On 19th December, the MUFPP Secretariat was in Seberang Perai, Malaysia to hold a dedicated food policy training to the City Council and the related food system stakeholders. The city, which signed the Pact back in July 2022, thanks also to the support of the IURC Programme, has since then continuously demonstrated its great interest and willingness to participate in our network’s activities.
The MUFPP Secretariat and the IURC once again joined forces to support cities in their journey on food policy development by organising a dedicated training to city councilors and officers, public and private stakeholders of the food system of the city. The aim was to provide useful tools for participatory policy making in the development of a food strategy.
It was possible to present to the around 50 attendees a variety of useful tools like the MUFPP framework for action and its indicators, some best practices from other signatory cities.
The training focused on priority topics for Seberang Perai city council like food education in schools, urban agriculture and food waste management with the aim of supporting their work in developing a food strategy.
For the second session of the training, the methodology developed by Food Trails (an Horizon 2020 project led by the City of Milan) was applied. Thanks to the stakeholder analysis and the food policy action canvas, participants discussed together and identified priorities and actions to improve the city’s food system.
The report of the different discussion groups – focused on food education in schools, food production and food waste prevention – was made at the presence of the City Secretary General.
The training achieved the aim of creating the momentum in the city and started the process for the adoption of its first food strategy by the end of 2023.
The visit to Seberang Perai was also the occasion to get to know more and see first hand the activities the city has been carrying out.
The first visit was Sungai Tembusa, a 620 hectares protect mangrove forest in Northern Seberang Perai. The City Council together with the fisherman association developed a nursery mangrove tree where the association is planting where needed to restore the forest.
In addition, to reduce the marine plastic pollution, fishermen are collecting plastic bottles from the mangroves swamp in coordination with the City Council and the support of a private sponsor. The plastic collected is sold to a recycling factory.
Seberang Perai has been able to establish PPP to protect the environment and sensitize fishermen on the importance of taking care of the mangroves forest, which has the result of increasing the abundance of fish in the sea.
The second day a visit was paid to the food courts at Autocity Juru and Autocity Green Park that have adopted a circular economy approach for its food and wastewater.
The company that owns the district established a facility to create compost out of the food scraps in 14 days and to treat the wastewater.
The compost is used nearby to farm and sell vegetables.
At the food policy training also participated a group of school principals. As a result, the principal of the SMK Convent Butterworth invited the MUFPP Secretariat and the Seberang Perai City Council to visit the Eco-school on Tuesday morning. The principal, who has the responsibility of choosing the school catering service, was interested to adopt healthier meals and low food waste policies for the school also involving students and parents in this path. A potential pilot project might start in 2023 and other schools may follow the example afterwards with the support of Seberang Perai City Council.