Ghent's urban food policy wins UN Climate Action Award


Since 2013, Ghent has regularly launched innovative initiatives aimed at maximising the sustainability of the food chain from start to finish. These cover aspects such as production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management. With its project Gent en Garde, the city has become a real role model worldwide.

The master plan focuses on different food aspects all at the same time. Consumers benefit from organic, vegetarian and seasonal produce, bought from sustainable local city farmers. This keeps the food chain short and transparent, and helps people to stay in touch with their food's origins. Fair trade is also becoming more prominent. By raising awareness of what people are buying, and finding better storage techniques and markets for leftovers, the mountain of food waste should dramatically decline in the future. Organic waste that remains must be composted as much as possible or collected separately for further processing. Ultimately, Gent en Garde reinforces the fact that food brings people together, thus strengthening social cohesion, as well as boosting employment. Ghent also aims to develop and extend existing projects, such as farm retailing, farmers' markets, allotments, social restaurants, vegetarian days, seasonal vegetable subscriptions and fair-trade campaigns.

Gent en Garde was among the examples of innovative, scalable and replicable climate activity selected by an international jury from a total of 670 global entries.