The short and gloomy end-of-November days in our partner city Kolding in Southern Denmark were not only illuminated by beautiful lights and decorations of the starting Christmas season, but also by the enthusiasm of 60 partners from all over Europe, gathering for the 5th Periodic Meeting of FUSILLI.
If we had to sum up the essence of the remarks our FUSILLI partners and cities had about the last few months since we met in Oslo for the first time earlier this year, it would probably be “What a busy summer it has been!”. Prior to the meeting itself, all 12 cities recorded videos of their activities from the last few months (of which we will publish some on this website soon). Two of the planned four years of FUSILLI have passed and all Living Labs are in full force, implementing countless activities to transform their urban food systems, as displayed in the videos. So even before all partners arrived in Kolding on November 23, it was clear that there is a lot to share and discuss.
FUSILLI aims to find successful ‘recipes‘ for sustainable urban food system transformation. Each city tests a different recipe because the type of ‘ingredients‘ or their combination is always slightly different. With the support of scientific partners, FUSILLI aims to find out which recipes “have the best taste” and to reveal the reasons for it. Is it one specific ingredient? Is it a specific combination of ingredients? Could it be the way the recipe is cooked? Or is it the skill of a certain chef that makes the recipe so delicious? To find answers for these questions and align ongoing and upcoming activities, the FUSILLI consortium poured its energy and creativity into a number of intense workshops and discussion rounds over the course of three days.
Gallery: Participating in the workshop during the meeting. Click the arrows to see more pictures!
Attentive followers of FUSILLI might have discovered the claim “Urban Food Planning” under our project logo. The meeting in Kolding particularly revolved around a central aspect of FUSILLI: Urban Food Plans. In contrast to what one might think at first, an Urban Food Plan is not a single document, but an umbrella term for a couple of things that set the basis for a sustainable urban food system: a strategy to form and maintain an Urban Food Policy Council, a plan for actions to be implemented, a Food Policy Plan or a set of policies, programs or recommendations relevant for the city, an analysis of the current state of the Urban Food System, and so on. Unravelling this concept and discussing how it can be put into practice kept the consortium busy for many hours.
Designing successful EU project meetings is a skill that should never be underestimated. Condensing presentations, workshops, discussions, networking and site visits in 2-3 days while making sure the energy level of all participants remains high to digest a high amount of complex information is a challenge which the organization team of the City of Kolding and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) mastered with excellence. A major part of the success was the integration of local actors into the meeting, amongst others a group of volunteers that rescues food in Kolding and provided a rescued dinner for the consortium on the first day of the meeting, a small-scale farmer who talked about the economic aspects of his work or an organization that sells Somalian sambusas, a delicious snack prepared by a group of Somalian women for who this work provides the opportunity to contribute and to integrate in society.
Site visit to Kolding’s Foodlab and Community Fridges. Gallery: Click the arrows to see more pictures!
The meeting in Kolding showed the richness of all ongoing and planned activities in FUSILLI. The richness has its challenges, as it is hard to keep track of all processes and make sure that everybody shares a common understanding of how the work should be done. The consortium used the meeting to establish this common understanding and align with each other what to do in the next few months.
For the 6th periodic meeting next year, the consortium will meet in the South for the first time, in the city of Turin.
The FUSILLI Consortium at Kolding. Gallery: Click the arrows to see more pictures!
Author: Regine Wehner, FUSILLI Project Manager, SEZ
Credits to images: FUSILLI project