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Building a collaborative platform to transform Brazil’s food systems

Reos Partners
August, 2022

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Discover how Reos Partners supported LUPPA, a collaborative platform that aims to enable Brazilian cities to build equitable and sustainable food systems.

Brazil faces issues around food security, nutrition, distribution, and equity that are common worldwide. More than 50% of the Brazilian population experiences some degree of food insecurity. At the same time, more than 25% of the adult population is obese. Nutritional insecurity is a major problem leading to obesity, malnutrition, and a significant public health cost. The cost of healthy eating is a barrier for many, and massive urbanization leads to distribution bottlenecks. Food production is also affected by and exacerbates climate change.

A Systemic Approach to Food Policies

The Urban Laboratory for Food Public Policies in Brazil, known as LUPPA, is a public policy lab working to enable cities to develop and maintain sustainable food systems and a healthy diet for their inhabitants. Co-designed by Comida do Amanhã Institute and in partnership with ICLEI South America, Ibirapitanga Institute, Institute for Climate and Society (iCS), and Reos Partners, LUPPA is a collaborative platform that aims to support small and medium-sized cities to facilitate the construction of integrated, participatory municipal food policies with a systemic approach. 

The platform’s goal is to support cities to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems that benefit people and the planet, are resilient to climate and economic vulnerabilities, and promote social justice. LUPPA’s ongoing platform invites municipal governments and other actors in urban food systems to collaborate, encouraging knowledge sharing, providing support and inspiring stakeholders as they work to build a stronger food system.

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Photos from LUPPA’s participants cities. Source: LUPPA

LUPPA’s First Edition

In 2019, leaders of LUPPA were introduced to Reos by a mutual connection at the Southern Africa Food Lab (SAFL), which Reos helped launch in 2009 to address severe hunger in the region. Scott Drimie, Director of SAFL recognized similar goals between his lab and LUPPA. Explains Monica Guerra Rocha, Founder and Executive Director at Comida do Amanhã Institute and co-leader of LUPPA, “He shared the process of building the Southern Africa Food Lab. He also commented on Reos’ experience and competence in methodological support and conduct of social labs, and how important the work with Reos had been in structuring the SAFL consolidation process.”

Reos co-developed LUPPA’s methodology and co-facilitated LUPPA’s first phase in 2021 with an open call for cities to participate. More than 20 Brazilian cities joined phase one with stakeholders representing local governments and local food councils. The group also included mentors from cities more experienced in developing and implementing food policies. 

LUPPA-map
A map of Brazil highlighting the cities that took part in LUPPA’s first phase in 2021. Image source: LUPPA

The project scope involved a series of online workshops and seminars using a dynamic and collaborative methodology that encouraged and enabled dialogues among the participants. Throughout the experience, participants worked together to develop action plans to transform their local food system. Ten cities were selected to be mentored and receive support to develop their action plans. 

As the first edition wraps up, Juliana Tângari, co-leader of  LUPPA says of the experience:

 

The results are encouraging. In some cities where dialogue was lacking, participation in LUPPA helped to consolidate ties and establish necessary and promising relationships.

The initial phase of LUPPA demonstrated the need for rapid collaboration. As noted by one participant:

This edition showed that collaborative initiatives are urgent. And that cities enhance their capabilities through exchange processes, where they share experiences, recognize their achievements, and learn from each other.

By working together and exchanging learnings and ideas, LUPPA proved cities can contribute to greater systemic change. The gatherings reinforced the need for intersectionality and social participation to design effective food security solutions. 

The Future of LUPPA

Based on the success of LUPPA’s first edition, the second phase of the program will run from November 2022 to July 2023 with 10 new cities that were determined in August. Moving forward, the project intends to develop annual editions, each consisting of:

  • 10 new cities
  • A bigger community of connected municipal managers and councils 
  • More territorial diversity and cities from all Brazilian biomes, in addition to consolidating the participation of the Amazon

In the future, LUPPA hopes to extend its reach beyond Brazil, inviting the participation of Latin American and other southern global cities.

Learn more about LUPPA and the project’s first edition here:

LUPPA invites institutions, coalitions, and individuals interested in promoting social and environmental impact actions guided by the SDGs to support their second edition.

LUPPA-SDGs

*Cover photo source: Archive of the city hall of Curitiba – PR – Brazil

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