New Living Library launched to influence sustainable food systems

The COACH project’s ‘Living Library’, showcasing good-practice examples of collaborative short food supply chains is now live. The new digital resource includes more than 30 concrete examples of how collaboration can help to scale up short agri-food chains to create win-wins for producers and consumers and drive locally led innovation. 

Image: ConServe Project (Lucca, Italy) – produce at market, Photo Credit: Andrea Marescotti

The COACH consortium hopes that the Living Library will be an invaluable information hub for farmers, civic food networks, consumers, and policy makers, to support the transition to agroecology-based food systems across Europe. Additional materials including policy briefs, scientific articles and multimedia toolkits will be continuously uploaded during the three-year project. The launch of the Living Library and the good practice examples, known as “beacons”, is an important milestone in the consortium’s efforts to facilitate knowledge and information exchange.

“The Living Library is an important tool to bring the experiences of small and medium-scale farmers to the attention of policy makers. The organisations involved in COACH believe that authorities should implement public policies that prioritise the needs of food producers and consumers to achieve collaborative short food chains and encourage the growth of territorial food systems.”

– Professor Moya Kneafsey, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry university

At a European level, collaboration between different local actors is essential to ensure the EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy (which aims to build fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food systems), includes the measures and tools needed to truly “leave no one behind”. In particular, the project’s focus on sustainable public sector food procurement looks to inform the legislative framework for sustainable food systems being developed by the EU.

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