Medellín, Colombia

2023-09-28 15:02:44

Promoting food sovereignty by strengthening food marketing through Short Marketing Circuits


· Population size: 2653729

· Population Growth Rate(%): 1.74

· Surface Area (sq. km): 382

· Population Density (people/ 6643

· GDP Per Capita (U.S.$): 3794

· GINI Index: 1

· URL/Webpage of your local government and your initiative:


· dad-Alimentaria-y-Nutricional

· Main Source of Prosperity (e.g. industry, trade, tourism, creative industry, etc.): The industry sector has

· the largest economic participation in the District.



The Strengthening Food Marketing strategy guides local producers towards sustainable and responsible production practices. It promotes Peasant, Family, and Community Agriculture and associative processes, while also facilitating direct marketing channels through Short Marketing Circuits. These channels include supermarkets, neighborhood stores, gastronomic guilds, and public procurement programs such as the School Feeding Program. Additionally, it provides support to marketers in Medellín's neighborhoods to promote local purchases and reduce intermediation processes. By connecting food supply and demand, it aims to generate more local purchase processes and promote urban-rural integration.



This initiative is part of the Public Policy for Food Security and Sovereignty of Medellín, which is regulated by Agreement 038 of 2005 and Agreement 100 of 2013. The local the purchase process is regulated by Law 2046 of 2020, while Agreement 022 of 2020 defines the Public Policy of the Agri-Food System of Medellín.



Food insecurity is a major concern in the region, with high rates of 59.27% in 2022 and 41.24% in 2019. This problem is particularly severe in rural areas, where almost half of households (46.39%) are food insecure. Compounding this issue is the low level of local food production, which represents only 3% of the total food supply when considering both Medellín and neighboring municipalities.


The project’s goal is to support local producers and marketers in the District of Medellín, with an interdisciplinary approach that promotes sustainable and responsible production practices, short marketing circuits for local products, and associative processes. By doing so, it aims to contribute to the agri-food system of the region and enhance food sovereignty.

The implementation of the strategy has led to significant changes, as evidenced by the transactions between marketers and producers that amounted to $29,183,097 between 2020 and 2022. Through these transactions, 21,468.9 kilograms of food were marketed, promoting integration between rural and urban areas in the Special District of Medellín.


The strategy involves providing training in agroecological and sustainable production practices, with the goal of reducing or eliminating the use of agrochemicals and ensuring the production of high-quality and safe products. To achieve this, it implements allelopathy and work with native seeds, which not only helps reduce agrochemical costs but also enhances product quality and environmental sustainability.


The initiative involves integrating marketers from neighborhood stores, companies that operate food supplementation contracts, and large supermarkets into the agri-food system. As part of this effort, it has established the Cooperative of Farmers of the Villages of Medellín (COPACORMED), which aims to facilitate marketing processes, particularly public procurement. By promoting associative processes, it can improve the agri-food system and create new opportunities for farmers and marketers alike.


The project is funded throughout its technical and social processes, with regular resources provided by the Secretariat of Social Inclusion, Family, and Human Rights to support producers and marketers.



The initiative is considered evolutionary because it builds on the Short Marketing Circuits that have been developed in other institutional spaces, as well as by civil society and the private sector. Through this strategy, it has been able to welcome more producers and integrate more commercialization channels. As a result of our efforts, it has established the Cooperative of Producers of the Villages of Medellín (COPARCORMED), which aims to facilitate the commercialization processes of associated producers and improve their access to financing and training opportunities. It also hopes that COPARCORMED will enable producers to participate in public procurement processes.



Nuestra estrategia ha dado lugar a más de 7.000 transacciones, principalmente de hortalizas, y a la creación de una asociación de productores locales. De cara al futuro, prevemos generar aún más transacciones y una mayor participación de los productores, incluida la cooperativa, en los procesos de contratación pública. Esto les permitirá obtener mayores beneficios y mejorar el suministro de alimentos frescos en la región.


The project measures the following indicators: participating producers, participating marketers, changes in the perception of food insecurity in producer households, total food production, total marketing of food produced in public purchase channels or other outlets, and profitability (which is currently being measured for the first time). The Food and Nutrition Security Team collects and presents these indicators either in totals or by Villages, as required.


The team’s experience was developed under the Short Marketing Circuits model, which promotes urban-rural integration by connecting small producers in the Villages of Medellín with marketers in communities with high poverty rates. Marketers serve as mobilizers to improve access and availability of food.


The initiative benefits approximately 47,342 students of the School Feeding Program (PAE). These students, spanning across transitional, primary, secondary, middle, and complementary levels, will receive monthly benefits throughout the year 2023. This extended support is made possible by the ongoing expansion of a local marketing channel that facilitates local purchases. The basis for this calculation is the provision of food items to schoolchildren within the PAE. These items include spinach, paprika, green banana, and chonto tomato. These ingredients are used to prepare dishes like tuna pasta, bean casserole, hogao, and spinach rice.



Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns