The mayors of Copenhagen, Lejre, and Bornholm signed an agreement in early 2015 to establish The Food Partnership (Madfællesskabet), which commits their municipalities to work for increased production and flow of local and organic foods between rural and urban areas and is facilitated by The Copenhagen House of Food. In November 2015, the lord mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. The ambition is, to taking as its point of departure the Copenhagen region ́s public kitchens, which serve 67,000 meals daily and aim to move from ‘organic procurement’ (close to 90%) to ‘organic and local’.
Lessons learned/ recommendations:
- Need for new types of partnerships. There is a great need for dialogue, exchange of experience, and contextual knowledge to inform decisions and help mobilize institutional support for the Food Partnership initiative. Farming systems in the area are at very different stages in the transition to agro-ecological production in terms of the amount, variety, and quality of food produced. So, they will enter the project at different stages. Regardless of the ‘category’ these farms fall into, it will be essential for them to form different types of partnerships, as indicated below, that fit their needs and circumstances with respect to machinery, transport, and so forth.
- Need for institutional change. We must also find ways to reduce the huge barriers that diverse, small-scale production faces in the form of legislation that favours large-scale ‘streamlined’ production.
- Need for scientific support.
◦ Change agents want to see science-based documentation of the social, institutional, and ecological transformation taking place within The Food Partnership and the public kitchens, with emphasis on the implications of local agro-ecological food systems for the environment, including reduction in the climate footprint of food.
◦ In addition, it is important to study the implications of organic and agro-ecological production for the wider landscape and to document changes in biodiversity, ecosystem services, and capacity for GHG emissions mitigation.
- Local institution