Objectives and priorities of the Milan Food Policy

What is a food policy for cities for?
The increasingly urgent and important objective for cities is to work on sustainability, inclusion and equity, and for this reason, through food policies it is possible to think about a shared vision of the city's relationship with food and define the key actions to implement this vision, harmonizing the various projects that the administration carries out on the topic of nutrition.

The Municipality of Milan has defined its own guidelines on Food Policy, identifying objectives and priorities that transversally affect many areas of intervention with respect to: health and sustainability, environment and agriculture, fight against waste and food education and finally research and innovation.

The commitment of the Municipality is therefore to guide the choices that directly or indirectly concern food and water within the framework of its institutional prerogatives and in the activities of its investee companies, in order to improve the quality of life of people and the quality of its territory and to play an innovative role on a national and international level also through the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. 

The Municipality of Milan often also has a role of supporting, stimulating and facilitating all forms of social, technological and organizational innovation that respond to the principles set out in the Food Policy itself and which can contribute to the implementation of the guidelines contained therein .

The Food Policy of Milan

The ten issues of Food Policy

In 2013/2014 the EStà association conducted aanalysis of the Milanese food system from which interesting insights emerged on the figures regarding food in Milan and on the basis of these, a consultation process followed which led to the drafting of the city's Food Policy in 2015 and its subsequent approval by the city council.

2015 - The ten issues of Food Policy

The 2018 Food System Report

Following the approval of the Food Policy, starting from questions including how Milan eats, how food is produced, distributed and consumed in the city and where the Milanese shop, whether they eat healthily and how many of them do not have enough to eat, the Municipality of Milan analyzed the city ​​food system, highlighting strengths and weaknesses and thus helping to identify the priority and most important actions to be implemented to improve the sustainability of the system.

The research, carried out between 2017 and 2018, highlighted how Milan is a dynamic reality, where new social questions related to food arise. At the same time, the city is home to many economic activities and financial institutions that constitute the heart of the Italian agri-food system. A significant part of the trade and research on food and catering is concentrated in Milan.

The research resulted in the development of a Report on the food system - updated to 2018 - which addresses issues and challenges also connecting with the Sustainable Development Goals to which the Food Policy refers in particular in the part of monitoring the impact of actions.

The results of the analysis carried out in collaboration with Esta and Fondazione Cariplo are contained in the report on the Milanese food system in 2018.

2018 – Report 1. Food System in Milan_Five priorities for sustainable development

2018 – Report 2. Food System in Milan_Thematic insights

2018 – Report The Food System in Milan EN

Il involvement of city actors takes place in different ways depending on the activities to be carried out. In recent years, among the most effective tools, comparisons have been initiated through Focus Groups, workshops, working groups and communities of practice, allowing the analysis and in-depth analysis of key topics for the city's Food Policy with the dual objective of communicating the ongoing actions and to collect feedback and proposals from the main subjects involved or interested.

The set of Communities of Practice and other information and awareness-raising moments constitute the involvement tools available to the Food Policy.

At an international level, the experiences of involvement and participation of stakeholders and citizens are multiple and from an analysis conducted in 2016, the typologies re-exported in the document available here emerged.

2016 - International analysis on food recommendations 

Il catalog of sources aims to be an easy-to-use tool for the analysis of the Milanese Food System, a tool that supports the mapping and analysis of existing activities, in relation to the priorities and tools of the Food Policy and in relation to the SDGs. 

By facilitating the collection and communication of results on the activities and projects that populate the panorama of the Milanese food system, this tool contributes to nurturing an open and transparent discussion with the key actors, representing a resource for guiding the political and strategic decisions necessary for the management of the complexity of the Milanese food system.

The catalog of sources is based on three elements: 

  • the analysis of the Milanese food system carried out in 2017/18, 
  • the indicators of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) Monitoring Framework
  • the SDG targets.

The indicators of MUFPP Monitoring Framework they were associated with the 5 priorities and 2 tools of the Milan Food Policy, they were subjected to a process of verifying their significance for the city and the availability of the data and were used to establish a link between the Food Policy and the SDGs . The Catalog of Sources associates each source with data useful for monitoring the food system in relation to SDG targets. In this way it was possible to estimate the potential local contribution of each Food Policy priority to achieving the SDGs.

Catalog of sources

The system for monitoring the actions and directions of the Food Policy allows not only to analyse, evaluate and monitor the themes, directions and actions and their impacts over time but also, indirectly, to increase knowledge regarding the issues in question.

This objective responds to the need to build a system of knowledge that enhances what is already available in the structures of the Municipality as well as in the institutions, in the world of research and in social bodies and which makes it usable and functional to support decisions and actions. The construction and dissemination of this knowledge from an open source perspective is functional to making institutional action and that of all the city's actors more effective.

From 2015 to today, thanks to the implementation of the Food Policy, the Municipality of Milan has achieved important results and recognition at a national and international level.

The Earthshot Prize 2021, in the first edition of the award promoted by The Royal Foundation (UK) selected the Milan Zero Food Waste Hub/Neighborhood Hub against food waste project, as the best practice to combat food poverty, within the “Build a waste” category -free world”. The award made it possible to start a new co-planning process with the interested bodies and increase the number of hubs and strengthen the existing ones, also strengthening action on the markets.

Compraverde Award 2021 GreenBuyer on Social Procurement, selected the Milano Ristorazione company for having contributed significantly, through the introduction of additional rewarding social criteria, to the promotion of the work integration of women even in economic sectors with high gender employment disparity.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Finalist 2019 on actions against food waste. Finalist among the 195 urban policies developed internationally within the C40 Awards.

Recycling Municipalities 2019 awarded by Assobioplastiche in Italy, Milan was selected for actions against single-use plastic in canteens and in contracts for vending machines.

Guangzhow Awards 2018 was awarded to the Food Policy of Milan for its innovative potential in the strategic planning of a city among 270 cities from around the world, integrating and implementing transformative actions on the city's food system.

Towards Circular Economy 2018 awarded in Lombardy by the Cogeme Foundation and Kyoto Club to the Food Policy of Milan for the systemic approach adopted against food waste and waste.

Fair Trade Territory 2018 awarded by Fair Trade for innovative actions within public procurement aimed at promoting short and fair trade supply chains.

Living with Zero Waste 2017 awarded by the Ministry of the Environment and the University of Bologna to the Food Policy of Milan for the strategy adopted against food waste.

Updated: 05/04/2024