The agreement of eight cities to launch the Organic Cities Network was signed on the 8th of January in the Paris City Hall. It is the first European network which cities and associations committed to organic farming can endorse. This event makes up part of a bigger picture, geared towards the next common agricultural policy and the conclusion of the general state of food.
The initiative forges European coordination in order to support the development of organic agriculture in Europe, an important incentive to help preserve the environment, improve citizens’ overall health and support the creation of new local jobs.
The European cities which are pioneers of organic food in catering have decided to work together to promote and introduce more organic agriculture in the city’s supply chain, to consolidate public supply policies to promote food in the collective catering sector, to raise awareness among consumers and to be a propositional strength in European authorities.
This initiative is backed by the European Commission, by European Members of Parliament, by Agence Bio France and by international organizations such as IFOAM- Organics International and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“For 2018 the objectives of this association will be a voice to cities and to influence European decisions in favour of organic farming”, explained Célia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris, responsible for environmental issues, sustainable development, water, channel policies and the Climate Energy Plan.
The network will be managed by an association with its headquarters in Brussels. Participation is open to all European communities, professional networks, associations and research centers.
The European communities and structures involved in this network are Nurnberg and Lauf (Germany), Milan, Vienna and Seeham (Austria), Correns (France), Porec (Croatia), Växjö (Sweden), as well the network of Italian cities “Città del Bio” and the German “Bio-Städte”, the Milan Center for Food Law and Policy, the Austrian Institute for organic research and the University of Tampere.
Antonio Ferrentino, the President of the Italian association Città del Bio since 2014 (an association that joins municipalities and organizations in the goal of promoting organic farming) was also present at the launch of the initiative. A network of cities to implement agroindustrial policies that aim at genuineness, the idea of locally grown produce, the idea of fair trade, united against exploitation and mafias. Livia Pomodoro, representing the city of Milan also attended, and confirmed her commitment in the wake of Expo 2015, with the Milan Charter.