Change of food model

Food production accounts for between a quarter and a third of greenhouse gas emissions. But Barcelona is not only a producer, it is also a consumer. We consume 650 kg of food per inhabitant a year, yet only 10% to 15% is produced locally. Experts agree that a healthy diet (500 g of fruit and greens, 500 g of greens and other vegetables per day) play a vital role in reducing obesity rates and risks of serious illnesses in adulthood. Yet 10% of children aged 3 to 4 in Barcelona are obese. It is therefore essential to have access to a sustainable, sufficient and suitable diet with healthy habits.

To reduce the contribution of the city’s food system and promote healthier diets low in carbon, we need to opt for local, agro-ecological production, increase the supply of and access to local, ecological fresh produce, reduce the consumption of animal protein and highly processed foods, and offer everyone the tools to facilitate the transition to a healthier and more sustainable way of eating.

We want to move towards a city that is well integrated in the region and which promotes the agro-ecological value of its setting, that is less externally dependent for its food supply and has a populace that is aware of the importance of its food model.

Most important challenges

  • Promoting local ecological food produce, thus facilitating the economic and social viability of the farmers and the city’s local trade, while generating a better territorial balance and a more sustainable agro-food model.
  • Improving the accessibility (physical and economic) of healthy, fair-trade and sustainable food produce, especially for people in vulnerable situations.
  • Promoting healthier diets low in emissions: more local, fresh and seasonal produce, more fruit and vegetables, more ecological produce, less packaging, fewer highly processed food, reducing the consumption of animal protein (above all red meat) and prioritising meat that comes from extensive and ecological stockbreeding.
  • Promoting urban and suburban agriculture as a tool for raising awareness of a sustainable food model and community cohesion.
  • Developing a sustainable local agro-food model to bring about a structural reduction in food waste.

Key actions and actors

Promoting a more sustainable, healthier way of eating

  • Implement and promote healthier diets that are low in carbon in 2021, in schools and all municipal dining rooms: seasonal, ecological, local produce, reducing the consumption of animal protein (especially red meat) and highly processed foods.     
    • Barcelona City Council
  • Study the regulations for establishments selling highly processed fast food that is high in protein near schools.    
    • Barcelona City Council
  • Promote and define the sustainable, healthy dining-room model. This is a place for boosting and activating agricultural production. For example: ensure the vegetables, fruit or veal consumed comes from extensive, ecological, local production sources.nbsp;   
    • Government of Catalonia
  • Organise the 2021 Milan Pact meeting of mayors (from 200 cities) where a city food and climate change commitment could be promoted. Make Barcelona the Sustainable Food Capital in 2021 to press for a change in the food model, locally and internationally.     
    • Barcelona City Council

Facilitating the logistics for a sustainable food system

  • Open a wholesale market at Mercabarna for ecological fresh food in 2021 which promotes the sale of ecological produce and encourages local ecological producers to participate in it.     
    • Barcelona City Council, Mercabarna and Municipal Markets
  • Open a food reuse centre at Mercabarna in 2021 (2.500 Tm/year). 
    • Barcelona City Council, AMB
  • Create an identification system as well as logistical and commercial facilitation instruments together with Mercabarna, municipal markets, traders associations, agricultural organisation, etc., in order to significantly increase the presence of short-circuit, sustainable, ecological, local fruit and vegetables in the city’s local commerce.
    • Barcelona City Council, Mercabarna and Municipal Markets
  • Boost the commercialisation of local, ecological vegetables in season at Mercabarna, especially those produced in abundance in Catalonia (tomatoes, dried onions, lettuce and green beans).    
    • Mercabarna

Supporting the city’s agro-ecological sector

  • Support and promote urban and suburban agriculture, as well as the city’s agro-ecological sector and the Parc Agrari del Llobregat.    
    • Barcelona City Council
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