• Rita Bernardo

AlimentAÇÃO Project presents good practices

The public presentation of the results of the AlimentAÇÃO project and debate on Local Public Policies for the right to adequate food took place on May 24, in a mixed format via webinar and at the premises of the National Institute for Agricultural and Veterinary Research (INIAV).

The AlimentAÇÃO project arises in the continuity of the AlimentAÇÃO Campaign, created in 2018 and promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) aiming to deepen the issues related to Short Agri-Food Circuits.

The promotion of short agri-food circuits emerges as an approach of paramount importance in the realisation of the Human Right to Adequate Food, where adequate is understood as sufficient, nutritious, healthy, and culturally appropriate. It is also an important strategy for promoting development in rural areas, contributing to boost local economies, the supply of healthy products and a more sustainable approach to food.

The project itself does not aim to solve the problems of municipalities, but to support a process of reflection and dialogue between local actors that allows the construction of knowledge and the formulation of public policies, as well as governance mechanisms and more adequate institutions, having as target groups local authorities, public institutions, civil society organizations and other agents of the rural territory.

In this sense, several municipalities joined the project, and were present at this event, namely Fundão, Idanha-a-Nova, São Pedro do Sul, Tavira, Torres Vedras and Vinhais. The associations ANIMAR - Portuguese Association for Local Development, ACTUAR - Association for Cooperation and Development, the 3F College and FAO are also part of the project.

During the presentation, the Municipalities had the opportunity to present the diagnosis of their realities as well as the strategies adopted by each one in the approach to short agri-food circuits.

It was possible to verify that several strategies were implemented, according to the reality of each territory, which included the promotion of the Mediterranean diet, involving local production and restaurants, together with food education (Tavira), local projects for the consumption of organic products in school canteens and community intervention with children (Torres Vedras and Fundão), the promotion of local products and the creation of a more organised response at the level of tourism and restaurants (Idanha-a-Nova, Vinhais and São Pedro do Sul).

Idanha-a-Nova, which was the first Bio Region in Portugal, committed itself early on to work and promote its potential in an articulated, differentiating, and sustainable manner, in a logic of multifunctionality.

Deeply aligned with the European strategies, the Municipality intends to continue to contribute to the creation of sustainable food systems, reduce the environmental footprint in food systems, strengthening its resilience while contributing to a healthier diet and the development of the territory. For this matter, the Municipality will rely on the collaboration of Food4Sustainability since these are the basic pillars of its action.

To conclude the event, the Guide 'Building local public policies and Short Agri-Food Circuits to realise the Human Right to Adequate Food' was presented and will be released soon. In this guide, good practices of Short Agri-Food Circuits (SAC) in Portugal are listed, containing a set of recommendations for the improvement and creation of the corresponding public policies.