The network adopts a systemic perspective of food system chain, aiming to starting positive change in local economies by promoting a professionalized model of food production, processing, distribution and local consumption, able to supply the proximity demand, to generate local employment and to strongly contribute to the sustainability of urban systems.
As duly noted, the networking approach means a practical perspective, essentially trying to exchange experiences, innovations and case studies that provide real solutions to many common challenges actually faced by those cities.
The following could be outlined among the most significant challenges:
- The need to develop a regulatory framework that addresses the display of these new activities in a context of coexistence with the existing productive and commercial circuits. This framework should prevent conflicts, ensure the health and safety of new marketing and productive conditions or provide security for new relationships between producers and consumers …
- The problems of access to farming lands in cities’ environments, subject to many strong pressures that favour alternative uses and reduce cropping capacity.
- The difficulties of incorporating new professional farmers suffering from the restrictions imposed by both the barriers emerging from agricultural policies and the difficulties in training, investment, sustainability, and social support.
- The availability of soil, infrastructure and mechanisms for the processing, marketing and distribution of local organic products.
- The need for training and education for consumers, boosting the uprising of strong value criteria when purchasing food, as sustainability, social justice or proximity.