Flanders presents new food strategy

The Flemish food strategy is a fact. Agriculture and Food Minister Jo Brouns and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries presented the ambitious and widely supported strategy text during the Flemish food summit in Roeselare. The food strategy also contains a number of food agreements, leverage actions, which various actors want to put their shoulders under in order to achieve concrete results.

“Together we are going for a more efficient food system. With the Flemish food strategy, the recipe is written and the raw materials on the table. Now the cooking can begin. I appeal to all actors in the food system, from farmer to farmer consumer, to expand Flanders to become that region in the world where food is produced in the most sustainable way,” said Jo Brouns, Flemish Minister of Agriculture and Food.

Patricia De Clercq, Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, adds: “In the Flemish food strategy, the government and stakeholders set the course for the food of the future. With this food strategy, we aim for healthy and sustainable food for all, a thriving food economy with fair wages for the farmer and a food system that respects the limits of our planet. I am particularly proud that Flanders can today present a broadly supported food strategy, with which we are one of the forerunners in the “From farm to table” EU strategy.”

The Flemish food strategy, also known as Go4Food, forms the basis for working on a better food system in Flanders that respects the planet’s carrying capacity and is socially just, reports the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. “We need to address pressing challenges. Think fair agricultural income, healthy nutrition, climate change, food loss and food inequality. The strategy builds on efforts at international, national and local levels, such as the European ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy.”

The strategy is built around four pillars: healthy and sustainable food for all, food system within ecological limits, fully committed to a robust food economy and food connects farmer to citizen. 19 strategic goals have been formulated under these pillars. Some examples: creating food environments where healthy and sustainable choices are the easiest choices, striving for a food culture where every citizen is food-savvy, strengthening cooperation and trust in the chain, a climate-neutral and climate-smart food system and linking people, nature and food.

Eleven food deals have the potential to impact multiple goals and fill gaps that arise. Concrete actions have already started for each agreement. The food agreements will be fine-tuned and supplemented in the coming months.

  • Flanders as an innovative agricultural and food hub
  • Cooperation on fair prices and real prices
  • Structurally expand, anchor and transform social distribution platforms into food hubs
  • Towards healthy and sustainable food environments in the Flemish public space
  • To encourage healthy, sustainable and affordable diets through diverse catering environments
  • Ensure access for children and young people to sufficient, healthy and sustainable food
  • Independent public expert point for an integrated view of nutrition
  • Agroecology in the Flemish food system: Stimulating opportunities, removing obstacles
  • Food strategies at local, regional and provincial levels
  • Valorizing carbon agriculture in the agro-food sector through public-private partnerships
  • Working on the availability of fertile soil

“The strategy text is a living and dynamic reference document that gives direction to the process. In the coming months, work will continue with a structural anchoring of the strategy, implementation of the agreements, mobilization of stakeholders and monitoring. The Belgian EU presidency in the first Semester of 2024 will be a new milestone. Flanders will help shape the discussion on the new European legislative framework for sustainable food systems and organize an ‘Open Food’ week on food strategies and the necessary interaction between policy, research and practice.”

For more information:
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

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