Food strategy Ghent: Gent en garde

Ghent is a forerunner in the promotion of sustainable food and has developed a comprehensive Food Strategy under the title ‘Gent en Garde’.

Five strategic goals for a sustainable food system

In 2013 the City of Ghent launched ‘Gent en Garde’, a food policy that includes five strategic goals to pave the way for a sustainable food system for Ghent. These goals were decided upon various stakeholder discussions, input from the city administration and political agreement:

  1. A shorter, more visible food chain
  2. More sustainable food production and consumption
  3. The creation of more social added value for food initiatives
  4. Reduce food waste
  5. Optimum reuse of food waste as raw materials

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Governance

Inspired by a similar approach in Bristol and Toronto, the City of Ghent set up a ‘food council’. The Gent en Garde food policy council consists of about 25 members from various sectors, i.e. agriculture, associations, knowledge institutions and commerce. The policy group acts as a sounding board for the city’s policy on food, issuing recommendations on new or existing projects, proposing new ideas, discussing the city’s strategic vision and acting as a major ambassador to help promote the city’s vision on sustainable food production and consumption.

Within this food policy council, a core team was put together to refine the Gent en Garde global goals and to translate them into concrete operational goals. This document contains a set of guidelines for the development of the City of Ghent’s food policy. It is an open invitation to companies, organisations, citizens, associations, knowledge institutions, cultural centres and governments to jointly and creatively develop innovative, local and sustainable food strategies. This document does not mark the end of the process, but rather a step towards a sustainable future for the City of Ghent in a society where sustainability and equity take centre stage.

International cooperation on food