The participants of the 1st convention of the food policy council In Essen, Germany.
Photo: © Taste of Heimat e.V./Kathi Girnuwei


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The pace of urbanisation is increasing globally, together with the ‘supermarketisation’ of the urban population. At an expert discussion at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), specialists presented the network of food policy councils as a way of securing the right to healthy and sustainable food in cities.

Most people now live in cities – the urban population will triple by 2050. This poses a problem: City dwellers on all continents are increasingly suffering from excess weight, among other reasons because of the increase in consumption of processed industrial foods. ‘Supermarketisation’ is proceeding apace. How can the right to healthy, sustainably produced food be enforced for city dwellers? How can farmers in areas around urban centres contribute to and benefit from this? 

Food policy councils have been tackling issues like these for some time. A growing force in the English-speaking world for over 35 years, more than 50 food policy councils have also been formed in the German speaking world in the past five years.

Food policy council network coordinator Anna Wissmann reported on these at the expert discussion ‘Food policy councils – German experience as inspiration for development cooperation’ at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Bonn, Germany, on 1st October 2019. 

The networks are multi-stakeholder platforms: Civil society organisations work with politicians, administrators and businesses (e.g.

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