Birmingham 2017

Birmingham 2017

United Kingdom

The city of Birmingham hosted the first meeting of the Working Group Food, providing the setting for the sharing of knowledge and experiences from all around Europe on the most innovative actions coming from MUFPP cities. The sharing exercise worked in four thematic workshops on: food waste, healthy diets, social inclusion, food production.

The 2017 meeting of the Working Group Food hosted a focus group part of the research conducted by EUROCITIES, the MUFPP Secretariat, the city of Milan and the university of Cardiff on behalf of the European Commission for the research study “Food in Cities”. The focus group aimed to discuss the role of innovation within urban food strategies. Notably, the role of research and innovation, new governance structures and innovative public procurement. Food in cities is still very much in its infancy, despite the very recent development, more research is needed to understand the work of cities.

The main objectives of this Focus Group meeting were to:

  • Gain a better understanding of cities activities within the domain of food.
  • Gather Evidence on the needs of cities in the area of food research, which would input the future research and innovation EU funding programmes (i.e. Horizon 2020 and future ones for the period 2021-2028)

Also the University of Birmingham hosted and sponsored a workshop and networking event for WG Food participants about “Food Matters: Sustainable Diets and Nutrition” – Tackling Diabetes and Obesity in Birmingham, along with researchers, local policymakers, food entrepreneurs, public health professionals, with the aim to provide a definitive, pragmatic evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a community-based diabetes prevention intervention.

The meeting was also the occasion to make a study visit to relevant initiatives active in the hosting city, like the City Kitchen organization. City Kitchen is a civic business, part of Birmingham City Council. Their primary focus is to tackle issues such as obesity, malnutrition and to promote healthy and sustainable eating habits. They feed over 70,000 children within a 90-minute window every school day. They work closely with the School Food Plan and ensure all the food is fresh and nutritious.