Food Trails is a 4-year European project funded by the Horizon 2020 programme to foster innovation in the food sector and support the development of urban food policies. The overall objective of the project is to identify any administrative barriers to the replicability and transferability of such policies, providing local authorities with evidence-based solutions for the development of sustainable urban food systems. Each city has set up its own Living Labs to coordinate the implementation of food system innovation initiatives, foster the sharing of ideas between institutions and the city’s ecosystem of actors, and attract financial opportunities that contribute to the long-term sustainability of such systems. The project is structured around the four priority areas of the European FOOD 2030 research framework: nutrition and healthy diets, climate and environment, circularity and resource efficiency, and innovation and community empowerment.
Nineteen partners are participating in the project, including 11 cities, 3 universities and 5 major players in the food system. The City of Milan is the project leader, while the other cities are: Bergamo (IT), Birmingham (UK), Bordeaux (FR), Copenhagen (DK), Funchal (PR), Grenoble (FR), Groningen (NL), Thessaloniki (GR), Tirana (AL) and Warsaw (PL) – a total of 7.7 million European citizens. Completing the Food Trails partnership are the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano (IT), Cariplo Factory (IT), Eurocities (BE), Slow Food International (IT), EAT Foundation (NO), and the Universities of Cardiff (UK), Wageningen (NL) and Roskilde (DK). In addition, the 51 participating cities of the Eurocities FOOD Working Group, the signatory cities of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, and 21 other ‘fellows’, i.e. cities without a budget: Toronto, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, La Paz, Mérida, Río de Janeiro, Guangzhou, Seoul, Cape Town, Melbourne, New Haven, Tel Aviv, Baltimore, Washington DC, Mezitli, Kazan, Praia, Quelimane, Curitiba and Guadalajara. Over the four years of the project, Food Trails intends to reach 5,000 decision-makers in all parts of the world between local and national authorities and international bodies. Bergamo has decided to articulate its pilot project around the FOOD 2030 framework ‘nutrition and healthy diets’, launching the food education project La Buona Mensa from the school year 2022-2023.