29 Aug Activities in Barcelona

To implement the Food Smart Cities for development  project a new coordinating group has been stablished between:

  • Barcelona’s City Council (Ajuntament de Barcelona), in particular: the Division of Trade and Consumer Affairs (Direcció de Comerç i Consum) and  Division of Global Justice and International Cooperation (Direcció de Justícia Global i Cooperació Internacional), which guarantee the direct link with the city coungil and other municipal institutions with competences on food issues (bilateral meetings, transversal tables, etc.).
  • GRAIN Foundation and Revista Soberanía Alimentaria which guarantee the articulation and direct communication with the organizations who work on food sovereignty and similar issues.


On 15 October 2015 Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau signed the Urban Food Policy Pact, which remarks cities’ strategic role as an engine to develop sustainable food systems. It also highligths  the possibilities of municipalities to act against hunger and malnutrition, to make improvements in terms of health and individual and social wellbeing, the promotion of farming enterprises and small, local farmers, and the creation of synergies with food and nutritional safety.

In this sense, Barcelona’s City Council has taken a clear commitment with an integral perspective of the city’s food system, aiming to include policies of many kinds: health, sustainability, trade, wellfare, and others. The Council is already working in the development of actions tho follow this path. Amongst the objectives of this new network of cities, the coordination of different departments will be a key task, so that they favour initiatives that include social, economic and environmental aspects and that take into account nutrition, food production, instruction, food safety and food waste reduction.


We aimed to approach the need to create a Municipal Food Council in Barcelona. The workshop started the process of discussion and development of such institution by presenting several possibilities for its functioning and composition. We also wanted to present other existing initiatives of this kind in order to get an overall vision of their differences and similarities, and to understand why it is important to do so.


  1.  Presentation of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
  2.  Presentation of the “Letter to build food sovereignty from out municipalities”
  3.  Presentation of the Local Food Councils as a tool for acheiving different objectives, and debate on the different experiencies of this kind in Spain and Europe
  4.  Workshops for the exchange of information and opinions and the formulation of several initial proposals for the Barcelona Food Council

Coordination between the different commissioners, areas and departments of the City Council in order to open spaces of communication and cooperation for a common food strategy. It includes: Division of Global Justice and Internal Cooperation (Direcció de Justícia global i cooperació internacional), Division of International Affairs and Cooperation (Direcció de Relacions Internacionals i Cooperació), IMMB, Commissioner for Health (Comissionada de Salut), Division of Innovation and Planning (Direcció de Planificació i Innovació), Commissioner on Ecology (Comissionada d’Ecologia) and Commissioner of Cooperative and Social Economy (Comissionat d’Economia Cooperativa, Social i Solidària).

The project consists in organizing several meetings with small food retailers in order to talk about new trends in food consumption  (local food, fresh food, organic production, etc.), and what are opportunities and constranis related to these trends.

The aim is to hold meetings with retailers from three different districts (Sant Andreu, Nou Barris and Sant Antoni), and the workshops are to be articulated thorugh the District Councils.

The meetings would take place during one morning and they will address three different questions:
• Are you interested in introducing organic, fresh, seasonal and local products within short tradeing circuits?
• What are the requirements to achieve these goals? (contacts, distribution, warehouse…)
• What policies should be developed? (regulations, restrictions regarding commercial business hours, trade labels…)

Preparatory meeting – 6 May 2016 Participants: 22 people
Meeting and Discussion 27 and 28 May Participants: 50 people

This action want to socialize and develop two documents:

• The “Letter for a Food Sovereingty from our Municipalities”, adopted in Zaragoza in 2014
• The development of the Milan Food Policy Pact

The final result would be a collectivelly adopted document on Food Guidelines that could serve as a basis for the creation of Local Food Policies coherent with the framework set by the City Council’s Policies for the Promotion of Food Sovereignty.
We plan to reach those documents through a series of workshops and meetings with Barcelona’s public institutions and civil society.
This one or days on Food Councils would aim at two questions:
1. To present Food Councils from an international perspective, showing them as a tool for creating and developing food guidelines and policies. We would talk about its potentialities and weak points, and the different configurations they can adopt. The focus would be at european and world-wide levels.
2. To resume the debate on the creation of a Food Council for Barcelona, and to reach consensus points on its configuration and objectives with different local actors (public institutions, civil society, producers, distributors…).

We plan to do 2 or 3 meetings with all the actors between April and September 2016, and then the final one on the same day of the international workshop.
The collaborative work with GRAIN should lead to the establishment of the bases for the future Food City Council, with the participation of civil society, universities, social movements, experts, and other involved agents under the Saragossa’s Letter approach.
• A report on the situation of Barcelona’s Food System, the aim of which is to provide a general perspective of Barcelona’s current agrosystem.

• A study on Food Councils, with two objectives:

– To systematize the international experiences on Food Councils and analyse its strenghts and weaknesses.
– To define a specific proposal of how a Food Council for Barcelona could be adopted, according to the knowledge obtained from other ongoing experiences.

The studies will be presented to the public within the end of September 2016.