16 January 2023

Green Party Members meet with ICLEI to discuss regional food strategy

Recently, a delegation of Green Party Members from the parliament of Baden-Württemberg in Germany met with ICLEI’s Peter Defranceschi, Head of ICLEI’s Global CityFood programme in Brussels (Belgium), to discuss ideas for their regional sustainable food strategy. In a recent article (also in German), Defranceschi highlights the need to incorporate more plant based food options into public cafeterias including schools and health care dining centres, which attracted the interest of the delegation members.

The region of Baden-Württemberg has taken sustainable food procurement very seriously, and has recently approved an ambitious strategy for food procurement to meet standards established by the German Nutrition Society (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ernährung - DGE). Such goals include increasing the use of regional and organic food to at least 30% and achieving certification established by the DGE. In general, the Green Party in the parliament of Baden-Württemberg focuses on sustainable and ecological food production, processing and consumption and have incorporated measures such as the project 'Organic in communal catering in organic model regions' where participating businesses and facilities are aligning their catering options with standards established by the DGE.

The delegation is particularly interested in how to support smaller towns in offering good food and want to advocate for more flexibility in sustainable food procurement in this context. The Ministry is in full support of the ICLEI’s Manifesto on sustainable food production, in particular, minimum standards established in public canteens. This includes supporting small farmers and considering "procuring" farmers instead of food from small farms as a way to support them.

ICLEI looks forward to continuing collaboration with regional and local governments to help incorporate more sustainable food policies into practice. To learn more about ICLEI’s work on sustainable food production and procurement, read the petition and Manifesto, which were recently presented to the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy to ambitiously advance sustainable food transformation.