City Region Food Systems: Join the Call for Global Action

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Image Source: City Region Food Systems

City Region Food Systems (CRFS) is an international initiative that was established by a range of international organizations* to improve rural-urban connectivity in sustainable food systems work.

City region food systems encompass the complex network of actors, processes and relationships to do with food production, processing, marketing, and consumption that exist in a given geographical region that includes a more or less concentrated urban centre and its surrounding peri- urban and rural hinterland; a regional landscape across which flows of people, goods and ecosystem services are managed.

The term ‘City region’ refers not only to megacities and the immediate, proximate rural and agricultural areas surrounding them, but also to small and medium-sized towns that can serve to link the more remote small-scale producers and their agricultural value chains to urban centers and markets in developing countries.

A city region food system approach recognizes that there is great diversity between contexts, the nature of urbanization, sizes of urban centre (from small and intermediate towns to megacities), types of food systems, and nature of ties with the surrounding countryside and rural populations.

Join the Call for Global Action!

The strengthening of city regional food systems can play a key role in helping to feed an increasingly urbanized world in ways that are sustainable, resilient, fair and healthy and that help to create the Future We Want. Human settlements from villages and small towns to cities are expanding. The importance of territorial or landscape approaches to food systems development is increasingly recognized, but city regions, and the rural urban linkages that they represent, are not yet prominent in international dialogue on the future of food and nutrition security. A concerted effort is therefore required to enable these approaches to help shape the future of our food security and the healthy rural urban linkages upon which future well-being depends. This joint effort will require co-operation between subnational and local authorities associations, civil society and producer organizations in both rural agriculture-based and urban communities, the private sector, international organizations and the donor community. This multi-sector and multi-stakeholder effort will also need to collaborate with all levels of government, integrating economic, ecological, territorial and rights-based approaches.

Join the Call for Global Action for stakeholders across the world to engage in a concerted global effort in order to:
1. Increase awareness of the value and importance of CRFS
2. Develop and exchange knowledge on how to protect, support and further develop CRFS
3. Catalyze further action on the ground

Sign-up to today, by filling out the form on this webpage: http://cityregionfoodsystems.org/get-involved/


 

For more information about CRFS, visit http://cityregionfoodsystems.org/.

*This collaboration was initiated with the support of FAO Food for cities initiative, Global Food Security Cluster/Urban Working Group, Habitat International Coalition (HIC), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, ILO, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Urban Food Network (IUFN), International network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food security (RUAF), UN-Habitat, United Nations Capital Development (UNCDF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU).

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Produce Incentives Expand from Farmers’ Markets to Grocery Stores

 

Kansas City supermarkets are testing a program that doubles low-income shoppers spending on local produce. Photo by Patty Cantrell.

A popular incentive for low-income shoppers at farmers markets is moving into grocery stores. The expansion promises nourishment for both rural and urban areas.

Around 5,000 low-income shoppers used the program from June through August in a trial run at four Price Chopper supermarkets in metro Kansas City. They spent nearly $30,000 on produce, mostly from smaller scale farmers in the region.

“This is economic development,” said Mark Holland, mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas. “It benefits the farmers selling local produce. It helps people who need it most to stretch their food dollars. It also benefits grocery stores; it brings people into the store.”

The Double Up Food Bucks retail expansion in Kansas City provides shoppers who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamp) benefits with a dollar-for-dollar match on their Price Chopper loyalty cards when they buy up to $25 a day of locally produced fruits and vegetables. They can then use the extra money to buy more of any produce, doubling the amount of healthy food they take home.

“It fit right in with our loyalty card program,” said Mike Beal, chief operating officer for Balls Food Stores, a regional family-owned chain with 15 Price Chopper and 11 Hen House supermarkets in the Kansas City area.

Farmers are also feeling the love.

Balls buys from more than 150 farmers through Good Natured Family Farms. The regional marketing cooperative, or food hub, supplies local products for every department, from produce, dairy and meats to honey and other items like jams and pickles.

Diana Endicott, president of Good Natured Family Farms, said the group’s produce sales are up 20 to 30 percent at the four Double Up Food Bucks test stores.

By Patty Cantrell, Regional Food Solutions

Originally Published 9/18/15 – full article at WallaceCenter.org