Making choices about the food we want, in addition to being a fundamental attitude for our health, is an important political act.
The decisions we make every day about the food we are going to consume have positive or negative environmental, social and economic impacts on production chains. OManifesto for the Food of Tomorrowbrings some of the main issues related to food andCommitment Letteremerges as a proposal for a responsible and transversal public policy on this agenda, for a healthier and more sustainable diet in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Challenges and Opportunities
The issue of food in Brazil today is an urgent topic. The country is one of the largest consumers of pesticides in the world and the food chains are highly wasteful. In addition, while the country has moved off the hunger map in recent years, rising obesity rates raise public health concerns.
Some data illustrate this picture:
- 70% of fresh food consumed in Brazil is contaminated by pesticides;
- 57% of Brazilian adults were overweight in 2015 and the country still has 21.3% of its population obese;
- 30% of the world's food is wasted or lost before reaching the consumer's table;
In parallel, important opportunities are also present and can be leveraged. It is estimated that 70% of the food consumed in Brazil comes from family farming, and that the consumption of organic food grows by about 20% per year. This has been reflected nationally in policies and practical actions such as the mandatory purchase of food from family farming (eg National School Feeding Program - PNAE and National Food Acquisition Program - PAA) or organic/agroecological (eg Municipal Law 16.140 , in São Paulo) in public purchases.
In Rio de Janeiro, society's interest in the origin of food, its effects on health and sustainability in its chains is growing. An example of this is the success of the Carioca Circuit of Organic Fairs and other entrepreneurship initiatives that bring the consumer closer to the producer.
Public authorities are also attentive to these issues: in recent years the municipal government has taken on international commitments such as the Milan Pact for Urban Food, led the C40 (Cities Climate Leadership Group) agenda, was one of the first 100 Resilient Cities, and was certified as a Fair Trade City, which has sustainable production chains as one of its premises, including food.
The institutions and individuals who sign the Manifesto for Tomorrow's Food believe that we need to bring the topic of food into public debate.
Commitment to food starts in the seed and ends back in nature – this cycle cannot be disassociated. It is urgent for reflection and action. We all have a responsibility and a voice on this issue – civil society, companies, academia, public authorities are the cause and consequence of the state of disconnection and lack of control in the relationship with food. Nature is at risk. Health is on the table. Human and social relationships need to be reconnected based on what unifies us despite all differences - food, man's relationship with his origin. Feeding as a form of action.
For a sustainable planet, for more balance, for the right to healthy food, for empowerment through food and transparent information. For access to quality food, for the future of all, of each one, of society, of life, of the planet.
In this context, several institutions and organizations present and sign this Manifesto, commit themselves and propose an agenda for public management and engagement of sectors interested in a healthy and sustainable food future that begins with the actions of the present. The Manifesto for Tomorrow's Food is presented in the form of a petition and a letter of commitment to the future mayor of Rio de Janeiro.
The commitment letter will be delivered to the next mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro, and it brings 8 guidelines that are considered fundamental for a serious and committed look and an effective action on the part of the public power in relation to healthy and sustainable food for Rio de Janeiro .
These are commitments:
To present to the City Council and to commit myself to the approval of the Bill that consolidates and guarantees the continuity of the Circuito Carioca de Feiras Orgânicas, a reference for other cities in Brazil, promoting the sale of healthy and sustainable foods at fair prices, bringing consumers and the producer, and creating means to promote the participation of other rural family entrepreneurs in these spaces;
Implement the National Family Farming Policy (Law 11326/2006) and Law No. 11,947/2009, of the National School Feeding Program, creating the means to, in progressively, reach the goal of at least 30% of food made available in municipal public schools from family farming;
Develop and present to the City Council a Bill with specific goals for the inclusion of organic food and family farming in public purchases, especially in teaching establishments and municipal hospitals;
Encourage urban food production in the city of Rio de Janeiro, both in spaces for public use and in public or public interest buildings, as well as in areas under concession to PPPs (Public-Private Partnerships), with a focus on policies for low-income communities income;
Develop and implement indicators and metrics on food production and consumption in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in an integrated action of several municipal bodies;
Introduce content on healthy and sustainable eating into the curriculum of municipal public schools and support the development of education and awareness campaigns for healthy and sustainable eating among young people and in schools;
Develop strategies and mechanisms for reducing food waste and loss, as well as encouraging the composting of organic waste in the city;
Recognize rural areas of agricultural production in the Master Plan of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro.