Challenges, Categories and Actions

The Barcelona Challenge for Good Food and Climate addresses two key issues: the mitigation of and adaptation to the climate emergency, through a commitment to transform local agri-food systems to ensure access to sufficient, sustainable, healthy and nutritious diets for all, therefore preventing food vulnerability and enhancing food justice.

1. Cities will be able to commit to a specific reduction in their agri-food systems’ GHG emissions. The Barcelona Challenge for Good Food and Climate Toolkit can be used to estimate the projected magnitude of this reduction based on the proposals established in international scientific research. The toolkit also enables the user to estimate other multi-dimensional benefits (socio-ecological benefits and economic returns) of adopting healthy and sustainable diets for all. Cities are encouraged to commit beyond the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) which are at the heart of the Paris Agreement.

The Barcelona Challenge aims to overcome these challenges by inspiring and supporting specific action under the six action categories of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact over the 2021-2030 period. For each category there is a main focus for the actions to be undertaken.

Ensuring an enabling environment for effective action (governance)

The main focus for The Barcelona Challenge in this category is to establish coherent and participative governance mechanisms that allow for the co-production of public policies on climate, food justice, nutrition security and nature, in order to strengthen food systems resilience in the face of extreme climate events, and include food in local Climate Action Plans.

Action 1.1
Create a working group/Department responsible for coordinating sustainable and healthy food policies within local government, ensuring transversal cooperation between at least the following municipal departments: economic development, health, environment, education, security, social rights and equality, in order to strengthen the agro-ecological transition, provide multilevel policy coherence, whilst ensuring urban/rural partnership.
Action 1.2
Strengthen stable partnerships and cooperation between local administrations and civil society, community organisations, business sectors and other stakeholders committed to ensuring the right to food for all, through the co-production of just, healthy, nutritious and sustainable food policies.
Action 1.3
Actively work with international platforms and networks and commit to declarations of action aimed at improving the sustainability of local food systems (such as MUFPP, C40, national networks or/and Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration).
Action 1.4
Reinforce municipal commitments by establishing a roadmap to ensure access to sustainable food and diets for all, with a particular focus on food-vulnerable people, to be implemented once a state of climate emergency has been declared.
Action 1.5
Embed food and climate nexus in existing municipal policies, plans and strategies.
Action 1.6
Commit to a quantitative reduction in GHG emissions in the agri-food system by 2030.

Sustainable diets and nutrition

The main focus is to ensure the transition to sufficient, sustainable, nutritious and culturally appropriate diets for the entire population, in line with the Planetary Health Diet guidelines by increasing overall healthy plant-based food consumption and fully aligning public food procurement with the Planetary Health Diet by 2030.

Action 2.1
Procure Planetary Health Diet alignment of compliant foods for all public sector catering (school canteens, hospitals and other public bodies).
Action 2.2
Run campaigns to raise public awareness and to commit residents with the Planetary Health Diet or a similar diet based on locally produced, sustainable and healthy food, rich in plant-based foods (fruit, vegetables, cereals, legumes and nuts), with a reduced consumption of meat and dairy and ultra-processed food high in fat, sugar and salt.
Action 2.3
Encourage distinction of types of livestock production systems (industrial, agroecological) and their impact on the environment, landscape, health, etc.
Action 2.4
Promote the adoption of the Planetary Health Diet or a similar one in the hospitality sector by putting sustainable and healthy food on the menu of hotels, restaurants and cafés, and in the food service industry as a whole.
Action 2.5
Ban or limit advertisement on unhealthy foods and also ban or limit exposure to unhealthy foods (i.e. healthy food environments around schools).

The Barcelona Challenge main focus in this category is to embed the Planetary Health Diet and sustainable (agroecological) food supply approaches within services and programs addressing food vulnerability and poverty with special consideration given to children's and other vulnerable groups' diet.

Action 3.1
Enable access to local, sustainable and/or organic food in social food provision facilities such as food banks, community kitchens, social supermarkets, delivery services for the vulnerable, voucher schemes, in line with the requirements of the Planetary Health Diet or a similar diet.
Action 3.2
Enhance community food initiatives by providing access to collective facilities (community kitchens, food hubs, etc.) to promote the management of and access to sustainable food and healthy diets for all, as well as supporting local production and consumption networks (food cooperatives, buying groups, etc.).
Action 3.3
Ensure wide access to local and organic food through public food procurement policies, founded on the Planetary Health Diet or a similar one.
Action 3.4
Make available infrastructure and services (such as public transport, building spaces, municipal plant nurseries, multi-purpose processing centres etc.) as well as agricultural land for the community co-management of the production, processing, storage and distribution of local, agro-ecological food to ensure sufficient supply for the whole population, in the face of extreme events.

Food production

The main focus is to promote sustainable, socially fair and equitable forms of production and processing of local, healthy food by ensuring the territorial planning and management of local resources.

Action 4.1
Train farmers in organic and agro-ecological production practices.
Action 4.2
Promote multifunctional peri-urban agricultural parks that incorporate land banks, farm business incubators and community seed banks, which will promote sustainable agri-food production and boost local food supply.
Action 4.3
Promote efficient and sustainable water consumption, which includes the use of reclaimed water in gardening and local agricultural production.
Action 4.4
Promote green infrastructure networks, open spaces and ecological corridors (hedges, urban gardens, etc.) that are connected to sustainable urban and rural agricultural activities.

Food supply and distribution

The main focus is to re-territorialise and restructure socially and economically viable food distribution and logistics networks (via wholesale, municipal or farmers markets, local food networks, small food retailers and public food procurement services) to adapt them to extreme events and to reduce impact on nature and communities.

Action 5.1
Organise and activate the necessary logistics, infrastructure and resources to supply, distribute and prepare local, nutritious and organic food, in line with the right to food guidelines and the Planetary Health Diet or a similar diet for the needs of public food procurement (school canteens, hospitals and other public bodies).
Action 5.2
Provide public and accessible spaces for the distribution of local, nutritious and organic produce: wholesale, municipal or farmers markets; local food networks; small food retailers, etc.
Action 5.3
Produce updated maps and online directories of local agro-ecological food supply chain actors, including producers, processing units and distribution points.
Action 5.4
Provide and improve urban infrastructure (traffic-free streets, cycle lanes) for the non-motorised home delivery of local and sustainable food, support local community distribution networks, especially during extreme climate events.

Food waste

The main focus is to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030 (from a 2015 baseline), and reuse and recycle food waste and other food-related waste.

Action 6.1
Organise communication campaigns to encourage consumers to change their habits in order to prevent food loss and waste.
Action 6.2
Develop a regulatory framework that limits food waste and practices that increase it, throughout the supply chain (i.e. for producers, processors, the food service industry, and retailers).
Action 6.3
Implement distinct food waste collection systems in hotels, restaurants, the catering sector, schools, hospitals and households, by introducing the necessary logistical developments. Ensure clear information and specific infrastructure (bins, compostable bags, etc.), particularly at the early stages of implementation in order to facilitate the adoption of the scheme.
Action 6.4
Support the development of composting systems (to obtain organic fertiliser), systems that transform urban food waste into animal feed, and/or energy recovery plants (through which biogas and biomethane can be obtained).
Action 6.5
Support business initiatives that reduce packing, promote the reuse of packaging and develop and use sustainable packaging alternatives that reduce plastics throughout the food supply chain.