Montpellier 2019

Montpellier 2019


The meeting of the Eurocities Working Group Food took place on the occasion of the 5th MUFPP Annual Gathering and Mayor’s Summit, hosted by the City of Montpellier (France) in October 2019. This meeting of the WG food focused on ‘Political commitment & Governance on Urban Food Policies’ and saw the participation of both food officers and elected representatives. The meeting was also the occasion for discussing the Eurocities policy statement on food and the upcoming 2020 activities.

Speakers from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the DG RTD gave keynote speeches on the opportunities for European cities to further share their ongoing experience about governance in existing arenas of debate and on funding opportunities for new initiatives.

Afterwards, the Governance roundtable took place, with presentations from cities on their latest updates. Political representatives from the cities of Almere, Birmingham, Bristol and Milan were present and had the occasion to discuss in detail the crucial role of political commitment in the development of innovative food policies.

As a background note to participants, a glossary on governance was provided:

  • Food Policy Political responsibility – When a political representative (Vicemayor, Deputy Mayor, Commissioner, City Councillor) is appointed as responsible for the Food Policy, to facilitate relations among departments and with the actors of the city.
  • Food Policy Office – When a team, lead by a Food Policy coordinator, is responsible of daily activities of development and monitoring of Food Policy actions at urban level.
  • Food Policy Budget – When the Food Policy can be implemented with a dedicated budget (within the Municipal budget or with external funding) or different departments can contribute to its activites.
  • Food Policy Councils – When a permanent and structured space is created, for a better participation and alignment among the different Municipal thematic departments, Municipal agencies and with the actors of the city as researchers, private sector, social actors.
  • Food Policy and Political Consensus – When the Food Policy is considered in the strategic agenda of the city by the Mayor, Deputy Mayors, among the CEOs, Directors and Heads of the Municipal Agencies and among the big stakeholders of the city.
  • Food Policy and the citizens – When the Food Policy encourage the active participation of citizens outside traditional tools for participation.
  • Food Policy and big events – When great events are organized (sport, cultural, economic) in which the different contents of the Food Policy are further developed (ie. zero food waste, healthy diets, etc …).

The WG Food Chair gave a speech to the plenary session of the MUFPP Annual Gathering, presenting the advancements of European cities on food policies and urban food systems in the framework of the regionalization process of the Milan Pact.