C40 World Mayors Summit Calls for Climate-Friendly, Organic Food

A joint declaration from the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen calls for healthier, climate-friendly, and organic food in public institutions and public life. Denmark’s transition to organic meals with less meat, more vegetables and much less waste was in focus for cities wanting to contribute to climate solutions and global sustainability goals.

Copenhagen - October 10, 2019

C40 CitiesMayors from many of the world’s largest and most climate ambitious cities, supported a declaration calling for climate-friendly, healthier, and organic meals in public institutions. The declaration, Good Food Cities: Achieving a Planetary Health Diet for All, laid out goals and actions for reducing climate impacts from the food sector, ensuring enough food for all people and creating sustainable food production. More plant-based diets, 50% less food waste, and buying food from organic farmers are among the solutions. The cities will lead the way through their own food purchasing programs.

C40 brings together 94 of the world’s largest cities, from New York to Paris, Quito to Copenhagen, Beijing to Sydney and Dar es Salaam. They represent over 700 million citizens, and are taking bold action for climate and sustainable development. They are deeply committed to achieving the goals in the UN Paris Agreement.

"We are pleased that the contribution of organic farming to sustainability has been recognized and included in the C40 climate declaration on food. Organic agriculture is part of the solution to the climate challenges we face and can help us achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is drawing down more CO2 from the atmosphere, creating more climate-robust soil, and increased drought resilience. Combined with a stronger focus on sustainable food systems and diets with reduced meat consumption, organic food and farming also helps us stay within planetary boundaries" says Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director, IFOAM – Organics International, which represents over 800 organizations in more than 120 countries worldwide.

Together with our global network, we will support the C40 cities in the transition to sustainable food and climate action.

Danish Case in Focus: Organic, Healthier, and Climate-friendly Food for the Same Cost

Considerable focus was paid to the transition to organic and climate-friendly food in Denmark. In the Summit host city of Copenhagen, over 90% of all food in city kitchens - from childcare centers to schools, retirement homes, and city hall - is organic. Denmark has also transitioned hospitals, large private workplaces, and military barracks to healthier, organic and climate-friendly meals.

  • A transition to organic, climate-friendly and healthier food with less meat, more plant-based meals, and a deep drop in food waste has been achieved through investing in education of workers in our public kitchens. They are driving the sustainable transition with their new focus on making real food again, from fresh organic and more plant-based food in season, says Paul Holmbeck, Political Director in Organic Denmark, an organization uniting organic farmers, consumers, companies, and food professionals.
  • They are also creating climate-friendly, organic food on the same budget—because they save through less waste and less meat. The pride is tremendous. And deserved. We are working together from the farm to the table.

Denmark’s organic food and farming policies won the silver level Future Policy Award, which was awarded by IFOAM - Organics International, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Future Council last year in Rome.

Organic food policy can drive sustainable change, for climate, biodiversity, health, job creation, clean water, and many other UN sustainability Goals. But we have to act.

Declaration Extract:

“We can be global leaders and develop food systems that are sustainable, inclusive, and resilient, which accelerates our progress to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Where our city governments directly purchase food that is served in schools, hospitals, and other public institutions, we will ensure those meals are healthy and sustainable and ideally sourced from organic agriculture.”

For more information, contact

  • Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director, IFOAM – Organics International, l.luttikholt [at] ifoam.bio, +49 (0) 228 926 50-10
  • Paul Holmbeck, Political Director, Organic Denmark, ph [at] okologi.dk, + 45 28 19 19 62
  • Vivienne Kallmeyer, Press Officer, Organic Denmark, vk [at] okologi.dk, +45 25 42 93 02

Download a PDF of this press release PDF icon here

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