France/Thau Basin: the Territorial Food Project
The theme of the 4th Ora Maritima conference, organized by the Syndicat Mixte du Bassin de Thau, was food transition. It was an opportunity to mark the 'kick-off' of the Food Territory Project, for which the SMBT is the winner of the national consultation launched by the State.
Every two years, Ora Maritima allows all the actors to meet to exchange and build together a more responsible and sustainable place to live and eat. During two days, one professional day and one day for the general public, good practices and experiences were shared.
The introductory words
Yves Michel, President of the SMBT, opened the plenary conference with these words: " Sustainable food is a major issue for the Thau territory. The food transition refers to a process by which a society modifies its way of feeding itself in depth. Our approach was initiated by a large number of institutional, professional and associative actors. The development council of Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée has made it an essential axis of the territory project. It is within this framework that our territorial food project has emerged. Since 2018, we have carried out a great deal of consultation and dialogue. "
Patrice Lafont, president of the Syndicat président du Comité régional de conchyliculture de Méditerranée, confirms the involvement of shellfish farming: " the challenges of our territory are multiple. We have our place in this project. We are part of the food heritage of the Thau Basin and we want to develop our activity in a sustainable way. In particular, we have recently committed ourselves to the first shellfish industry contract" (see our article: https: //www.herault-tribune.com/articles/occitanie-le-contrat-de-filiere-conchylicole-signe-pour-booster-le-secteur/ ) ".
For the President of the Chamber of Agriculture, Jérôme Despey, " I am a great believer in the interrelation between the world of agriculture and the territorial food project. We are very attached to the development and renewal of farmers and the transfer of farms. We have built an agricultural project for the year 2030, to which we link the economic aspect of our sectors, the renewal of generations, the issues relating to land and the challenge of climate change, which affects production. We provide a great deal of support to farmers who are at the heart of food transitions. »
The Thau Basin Territorial Food Project (TAP)
A TAP is a voluntary, grassroots and collective approach that brings together local stakeholders interested in food issues. After having carried out a diagnosis of the territory, they develop and implement concrete solutions adapted to the problems of the territory. The SMBT applied for the call for projects launched by the State and was named the winner in April 2021. A major consultation process was carried out and concluded with 3 priorities: strengthening the land-sea link; creating food solidarity in the territory and improving resilience to climate change.
With this guiding principle defined, the action plan is based on 4 orientations:
- Strengthening the territorial food heritage: agricultural land, productive crops, diversifying production and activities, promoting local production.
- Structuring a territorial food chain: short circuits and local channels, new processing tools, supplying out-of-home catering with local products, working with distribution (large and medium-sized stores).
- Pursue innovative and unifying environmental management: experiment with agroecological systems, protect water resources, raise awareness of good practices and environmental issues.
- Develop quality food accessible to all: promote food education and empowerment of citizens (e.g. shared gardens), fight against food insecurity, make local food a lever for professional integration.