The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and Mayors Summit: Dr Bettina Schelkle

26 September 2018

Dr Bettina Schelkle, EUFIC Senior Manager for Food and Health Science, joined the 4th annual gathering of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact in Tel Aviv on September 3-5 as jury member of the ‘Milan Pact Awards’.

 

The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) is a global commitment to develop safe and diverse sustainable food systems in cities that are inclusive and resilient. The pact is signed by 177 cities.

On September 3-5 300 delegates met in Tel Aviv for the ‘4th Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Annual Gathering and Mayors Summit’.  Among the delegates were mayors, ministers, city representatives and experts. During the summit, MUFPP awards cities that submitted examples of good approaches towards healthier food environments for their cities. This year Dr Bettina Schelkle, Senior Manager for  Food and Health Science at EUFIC, was part of the selection panel for the ‘Milan Pact Awards’ (MPA).

It has been a great experience to join the selection panel, providing the opportunity to meet inspiring people and learn what cities are doing to shift towards sustainable food systems with impact in our daily lives’ she highlighted.

The city of Ghent, Belgium, won the award thanks to their ‘Foodsavers Ghent’ initiative. ‘Foodsavers Ghent’ collects and distributes left over food from public canteens, wholesalers and supermarkets amongst social organizations. The initiative allows people who cannot afford high quality food access to fresh and healthy food and meals. By engaging long-term unemployed people in the project, the initiative also provided opportunities for the re-integration of these into the job market. In 2017 Ghent largely exceeded their target of recovering 100 tons of food and preventing the emission of 250 tons of CO2 by collecting 300 tons of food and saving 726 tons of CO2

The way forward

As 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050, the summit was also an opportunity to exchange ideas and solutions around food policy, food waste, food supply in times of climate change, obtaining green urban food, and providing a sustainable and healthy nutrition environment for their citizens.

MPA winner Ghent will spend some time over the next year to work directly with selected partner cities on assessing how their successful initiative can be applied elsewhere to ensure the above challenges are tackled.

MUFPP is not only awarding good practices but is also a partner in the FIT4FOOD2030 project, which aims with EUFIC on board as partner to find solutions to key issues such as obesity, malnutrition and climate change through research and innovation in the context of the European Commission’s FOOD 2030 initiative.