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    Flevo Campus Think Tank presents Municipal Food Manifesto

    Almere, the greenest, healthiest and most edible city of the Netherlands

    Supplying cities with sufficient, high quality food stands to be one of the most pressing issues in the future. The city of Almere actively anticipates on this matter by including foodsupply and –production on their political agenda. Initiatives such as the Floriade 2022, the Flevo Food Network and FoodChains 4 EU show that Almere is capable and willing to invest in becoming an innovator in the area of sustainable food consumption, -supply, -production and -education.

    We believe Almere can become the greenest, healthiest and most edible city of the Netherlands and beyond. A city with well-educated inhabitants who can make responsible decisions in regards to food consumption and focuses on using local resources to boost Flevo economy. To become a trendsetter in this area of field the municipality of Almere should play an active role. This means investing in local food initiatives; responding to the cultural diversity in Almere, investing in food education and research at university, but also primary-, secondary school and day cares; fulfilling a connecting role between the private sector and its inhabitants and setting the right example by making conscious and healthy food decisions within its own institution. If we take more interest each other’s cultural and social differences and similarities through food, this results in an economy boost in a greener, healthier and more sustainable city, but also creates more cohesion amongst the people in Almere.

     

    Recommendations

    The signatories of this manifesto insist that the 7 points bellow be included in the coalition agreement.

     

    Health

    Make healthy choices easier

    In the next 4 years…
    The municipality removes all obstacles that disable citizens to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Almere creates the most healthy food environment in the Netherlands.

    • Ban on new fast food restaurants in the city centre of Almere.
    • Ban on new fast food restaurants nearby schools, educational institutions, hospitals and public buildings.
    • Only support or provide subsidy for youth events at which at least 80% of the food supply is healthy.

    Healthy residents are crucial for a vital society. In Almere the percentage of children under the age of 19 who have obesity is above the national average. The municipality cannot oblige its inhabitants to eat healthy, but can facilitate in reducing unhealthy food supplies. By focusing on a younger audience, inhabitants of Almere learn to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices at a young age.

     

    City region planning

    Almere becomes the edible city of the Netherlands

    In the next 4 years…
    Almere will become an Edible City, where urban green areas are converted into edible green areas.

    • The urban greening employees are retrained into urban farmers.
    • The municipality stops with the use of pesticides in urban green areas.
    • Picking and harvesting edible plants and foods will be stimulated instead of restrained.

    The municipality has insight into all data of the urban green areas in the city. This data shows that there are
    many edible plants around and in Almere. We want to raise this to a higher plan by converting all urban greenery into edible green, which Almeerders can pick themselves. The urban greening employees can
    be retrained to urban farmers to maintain employment in this sector. If necessary, long-term unemployed
    people or people with disabilities can support the maintenance of the edible green areas.

     

    Public procurement

    Almere primarily buys regional food

    In the next 4 years…
    The municipality will set the right example by adjusting its public procurement policy. The municipality’s public procurement policy is being revised and will boost the local economy.

    • 80% of all products that are sold in the municipal catering come from Dutch farmers.
    • 50% of these products come from Flevoland.

    Municipalities often enter long-term collaborations with caterers and tenders. By making this process more flexible, we hope to create more opportunity within the municipality of Almere to collaborate with healthy local tenders. This will stimulate the local economy.

     

    City and hinterland

    Priority for local food entrepreneurs

    In the next 4 years…
    The municipality of Almere will stimulate the sale of agricultural products from Flevoland in the city. The municipality offers farmers in the area a realistic alternative to producing for the world market.

    • 50% of the food that is offered in the city comes from entrepreneurs who are part of the Flevo Food Network.
    • Local entrepreneurs get priority when granting permits for stores and on the market.
    • At least 50% of the food that is sold on the market at the city hall square must come from local and regional farmers and producers.

    By bringing food that is produced within the province to the city as much as possible, the local economy gets a boost. The municipality can play a role in this by supporting and expanding existing initiatives such as the Flevo Food Network. The market regulation must be adjusted accordingly and the origin of all food must be visible on the products.

     

    Circularity

    Almere connects waste from the city with recycled agriculture

    In the next 4 years…
    Almere will become the leader in a circular food system and transition to circular economy. Linking the city and the hinterland gives substance to the reuse of waste streams and recycled agriculture.

    • Almere supports at least 50 initiatives that contribute to the transitions to a circular economy.
    • Within 4 years the municipality of Almere will recycle all of its waste or convert it into new products.

    Food waste is an urgent topic on the political agenda. There already are various initiatives in Almere that help reduce food wastage and surplus and stimulate self-reliance in the city. Think of initiatives such as the social food communities: Buitengewoon and Voedselloket. But also competitions such as Upcycle City and the  Upcycle perron can be used to prevent food waste.

     

    Innovation

    Opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs in agriculture and food

    In the next 4 years…
    Almere becomes frontrunner in the area of innovation in food and the city. The municipality provides space for entrepreneurs and researchers who have new ideas to make the food system more sustainable.

    • The municipality continues to actively support education, innovation and research, which will result in more local employment in the food industry.

    By making the university a central part of the city, you keep people working and learning in this industry in the city. By encouraging research that focuses on innovative food themes the municipality can contribute to a healthier, more prosperous Almere. In addition, we advise the municipality to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise through exhibitions, network meetings and by setting up knowledge centres such as
    the Floriade Almere 2022. And we advise the municipality to stimulate the plans to set up a multicultural food market similar to World of Food in Amsterdam.

     

    Education

    Food education accessible for all residents of Almere

    In the next 4 years…
    The municipality will offer all its residents, if they wish, different forms of education in the area of food and healthy living.

    • Knowledge and expertise of educational institutions will be shared with citizens through network meetings and through other creative forms. The focus during these meetings will be on cultural diversity in eating habits.
    • All schools in Almere will have a vegetable garden. In order to realise this the municipality will start conversations with school boards.

    It is important to learn at a young age how to deal with (healthy) food in a responsible way. A program such as Jong Leren Eten contributes to a healthy and sustainable generation. We advise the municipality to use initiatives such as this one and continue to encourage initiators of these types of projects.

     

    A diverse group of 19 students and young professionals studied the food policy in Almere over the past few  months. With this manifesto they hope to put food back on the political agenda.

    Adele Wilson, Anne Luz Pijnenburg, Daphne de Bruin, Dinah Hoffmann, Elise te Kaat, John van de Lagemaat, Katharina Duran, Keri van den Heuvel, Kristine Carter, Liesbeth Akkerman, Lisheng Jiang, Marco van Zelst,  Philip Elders, Sander de Laat, Sara Brouwer, Serena Korf, Thijmen van Loon, Toby Jones en Tom Prins.