Identifying Responsible and Sustainable Food Initiatives to promote a sustainable farming and food transition.
The French organisation RESOLIS, acting on the need to engage a transition of the now largely globalised agricultural and food system, has been implementing a programme on responsible and sustainable food (RSF) since 2013. RESOLIS is focused on the local initiatives of the actors of the food production and consumption chain who are applying the specifications of food transition, namely re-territorialising food systems and combating the negative social, environmental, cultural and educational externalities of the dominant food system. Its work is aimed at identifying and analysing local RSF initiatives, examining the action of local authorities and the public policies likely to promote RSF, and acting in favour of a farming and food transition.
RESOLIS started its work by identifying responsible and sustainable food initiatives (RSFIs) and establishing a “100 RSFI” reference in France. This work was accomplished by students involved in the project, in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems and Régions de France, and resulted in a publication in 2015 (see note).
RESOLIS then worked with several regions of France and extended its network of partner schools, which allowed it to identify a set of 350 French local initiatives engaged in the transition and to publish it in its online observatory resolis.org.
Since 2015, partners from other countries have adopted its method for identifying and characterising initiatives. RESOLIS has published the results of its work with Quebec and Costa Rica. Processes have been engaged in that are using the same methods with local partners in West Africa (Senegal, Togo and Benin), Latin America (Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil), and in the Mediterranean region (Spain, Tunisia), the latter of which led to the publication of a special issue of the RESOLIS journal on “territorialised food systems in the Mediterranean”.
The UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) represents 800 world regions. RESOLIS and Régions de France co-facilitate a working group on “territorial governance, safety and food transition” set up by Régions de France under the UCLG. The group coordinates a programme called “Regions of the World and food transition”, which includes a pilot project called “10 regions, 1000 RSFIs”. A call to participate was issued to the world’s regions to establish a set of 10 regions.
Parallel to its work on RSF initiatives, RESOLIS has begun work to identify and characterise “public policy measures supporting the development of RSF”. Indeed, public policy support measures as well as the interaction between producers and local authorities are key factors in the dynamics of the farming and food transition.
Note: Our appreciation to Henri Rouillé d’Orfeuil for having accepted our publication of the attached article originally published in RESOLIS No. 19: “Combating precariousness, 60 initiatives for food in solidarity” (in French), 18 January 2018.
The journal is available here