How to promote a sustainable approach to food and agriculture?

Namur is bringing local actors to the table!


Publication date

June 23, 2021

Last March, our member Namur (Belgium) launched their local Sustainable Agri-Food Assembly to foster a dialogue and develop concrete proposals for a more sustainable and socially just approach to food and agriculture. During a live stream on Facebook and local television, they presented it to the citizens, who could ask questions on social media and via e-mail.

According to the Deputy Mayor for the Ecological Transition Charlotte Mouget – the woman behind this initiative – the Assembly was inspired by the many projects that are happening in the Region in the field of “Food Sovereignty”, that is the right of the people to determine their own food and agriculture policy, to ensure access to healthy food at a reasonable price, while making sure farmers and producers can prosper.

Have a look at the Food-Land Belt initiative in our member Liege

The initiative will help to achieve a sustainable agri-food system, that is a system that favours local production and consumption models and social interactions, is economically sustainable and respects the environment. Different actors have been offered a seat at the table, to contribute to the new agri-food policy of their Municipality: farmers and producers of course, but also distributors, consumers, associations, research, education and training institutions, public authorities and even concerned citizens!

37% of the territory of Namur is registered as agricultural land and 97% of that is used for agriculture. Most of the producers in the area are large scale farmers, whose land is used for crops destined to animal feed and pasture. Only 4% are used to produce fruit and vegetables for human consumption. Namur Municipality has the ambitious objective to move away from the current system and feed 25% of its population with locally farmed products by:

  • Promoting diversification of crops and land use changes in the 85 hectares of land owned by the city.
  • Using public procurement for schools, hospitals, and other public cafeterias to favour businesses that use sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Fostering education and informing citizens about the many options available to consume and produce locally, reduce food waste and be part of the cultural change.
  • Adopting a new overarching strategy to orient sectorial policies for food and agriculture with the support of citizens and local stakeholders.

Thanks to the Assembly, the Municipality will not only benefit from experts’ and practitioners’ advice, but also allow people to share ideas and needs, meet one another, and start joint projects in the field of sustainable agriculture. The Assembly will directly contribute to the future Action Plan for a sustainable agri-food system in Namur.

Want to know more? Watch the recording of the launch on youtube! [in French only]