2022-02-28 17:23:53

Alliance for Local Food Policy Transformation in the Post-Pandemic World

The Municipality of Rosario has a population of around one million and a long tradition of undertaking participatory planning processes focused on food initiatives. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, public spending is increasing. One such area is food demand and the need of food assistance reported by social organisations. This surge in demand has made it all the more imperative to establish coordinated food security actions in the short term. At the same time, it is also necessary to think post-pandemic and to identify the structural demand for food in the medium-term.

Given the above, the municipality dedicated itself to transforming its current food policy. The goal is to foster a coordinated and integrated social policy with a multi-dimensional approach to ensure an adequate, healthy, and diverse food supply to the most vulnerable members of the population. They city does this in three ways. Firstly, the city integrates multidisciplinary perspectives to look into its food security issue, and acknowledges the root causes and their inter-relations. Secondly, the city develops ongoing monitoring and assessment instruments to ensure greater consistency and better planning to enhance impact and positive outcomes. Thirdly, the city is coordinating a new institutional scheme to serve as a platform for the solutions implemented in the territory.

Partnership – or alliance, as in the title of the initiative suggests – is key. The city forms a food network including government agencies, research bodies, charities, and food wholesalers and retailers. The University of Rosario is engaged in the research and development of food innovations and provides food processing infrastructure. Rosario Food Bank, with its food recovery knowledge, is responsible for collecting, storing, and distributing food provided by food wholesalers and retailers and to reduce food waste. The initiative is currently benefiting 300,000 residents.

This initiative is particularly relevant to Goal 2 (zero hunger), Goal 3 (good health and well-being), Goal 10 (reduced inequality), and Goal 11 (sustainable cities and communities) of the SDGs.