Leuven food an agriculture advisory board, Source: ©Tim Buelens /

Leuven launches food and agricultural advisory board

Leuven launches food and agricultural advisory board

16 members should advise on how to make local food consumption more sustainable

Consuming local produce, instead of purchasing items from abroad or even out of Europe, has numerous advantages. To start with, it helps the growth of local small businesses. For the customer, buying local items usually means products of greater quality and limited quantity and in better and fresher condition. In addition, this saves tonnes of resources that are otherwise spent on packaging and transportation, which certainly means more sustainable consuming.

Hardly is there a local authority unaware of that and not willing to stimulate locally-produced goods and services. Leuven, of course, is no exception. Here is why the Flemish city famous for its breweries has launched a food and agricultural advisory board (VLAR). Their objective - to advise the city council on food and agriculture and support the rollout of the food strategy of Leuven.

A special advisory body to enhance local and seasonal products

In particular, the VLAR will advise the city council on the strategic policy vision on food and agriculture and the implementation of agricultural and food policy, the further development, implementation and evaluation of the food strategy for strongly increasing the share of locally grown and seasonal food products.

The board will issue non-binding statements at the request of the city council or on its own initiative; it consists of 16 members and meets at least four times a year. All members have an affinity with agriculture and/or food in the Leuven region and have contributed to drafting the food strategy. 

The members of the board have already met twice, elected a chairperson for six years and agreed upon a set of internal rules which will be presented to the city council for approval. Tessa Avermaete, a bio-engineer and researcher at the Sustainable Food Economies Research Group of the KU Leuven, was elected chairperson. Speaking for the municipal portal, she underlined that a food strategy for Leuven will offer many opportunities for farmers and residents.

The establishment and the composition of the new advisory board was approved on November 26, 2018 by the City Council of Leuven. The VLAR is the successor to the informal food and agriculture council.



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