A sustainable income for farmers and nutritious, affordable food for everyone: this is what Rikolto works for. We reach our goals by building bridges between smallholder farmer organisations, companies, authorities and other actors across rural and urban areas. Together, we create innovative ways of accessing, distributing and producing nutritious, quality food, so no one is left behind.
As part of the Food Smart Cities programme, Rikolto works with partner cities in 14 countries in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Belgium to improve access to healthy, sustainable and nutritious diets. The programme aims to catalyse collective action amongst local actors, pursuing diverse interventions, shaped to the needs of partner cities and their inhabitants:
- Sustainable production of healthy, nutritious food, such as fruits, vegetables and pulses, for local markets. In working toward this end, we focus on preserving landscapes, promoting regenerative agriculture and enhancing resilience to climate change and other shocks.
- Inclusive food markets that cater to smallholder producers and vulnerable urban consumers. To help develop such markets, we support the professionalisation of farmer organisations, facilitate their access to finance and business development services, promote inclusive business relations in food chains and facilitate sustainable food entrepreneurship. We also strive for more efficient and inclusive distribution of locally produced, safe and healthy food, using innovative business models and digital tools. We also facilitate the design of circular business models that foster sustainable food waste management by transforming food surpluses into new products.
- Enabling environments that incentivise sustainable and healthy diets through policies and partnerships. We work towards improving urban food governance, engaging citizens in collective action, incentivising investments in sustainable food innovation and promoting peer-to-peer learning. One of our roles is to generate evidence that informs the search for solutions to chronic food system problems and that helps mainstream these solutions for impact.
In the last 5 years, Rikolto and RUAF partners have collaborated closely with each other in the framework of various local and global projects, such as Quito’s Agrifood Pact in Ecuador, Ghent en Garde in Belgium, a forthcoming publication on urban and peri-urban agriculture led by the FAO, and more recently a research project on food hubs in Lima and Quito, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Center.