Local Food Policy for Milan © Sisa 2014

Food policy design for Milano metropolitan region

Milan, July 10th, 2014. Milan City council and the Cariplo Foundation are looking beyond Milan 2015 and just sealed a deal to launch a Local Food Policy. This tool will allow the municipality to make the city more sustainable and with more social justice regarding topics linked to food. This innovative project is aiming at organizing public policies dealing with this topic: land, welfare, education, environment, well-being, international relations.

Download this article as a pdf document Local Food Policy for Milan – IUFN Note 2014

Check the interview with Andrea CALORI, Local Food Policy for Milan Project manager.

The protocol was signed in July 2014 by the mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia and the President of the Cariplo Foundation, Giuseppe Guzzetti, thereby giving birth to an experimental initiative on food.

On this topic, Milan Municipality found with the Cariplo Foundation the ideal partner. The Foundation indeed has great experience in the field of scientific research, especially on food. The Foundation has launched a large variety of actions on the topic of food, involving social, economic, and institutional stakeholders, as well as researchers. Among other important achievements of the Cariplo Foundation related to food policy, on an environmental level for instance, the projects conducted on peri-urban agriculture or the agricultural park ‘Sud Milano’ shall be highlighted.

The municipality and the Foundation therefore decided to create a citizen food policy, based on a model already successful elsewhere in the world. Food Policies appeared in the United States in the 1980s. They spread across North America and then in Northern Europe, in cities such as London or Amsterdam. These initiatives aim at improving the management of the food chain (food production, distribution, and consumption), along with all the activities influencing this chain.

Starting now, this will be also done in Milan, engaging a process for the next five years.

“The theme of Expo 2015 is ‘Feeding the planet – Energy for life’. “With this protocol creating a food policy for Milan”, says Milan’s mayor, Giuliano Pisapia, “our city and the Foundation Cariplo want to send a strong signal for the future of the planet not only on the theme of infrastructure but on the theme of food. Recent surveys reveal that the new hunger geography, or rather the lack of healthy food, is creating boarders between urban areas. Still today, too many people suffer from malnutrition and eating disorders. As I said in Johannesburg last February, during the C40 Cities Summit (Climate Leadership Group), Milan, the city hosting Expo 2015, will do its part. As for Kyoto, better than Kyoto: we would like that the name of Milan remains associated with a prime moment of international meetings that will take place during the six months of the Universal Exhibition. For that occasion, I will ask the mayors from all around the world present in Milan, to sign an international pact that will commit their city to build food systems based on sustainability and social justice.”

“It seemed natural to cease the opportunity offered by Milan 2015”, says the president of the Cariplo Foundation, Giuseppe Guzzetti, “but with the aim to give birth to an action which would remain, even after the event, and more importantly, which would be based on scientific research methods, able to improve people’s behaviors. We have been doing research on food for some time now; we do know that these topics have repercussions on every aspects of people’s life. This is linked to the implications of civil society in public policies. We work on these topics, not as a sponsor offering economic resources, but as operators entering at the heart of issues, understanding them and offering our own contribution to solve and improve things.”

Considering the importance of these topics, Milan Food Policy will be, among other things, the tool for:

  • Assessing the existing dynamics characterizing the Milan’s agro-food system such as the data, information and indicators on activities and flows, directly or indirectly linked to food topics in Milan, the different stakeholders, and the social, economic and institutional actors
  • Gathering and analyzing projects, policies and actions promoted by the municipality and by stakeholders operating on Milan’s territory, related to food policy issues
  • Determining the national and international initiatives related to food policies and highlighting the potential synergies at a local, supra-local and international scale (identifying a benchmark)
  • Support the implantation of the food issue in local policies, in the activities of the Cariplo Foundation and along with the other actors involved
  • Studying and defining indicators and tracking mechanisms of the food policy
  • Defining public projects in line with the food policy
  • Involving all stakeholders, through a communication plan (online dialogue platform, municipal meetings, working meetings, etc)

The citizen food policy will contribute to defining the organic framework of all these elements, determining the key actions to enforce it, promoting an active participation of the population and of all those living in or working in the city, in order to gather a diversity of resources (ideas, skills, investments, etc.) for the construction of the food policy and in order to create a multiplier effect in promoting its actions.

Expo 2015 must leave a tangible legacy to Milan, inspiring those who manage the city as well as its habitants to engage actions for a better future.  For this reason, the Milan’s Municipality will be in charge of coordinating the development and the diffusion of an International Pact between cities that will translate and organize the common elements from existing food policies, including the one of Milan, into a guide for useful actions to enhance sustainable, just and healthy urban food systems.

The high point will then be the organization of an international event for the launch of the Milan food policy and of the International Pact, which will take place during the Expo 2015, with the presence of mayors from all around the world.

The Cariplo Foundation will become hosting institution for the Milan project and will directly contribute in terms of expertise, as well as through a financial support of 130 000€ Milan’s Municipality will make available various local data and will provide project management human resources.

For more information, please visit the dedicated website :  www.cibomilano.org