European Cities Aim To Improve Food Systems Sustainability

The FOOD TRAILS project – which was launched in 2020 by Horizon2020 – recently announced a Call for Solutions to improve the sustainability of food systems in 11 European cities. Participating cities include: Bergamo, Birmingham, Bordeaux Métropole, Copenhagen, Funchal, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Groningen, Milan, Thessaloniki, Tirana, and Warsaw. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to develop pilot projects within these living labs, form strategic alliances, collaborate with key stakeholders, and meet potential investors.

“Today, more than ever, it is essential to innovate and renew agrifood supply chains to make them more sustainable and ready for the challenges of the present. This call gives the best start-ups and SMEs in this field the chance to become part of a unique and European project such as the FOOD TRAILS project,” said Carlo Mango, Managing Director of Cariplo Factory, a partner in the project. “This project represents a real and concrete opportunity for innovation in the food system and connects Milan to numerous realities on a large scale, thanks to the sharing of ideas between institutions, food system actors and innovative companies.”

The call is seeking startups and SMEs that can develop strategic services and solutions related to seven different areas of challenge:

  • education and training – raising awareness through workshops, cooking classes, school visits,etc;
  • communication and involvement – building informed civic communities;
  • reducing food waste – along with optimizing food distribution;
  • data collection and monitoring;
  • access to healthy food and production processes – including vulnerable groups;
  • urban agriculture and vegetable gardens; and
  • food packaging – implementing sustainable packaging.

The application deadline is 16 February 2023.

“Through the FOOD TRAILS project, the city of Milan has initiated and strengthened collaborations with several European cities to foster the exchange of knowledge and good practices on the theme of food policy in urban areas,” stated Municipality of Milan Vice Mayor Anna Scavuzzo. “In particular, the research and innovation actions on the food system, which are relevant areas for Milan’s Food Policy and are carried out together with Fondazione Cariplo and Cariplo Factory, will allow us to engage new start-ups on the theme of sustainability and to enlarge the number of stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Food Policy.”