The "Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo" Biosphere Reserve is a territory with very satisfactory climatic and geographical conditions for the development of a great variety of crops. It is a territory with almost 190,000 inhabitants and an area of 1,139.7 km2 located on the outskirts of the City of Coruña. This represents a unique opportunity to offer local products, thus maintaining a Local Food System based on sustainability and the generation of employment in the territory.
The Mariñas-Betanzos Rural Development Association, which manages the "Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo" Biosphere Reserve, aims to develop a food strategy in the Reserve that stimulates the production, transformation and consumption of local agri-food and agro-ecological products. The design of a Local Food Plan 2014-2017 linked to sustainable growth and green employment is proposed, with the support of the Biodiversity Foundation LEADER Programme.
In the Food Plan 2014-2017 some recommendations are agreed upon to support and extend the Local Food System overcoming existing obstacles in terms of production, marketing and sustainable consumption. The Food Plan will respond to the main challenges of the current Food System identified in the initial assessment and will be based on the agreements of the Food Technical Committee focusing mainly on the following principles:
- Improving access to land for agricultural production
- Sustainable production and consumption: seasonal and local products
- Organic farming and local varieties
- Short marketing chains: Public canteens and other social consumption centres, local shops and restaurants in the territory
- RB products quality mark: promotion of local products closely linked to the promotion of the territory and its peculiarities, in order to achieve the full development of its economic, social and cultural potential.
- Food sovereignty
- Reduction of carbon footprint
Objectives of the food strategy:
- To improve the governance of the Local Food System, generating alliances among the agents involved.
- Design a land mobilisation strategy.
- Encourage the incorporation of new organic producers.
- Promote agro-food commercialisation in short chains.
- Encourage responsible consumption of local products associated with the "Biosphere Reserve" Brand.
- Participatory design of needs and a proposal for lines of action to be included in the 2014-2017 Food Plan.
- Initial assessment of the current local food system. This is a dynamic document in which information gathered from the work of the Technical Commission will be incorporated.
- Elaboration of the GIS map of productive orientations of the main crops of the Biosphere Reserve.
- Creation of a Production Land Exchange
- Implementation of the "Biosphere Reserve" quality label, starting with the cultivation of orchards, wine and dairy products.
- Sprucing up menus with organic products and/or products associated with the Reserve Brand in schools and/or public canteens.
- Obtain commitments to buy and sell local products with shops, markets, restaurants or private and/or public entities.
- Design of a green employment pathway.
- Day of awareness raising on food and health.
- Familiarising and reflecting
- Creating networks
- Local institution