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The successful 2nd edition of the Brazilian Lab on Urban Food Policies

photo: Juliana Rossini

The second edition of LUPPA LAB - Lab on Urban Food Policies took place between February 1st and 3rd, 2023, hosted by São Paulo city. The LAB is one of LUPPA’s activities, the Brazilian Lab on Urban Food Policies, where representatives from various Brazilian municipalities come together to work on the construction of an integrated agenda for Food and Nutrition Security - FNS - and climate in their cities.

Over the days of the LAB, more than 140 people were involved in making this event happen. 26 cities that are members of the LUPPA community brought more than 70 participants to São Paulo, including representatives both from the municipalities and the local civil society, through local policy councils. Attending cities were Abaetetuba (Pará), Alto Paraíso de Goiás (Goiás), Alvarães (Amazonas), Anchieta (Santa Catarina), Araraquara (São Paulo), Barcarena (Pará), Belém (Pará), Bragança (Pará), Contagem (Minas Gerais), Jundiaí (São Paulo), Maracanaú (Ceará), Maricá (Rio de Janeiro), Niterói (Rio de Janeiro), Nova Lima (Minas Gerais), Palmas (Tocantins), Pindamonhangaba (São Paulo), Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), Rio Branco (Acre), Santarém (Pará), Sobral (Ceará), and Vitória do Mearim (Maranhão), in addition to the 5 LUPPA’s mentor cities, Curitiba (Paraná), Osasco (São Paulo), Recife (Pernambuco), Salvador (Bahia), and São Paulo(São Paulo) - which also hosted the event. The LAB was also attended by 30 guests, including food policy experts, government officials, partners and supporters of LUPPA, such as representatives of São Paulo City Hall - the host-city, Ministry of Social Development and Assistance, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Finally, LUPPA´s team, responsible for carrying out the event, gathered approximately 40 people, among facilitators, production team and the organizers Comida do Amanhã Institute and ICLEI South America staff members.

Throughout the event it was also possible to watch several "inspiration pills", by short videos recorded especially for this second edition of LUPPA LAB. Invited guests to give these “inspiration pills” were representatives of Brazilian Universities, the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE - Committee on World Food Security), a Brazilian indigenous association and the National Forum of Food Security and Nutrition for Traditional Peoples of African Matrix.

It is worth noting that LUPPA LAB is part of a year-long program that delivers an extended repertoire of tools for cities to become better able to develop their local food policy strategies. This immersive moment of the LAB, methodologically planned in advance with the support and expertise of Reos Partners, featured a journey on systems thinking, extended collaboration, intersectionality, and urban food policy planning.

In this second edition of LUPPA LAB, attendees enjoyed 25 hours of immersion in practical activities, group work and field visits. The latter ones were definitely a highlight of the event. Organized and offered by São Paulo City Hall, with the purpose of sharing references in public practices and public equipment, 3 different and simultaneous routes through the city were carried out during the second day of the LAB.,.

The first route had as its central theme the fight against food waste; participants visited the Central Food Bank and Reference Center for Food and Nutritional Security in Vila Maria - North Zone of São Paulo and the neighboring fruits & vegetable street market, which takes part in the local Program Against Food Waste.

The second route theme was gender, urban agriculture and nutritional education, and attendees visited the Women's Nursery School of the Urban Agriculture Group in the East Zone of the city and the Center for Nutrition Recovery and Education located in the same region.

Finally, the third route visited two urban gardens developed under power electricity lines - “Horta da Sebastiana” and “Horta Avaí” - besides São Mateus Composting Yard, initiatives also located in the East Zone of São Paulo.

Organizing LUPPA LAB and getting all these cities engaged in the program increases the potential for food systems transformation, by putting such topic in the center of the political agenda of municipalities. LUPPA has the potential to impact the reality of more than 5 million people spread across municipalities of different sizes and realities in North, Northeast, South and Southeast regions of Brazil.

LUPPA is a project designed and coordinated by Comida do Amanhã Institute, in co-realization with ICLEI South America, with full support of Ibirapitanga Institute and Institute for Climate and Society (ICS), special support of European Union Delegation in Brazil, Embrapa, and WWF Brazil, and institutional support from ACT Health Promotion, Alimentação Consciente Brasil, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - FAO Brazil, and Humane Society International, with methodological support of Reos Partners Brazil.

Our second edition counts with mentoring from mentor cities Curitiba, Osasco, Recife, Salvador e São Paulo and from organizations: Chair Josué de Castro of Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems of University of São Paulo, CECANE - Collaborating Center in School Feeding and Nutrition of Federal University of Amazonas, GEPPAAS - Group of Studies, Research and Practices in Food Environment and Health of Federal University of Minas Gerais, GEPAD - Groups of Studies on Agriculture, Food and Development of Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, IDEC - Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense, Kairós Ethics and Responsible Care Institute, and Regenera Institute.

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