Flanders launches a plan to showcase its local products
On June 7th 2021, the VLAM (Flemish Centre for Agriculture and Food Marketing) and Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister for Economy, Agriculture and Food, launched an initiative to highlight the importance of local food. The label Lekker van bij ons (which can be roughly translated Good from our region) will be prominently displayed wherever you have to deal with local Flemish food. Basically you will find the label at the entrance of shops, restaurants, on the shelves of supermarkets, ...
31 Flemish federations and associations from the food, catering and trade sector are working together on a wide range of defined actions that put local food in the spotlight.
In concrete terms, the associations and the Minister officially signed a charter with various actions and projects to promote local production. The charter describes five main pillars:
- a strong product must have a strong image: the Lekker van bij ons label is chosen to be promoted. A producer who is an ambassador can show this by displaying the logo and thus affirm that he is a protector of quality and locality.
- Local products come from the local farm: various measures are intended to bring citizens and local producers closer together. For example, it is planned to teach children and young people where the products on their plates come from.
- A local Flemish product can be recognised by its local production: 77% of agricultural production is used by the food industry, but the consumer does not always realise this. Communication on this subject will therefore be strengthened.
- Local Flemish products are promoted by local traders and supermarkets: the initiative hopes that customers will realise that local products are just as good as those from abroad.
- The Horeca puts local products on its menu: second part of the sales component after retail, the Horeca commits to give trainings, seminars and to reinforce the conviction of its members to work with local products
This is not a hugely innovative programme in terms of content. The fever for local products has been going on for some time. However, this initiative is important on several levels.
First of all, it is a plan that brings together 31 federations and associations, thus making it possible to cover the entire food chain : the production of ingredients, processing, transformation, sales, education, etc.
Secondly, the programme includes many concrete actions and it is necessary for the different actors in the system to have a detailed roadmap that is as complete as possible.
In short, the charter has been launched and is a good basis for the growth and (re)development of local products on our plates.
Local ProductsProduits LocauxVlamHilde CrevitsFlandreFlanders