Promoting sustainable food

Supporting short supply chains with policies that bring producers and consumers closer together.

Technical specifications

Local emerging economies
Project date:
In progress
Activities, Reports and publications, Projects
City Councils, Citizens, Businesses, Entities
Commercial sector, Food system
To bring metropolitan area food producers and consumers into closer contact in order to foster social and environmental responsibility, to ensure the traceability of the food supply chain and to stimulate local food supply.


The aim of the project is to lend support to short food supply chains with policies that bring producers and consumers closer together. AMB wants to stimulate these projects and to facilitate the development of pilot programmes and experimentation.

Local products find their way to consumers mainly via a short food supply chain or via direct sale by the producer. As an initial step to implement this food policy strategy, a working group under the Barcelona Metropolitan Plan has drafted a definition of these short supply lines. Food distribution meets these criteria if it contributes to climate change mitigation, there are a limited number of intermediaries between the producer and consumer, the origin of the products is within Catalonia and there are relational models that strike a balance between society and the territory.

Food producers in the metropolitan area can choose from between three or four different distribution channels, but direct sale from the farm and sale at third-party shops are the preferred options. These sales methods contribute to conservation, avoid intermediaries, help boost the public's knowledge of the food supply chain, encourage healthy consumption habits and promote the direct transfer of products from producers to consumers.

A study carried out by Institut Cerdà for the Barcelona Metropolitan Plan working group identified various areas related to food distribution with room for improvement. The study suggested expanding the information available about local food distribution and about the metropolitan area food system in general. It posed a need to improve the poor coordination between the strategies and initiatives in this field of the area's various public entities and to spread knowledge of existing legal regulations. Finally, the report recommended exerting control over certification systems. In order to boost demand, it is necessary to create structures to aid local food sales, to train producers to manage sales channels and to provide incentives for the sale of local food.



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