SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND CITIZENs' INITIATIVES: THE TRANSITION IS NOW!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

One year after its launch, the European project Erasmus+ Training for Sustainable Food System Development (T4F) is continuing its journey towards an ecological and solidarity-based transition and  especially in the area of global sustainable food. The T4F partnership, coordinated by PLS, is developing an innovative and modular European training programme. The methodology provides for the replicability of the training in different national and training context.

The T4F training is structured around four interrelated themes in the holistic system of sustainable food: nutrition, ecology, economy and social.

It is divided into eight learning modules with a focus on: 

  1. Healthy and sustainable food,
  2. Biodiversity, organic and seasonal food,
  3. Management of the food footprint on water and land
  4. Waste and food waste,
  5. Circular economy and resilience,
  6. Local economy and alternative systems,
  7. Inclusive and ethical economic models,
  8. Food and cultural heritage.

The training, which will be developed in the form of an electronic manual, is targeted towards different types of training organisations, from higher education to socio-professional integration.

The philosophy of the T4F project is part of a global civic approach that places sustainable development and ecological and solidarity transition at the core of political and European concerns. 

Throughout Europe, citizens' initiatives promoting sustainable development and more particularly sustainable food are flourishing. In Belgium, for example : 

  • Le Réseau des Groupes d'Achat Solidaires de l'Agriculture Paysanne (GASAP), a network of citizens and producers who agree on a common project promoting sustainable peasant agriculture (local, seasonal, organic, human and environmentally friendly) for direct sale.
  • La ruche qui dit oui, a community of direct purchases from producers that defends quality food.

In addition, more and more citizen projects of sustainable entrepreneurship are supported by dedicated and support centres such as CoopCity and Groupe One,  thus placing development in an ecologically responsible perspective. Public authorities also attach great importance to supporting meaningful civic initiatives in the sustainable food sector, as evidenced by the "Be Circular" call for projects in Brussels. 

Nicolas Hulot, now former French Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, has publicly warned against a "small step" policy while the Transition is not waiting!

It is time that as many people as possible become aware of the ecological issues that the whole world, including Europe, will have to face. This is a serious time and action must be taken at all levels of society, both on the political and civil society sides.

T4F is taking part into this desire to raise awareness and train citizens in the challenges of sustainable development, of which food is an essential component.

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