A food strategy for Berlin
Yesterday, the Berlin Senate Department for Justice and Consumer Protection presented its draft Food Strategy for Berlin to an interested audience in a public event titled Entwicklung einer zukunftsfähigen Berliner Ernährungsstrategie [Development of a sustainable food strategy for Berlin]. Organised by the Senate Department, the morning of the day-long event was dedicated to a series of subject-related inputs and associated feedbacks and the afternoon to break-away workshops in smaller groups.
Christine Pohl who, like Katrin Bohn, co-initiated the Berlin Food Policy Council with the AG Stadt & Ernährung, held the keynote speech. Her keynote was framed by speeches of the Senator for Justice and Consumer Protection and the State Secretary for Consumer Protection and Antidiscrimination which underlines how far the citizen-led efforts for a more sustainable food system in Berlin have advanced during just 5 years.
In his welcoming, the Senator said:
‘Berlin gesund und nachhaltig ernähren, das ist das Ziel, welchem sich die deutsche Hauptstadt im Jahr 2015 mit der Unterzeichnung des „Milan Urban Food Policy Act“ selbst verpflichtet hat. Ende 2017 schließlich fiel der Startschuss der „Berliner Ernährungsstrategie“ mit einer Kick-off-Veranstaltung. Dort wurden Ideen bezüglich eines langfristigen Ernährungskonzepts für die Berliner Bevölkerung vorgestellt und erste Handlungsabläufe angestoßen. Gemeinsam arbeiten Akteurinnen und Akteure aus Politik, Verwaltung, Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Zivilgesellschaft seitdem an der erfolgreichen Ausarbeitung.
[To feed Berlin in a healthy and sustainable way is the goal to which the German capital has committed itself by signing the “Milan Urban Food Policy Act” in 2015. Finally, at the end of 2017, the “Berlin Food Strategy” was launched with a kick-off event. At this event, ideas for a long-term nutrition concept for the Berlin population were presented and the first courses of action were initiated. Since then, actors from politics, administration, business, science and civil society have been working together on the successful development of the strategy]’.
This is indeed true and points to the specific situation of food policy advocates in Berlin: after the foundation of the AG Stadt & Ernährung in 2014, this group suggested to the Senate to become signatories of the Milan Pact. Whilst it was not possible to later set up one joint food policy council, Berlin is now lucky to have two parallel developments which – as the Senator pointed out – work hand-in-hand: the citizen-led Ernährungsrat Berlin [Food Policy Council Berlin], founded in 2016, and a Food Working Group within the Senate Department, set up a little later.
In the draft Food Strategy Berlin, the Working Group has formulated 8 areas of action, goals and concrete measures with which the transformation process is initiated. Many people and interest groups contributed to this, including the Berlin Food Policy Council. The fields of action show that food is a cross-cutting issue and affects numerous policy areas, from environmental protection, social policy, health, economic promotion, food education in day-care centres and schools, agriculture and urban planning. It will now be amended using yesterday’s comments as well as other feedback.
The draft Food Strategy for Berlin can be found here.
Information about the AG Stadt & Ernährung can be found here.
Image: Berlin isst so. Unsere Ernährungsstrategie. A word play on ‘Berlin is like this. [Berlin ist so.]’ and ‘Berlin eats like this. [Berlin isst so.] [source: SenJVA www 2019]