Topic: Can a Food Strategy bring about a more locally oriented food system? The case of Stockholm, Sweden.
Keywords: Food strategy, Stockholm, local food system
This paper presents and discusses a political strategy to support a sustainable food system in an area where local food production is a fraction of total food consumption. The case that we present is Stockholm County and the Food Strategy and Action Plan that was developed there during 2017-2018. One of the aims with the strategy – that we focus on in this paper – is to increase local production of food. Other important goals are to decrease vulnerability in the regional food value chain, bring urban and rural areas closer to each other, to use the innovativeness that exist in the region, and to contribute to regional, national and global climate and development goals. The Strategy and Action Plan contains a description of the current situation in the county concerning food provision and production – a large part of food is imported – as well as 17 goals to be obtained before 2030. Each goal is accompanied by one to three action points, to be carried out during the next two years. We explore these goals and actions in order to learn about their ability to support the development of a local food system in Stockholm. Especially three goals pertain to local food systems: 1) the supply of Swedish and local foods should increase, 2) the number of small food businesses should increase, and they should be profitable, and 3) public procurement of Swedish and locally produced foods should increase. Actions include: support to improve business know-how among farmer and small food businesses, increased procurement of food of Swedish origin, improvements of food planning in municipalities in case of risk situations, information campaigns, and creating meeting places for local food actors. Importantly, responsible actors are identified for each action point and the ambition is to work in collaborative and process oriented ways. While only three percent of Sweden’s arable land and three percent of Sweden’s farms are situated in Stockholm County, a fourth of the Swedish population lives there. This implies a number of opportunities, not only for a more locally oriented food system, but also for the region as a whole as well as for the national food production.