The role of local and regional authorities in making food systems more sustainable

Contracting Party: Progress Consulting S.r.l. (subcontracting within the Framework Contract for studies in the fields of agriculture, health and maritime policy with the European Committee of the Regions)

Period: 2020


This study, led by Progress Consulting S.r.l., investigates food policy governance structures and approaches at the local and regional levels which are used to make territorial food systems more sustainable. The aim is twofold: 1) to understand the role of European local and regional authorities (LRAs) in territorial food system governance and 2) to outline LRAs’ contribution to the European Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy (COM(2020) 381 final) published on 20 May 2020. Part 1 of this study presents 20 examples of territorial food policy governance structures/approaches in some cities, rural and coastal/island areas from nine EU Member States. When public local and/or regional authorities are directly involved, four main types of approaches are identified: LRAs as regulators, LRAs as implementers, LRAs as partners and/or LRAs as facilitators. Likewise, it is found that citizens are increasingly part of the transition process of food systems to more sustainable patterns, and there is an evident trend to an increasing inclusion of citizens’ representatives in food systems’ governance structures. Part 2 concludes on the role of LRAs in making food systems more sustainable by means of their current contribution to the implementation of the Farm to Fork  Strategy and also proposes recommendations related to an effective functioning and suitability of the governance structures/approaches based on the collected evidence.