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Building and financing a food resilience project

The food system involves a large number of actors. Building a food resilience project involves acquiring governance bodies and financial resources to establish a long-term strategy. Some ideas are briefly presented in this last part. They will be deepened in a future edition of this report, enriched by initiatives already in progress or to come.


Governance is the way in which the actors of the food system organize themselves collectively to set goals, make decisions, and build an effective and concerted agenda. Through their scale, their skills and their democratic legitimacy, intercommunalities occupy a privileged position to initiate and coordinate a local food resilience project.

The first step is then to assemble a steering committee covering various skills: agronomy, town planning, health, knowledge of field issues and local political and economic issues. It is important to question the representativeness of the identified actors and their interests.

The concept of “territorial dialogue” can be used to manage issues related to consultation or conflict mediation . Communities can draw inspiration from work referring to this notion to develop their own governance model and facilitate its conduct.

Infographic from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food showing partners who may be involved in a Territorial Food Project (see below). The same goes for a food resilience project. We could also include SAFERs, water agencies, agro-supply companies and artisans (equipment, seeds, etc.), waste management and water treatment stakeholders, development councils , etc. Crédits : Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation.


A methodology inspired by the "Project mode" proposed by the International Urban Food Network can be implemented. It is structured in five phases:

1. Define the project and set up a steering committee

The goal is to formalize the commitment of the community and the actors of the local food system. Framing interviews allow the vision of elected officials and regional agents to emerge. A mapping of the food project stakeholders is carried out in order to list their skills and specify their positioning. This phase should lead to the definition of the main orientations of the project and its general objectives. A steering committee is set up to implement this policy . The drafting of a framework agreement, signed by all the partners, makes it possible to formalize this step.

2. Carry out a diagnosis of the territorial food system

Quantitative and qualitative indicators are selected in order to be able to regularly measure the distance to be traveled to achieve the general objectives, and to monitor the progress made. These indicators are assessed at the start to serve as a baseline. This report proposes several indicators for each link in the food system, and calls for adopting a transversal vision of the food system from this first stage.

3. Establish an action plan

Several steps are necessary to establish an action plan:
- the collection of ideas and needs expressed by the actors of the territory with regard to the established diagnosis;
- the development and validation of a roadmap, setting quantified and defined objectives over time;
- the construction of a multiannual program of actions divided between the actors concerned.

Implement the action plan

The community must ensure that the various partners in the project fulfill their commitment, that the means at their disposal are sufficient, and that solutions are found if obstacles are encountered.

Evaluate the actions implemented

This involves carrying out the diagnosis at the deadlines set by the political orientation document, in order to verify that the objectives have been achieved, and, if necessary, to initiate ad hoc corrective measures.

National Federation of Organic Agriculture (2014) How to carry out a territorial project for the development of organic agriculture? This document intended for local authorities details the methodology indicated above in the context of the development of organic farming. Many elements are applicable for the conduct of a food resilience project.


Two distinct components are to be financed as part of a food resilience project:
- project engineering , generally provided by the community, which may require one or more recruitment: animation, management, development of the diagnosis and the strategy ...
- the action program itself, some of which require investment and / or operating expenditure. Apart from the local authorities' own resources, many sources of financing can be mobilized; only a few are detailed here.

RnPAT (2018) Building a financing strategy for a territorial food project. A guide specifically dedicated to the issue of financing that can be mobilized within the framework of PATs, with numerous technical sheets detailing each of them.

Territorial authorities

Departments and regions can provide significant financial support, both for operating expenses and for investments. Many possibilities exist depending on the policies carried by the departmental and regional councils; the easiest way is to get information on their websites or directly from the agriculture and food managers. Local authorities can also manage certain funding programs or grants delegated by the State:
- the Competitiveness and Adaptation Plan of Farms (PCAE) , delegated to the regions, finances investments of farms, particularly for the acquisition of equipment and the development of agroecological practices ;
- Endowments for Local Investment Support (DSIL) and Endowments for Rural Territory Equipment (DETR) , delegated respectively to regions and departments, finance various investments related to development of territories. The dedicated envelopes make it possible to finance projects to the tune of several hundred thousand euros.

Major national programs

The calls for projects from the National Food Program (PNA) are the main source of funding for Territorial Food Projects (PAT) by the ministry. The winning territories receive funding in the order of 40,000 euros, making it possible, for example, to co-finance a full-time job dedicated to the coordination and engineering of the PAT. It should be noted that the total amount of funding annually granted at the national level by the ministry is of the order of one million euros, which may be considered very low in view of the issues considered and the stated objectives.

The "Territorial Food Project" mark certifying the recognition of these projects by the State. PATs are territorial projects participating "in the consolidation of territorialized sectors and the development of the consumption of products from short circuits, in particular under organic production ”. Many resources concerning PAT can be consulted on the website of the National Network of Territorial Food Projects.

The National Nutrition-Health Program (PNNS) and the National Health and Environment Plan (PNSE) can also be mobilized for operating costs and actions related to nutritional education and the fight against food insecurity. The National Agricultural and Rural Development Program (PNDAR), aimed at agricultural development actors (Chambers of Agriculture, cooperatives, technical institutes), can support the deployment of agroecological practices in a territory.

Public agencies

Water agencies can finance actions aimed at protecting aquatic environments and the quality of water resources: development of agroecology or organic farming, reduction of irrigation needs, recycling of human excreta. The Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) grants specific aid for actions to reduce food waste or develop the circular economy.

Banque des Territoires

The Banque des Territoires brings together all the tools of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in the service of the sustainable development of the territories and the fight against territorial fractures. It offers several financing solutions on its own funds or under a mandate from the State, in particular within the framework of calls for projects of the Future Investment Program (PIA) and the Grand Investment Plan. Support for regional food policies is booming within the Banque des Territoires. Almost a third of the 24 territories that have won the PIA's "Territories of innovation" program (endowed with a substantial envelope: 300 million euros of investment and 150 million euros

The commune of Mouans-Sartoux (Alpes-Maritimes) is pursuing an ambitious food policy. A municipal agricultural authority in organic farming supplies 85% of the vegetables for the town's canteens. Numerous awareness-raising actions are carried out with different audiences: gardening or cooking workshops, the “positive food families” challenge, educational trail in town, activities linked to the Book Festival, etc. The creation of an Education Center à l'Alimentation Durable symbolizes the opening of the project to the population of Mouans. Crédits : © Commune de Mouans-Sartoux.

Complementary local currencies are a great way to encourage relocation of the economy and raise awareness of the vulnerability of the current food system. In the Puy-de-Dôme, the Doume (photography) is used by more than a thousand citizens and more than 300 professionals. Supported by a committed association, its development has been accompanied by the establishment of a cooperative grocery store and a farmers market. Crédits : © ADML63.

More generally, communities must take care to encourage and promote the many citizen initiatives contributing to greater food resilience . Collaboration with the development councils is, in this regard, entirely appropriate. Other tools such as local currencies, the participatory budget or specific calls for projects can be mobilized (creation of a Civil Cooperative Real Estate Company, animation of shared gardens, opening of a cooperative grocery store, etc.).

Improving the food resilience of the territory necessarily requires increased work on existing food insecurity . The most vulnerable populations will be the first to be affected by disruptions affecting the food and / or economic system. They must therefore be concerned at the forefront by the development of a resilience project and be involved in it so that they can act on their own present and future food security.

Finally, it should be noted that raising residents' awareness of “responsible” consumption practices is in many ways incompatible with maintaining commercial advertising in public spaces . Advertising indeed encourages the adoption of behaviors antagonistic to those targeted within the framework of a food resilience project:
- It favors large-scale distribution and agro-industry brands to the detriment of distribution channels and local products;
- It gives a central place to hyper-processed products and fast food;
- More generally, it "creates" needs and encourages material overconsumption, itself responsible for the aggravation of threats to our societies.

In a fictitious ecological emergency declaration, the Extinction Rebellion movement urged Greater Lyon to end commercial advertising in public space. The city of Grenoble has already made this choice in 2014. The advertising fee generally ranges between 0.1% and 0.5% of the municipalities' operating budget. Crédits : © Extinction Rebellion

Summary of tools and skills available to communities

This table brings together most of the regulatory powers and planning documents available to local authorities to act on the resilience of the local food system. For each path to resilience, it complements the action levers of municipalities and inter-municipal authorities presented above, with the tools available to other levels of administrative organization. We will refer to the previous parts to understand how communities can interact with other actors in the food system: Chambers of agriculture, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural and rural development organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises, associations, etc.

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