Reinforcing rural and urban relations
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Transnational cooperation between a French and Portuguese LAG on the topic of urban-rural relations has resulted in mutual learning about new ways to improve the scope and effectiveness of short supply-chains for local food.
This transnational cooperation project concentrated much of its work on increasing regional development stakeholders’ awareness about how to enhance practical links in the food chain. Rural territories from France’s Pays du Mans and Portugal’s Península de Setúbal took part in the project. They worked together towards common goals aimed at increasing understanding among urban consumers about how to source supplies of fresh rural produce. Both partners collaborated in order to enhance economic growth in their peri-urban territories by providing environmentally-friendly food that had a lower carbon footprint (from reduced transport and storage requirements). Local food chain support activities were developed in each LAG area. These included working with supply-chains for public sector canteens and private sector restaurants. Information about the different project actions were then assessed and discussed during exchange meetings and visits within the two territories.
Outcomes helped the LAG areas to identify new ideas and opportunities for strengthening short supply-chains of local food.
Portuguese beneficiaries learned about prospects for diversifying private sector food supply systems into the public sector market.
French participants gained knowhow about networking food producers using the Internet to supply households and other private sector clients.
Food jobs, product quality, direct sales, and environmental sustainability were all shown to benefit from such rural development action.