Through the program “Feed the City” of Agenda 21 service – Sustainable city, Alfonso GomezMayor, in charge of the Department of Finance, Environment and Housing, recalled that Geneva has a long and strong commitment to promoting the short circuits. The municipality in no way seeks to ban meat from its territory but aims, in accordance with the Climate strategy adopted by the entire Administrative Council in 2021, to reduce its consumption, as recommended by theFederal Office for the Environment (OFEV), the WHO or the IPCC, to achieve the objectives in the fight against climate change and for health reasons.
AgriGeneva insisted for his part on the fact that the farming conditions prevailing in Geneva are not those that can be encountered in other countries. Themes on meat removed from the circular context of agriculture endanger the agronomic balance of agricultural land provided by the natural amendments necessary for the production of Geneva food products. On the other hand, pastures contribute to sequester a lot of carbon allowing to reach the objective of the 4 per thousand adopted at COP21 in Paris.
An objective linked to scientific recommendations
There city of geneva recalled that the 10% meat products indicated in the City’s sustainable food charter correspond to the share that comes closest to scientific recommendations. This is an objective for municipal institutions offering a catering service and for events organized by the City, while keeping the notion of short circuits. During these events, stand managers are encouraged to increase vegetarian menus, but also to use local suppliers as a priority, especially meat.
AgriGenève and all the sectors are fully aware climate, social and economic issues which need to be addressed. In this sense, they proposed to highlight more in this charter the economic and social aspects of sustainable development. It is indeed a challenge for the entire sector (producers, butchers, processors, bakers, etc.) to be able to maintain an activity that guarantees jobs under the Geneva framework conditions and apprenticeship places, for example.
Increased efforts to promote local products
The discussion concluded on the need toimprove communication between all the actors and actresses mentioned, all along the chain from the fork to the plate. This includes when major changes occur in orders to City partners, particularly in terms of deadlines.
In close collaboration, the City, AgriGenève and their various partners will redouble their efforts to promote the supply and consumption of quality local products and thus reduce imports. It will be specified in the charter that the 10% of meat must be overwhelmingly local or Swiss. Indeed, the necessary reduction of animal proteins in our diet should not be done on the back of local production, but on the share of imported meat.
In addition, particular attention will be paid to events organized on the territory of the City by itself or third parties. Local productions are often forgotten when they frequently have the means to meet demand. On both sides, the desire to promote local sectors (bakery, butchery, vegetables, flowers, dairy products, fruits, etc.) displaying criteria of quality, proximity, traceability and fairness (in particular GRTA) is present ; demand can only strengthen supply.
Finally, in the same very positive spirit as the discussion held, AgriGenève and the sectors will invite the Administrative Council of the City to a farm this fall so that the exchange can continue.
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