The role of cities to boost the circularity of food systems

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Europe is waking up to the transformative power of food in all areas of life - social, economic and environmental. Cities are at the heart of food system transformation. They play a critical strategic role in boosting food circularity. Global food systems are pivotal for population growth, urbanisation and economic development.

It is estimated that there will be around 9 billion people on Earth by 2050, with almost 70% of them living in urban areas. This increase in the global population might require three times more resources than we currently use.
This requirement is problematic since around 80% of all materials are directly discarded after usage, highlighting the need for a circular alternative to the linear “take, make, and dispose of” model.

As part of the EU’s Green Deal, the Farm-to-Fork strategy will attempt to make Europe’s food systems fair, sustainable and healthy.

The University of Turin, the Leadership Group on Food waste, food system, bioeconomy and the ECESP will be holding a #EUCircularTalks event on the role of cities in boosting the circularity of food systems. The event aims to share insights and best practices on how we can help design and build circular food systems that foster the urban food transformation.
From a holistic and multi-stakeholder approach, we want to understand the new role played by local authorities, food companies, farmers, start-ups, digital platforms and individuals in bringing about inclusive, resilient, safe and diverse urban food systems.

Draft agenda

Moderators: Paola De Bernardi and Simona Grande, University of Turin & ICESP

10:00 - 10:20 | Introduction and opening remarks

  • Peter Schmidt | EESC member, President of the Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Section at the EESC
  • Emma Chow | Lead of Food Initiative, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Ander Eizaguirre | Junior Policy Analyst, Water Governance and Circular Economy, Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, OECD

10:20 - 11:00 | Presentation of case studies

Moderators: Simona Grande and Giacomo Pettenati, University of Turin & Turin Food Atlas

Key notes:

  • Cynthia Reynolds | Founder of Circular Regions, a data-driven, mission-oriented solution to accelerate the Circular Economy in Cities & Regions via place-based innovation (video)
  • Cheryl McCulloch | Senior Project Manager at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Circular Glasgow
  • Elisa Porreca | Milan Food Policy Officer FOODTRAILS Project - City of Milan
  • Einar Kleppe Holthe | Managing Partner of Nordic Circular Hotspot. CEO and founder of Natural State, an Oslo based studio specialised in change management and value creation - Nordic countries

11:00 - 11:30 | Panel discussion “Innovation in Urban Food Transformation”

Moderator: Alessio D’Antino, CEO and Founder Forward Fooding

  • Christophe Diercxsens | Global Public Affairs Manager at Too Good To Go
  • David Kat | Senior Vice President Business Development Wasteless
  • Nikolaos Ntavos and Theodoros Gkiourkas | CluBE-Cluster of Bioeconomy & Environment of Western Macedonia HOOP & Scalibur Projects on Urban Biowaste Valorisation

11:30-12:00 | Discussion and Closing remarks

Moderator: Simona Grande, University of Turin & ICESP

  • Karen Fabbri | Deputy Head of Unit Bioeconomy & Food Systems at European Commission
  • Chiara Nobili | ICESP - Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform working groups on AgriFood