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What are City/Region Food Systems (CRFS)?

Within the so called City/Region Food Systems (CRFS) are all those actors, processes and relationships that are involved with the food chain (from where food is produced, to where it is processed and distributed) in a defined geographical region. This can be a city, the surrounding hinterlands, or a regional landscape. It can also vary in response to the environment, including for instance a coastal landscape, mountain ranges, hills, a rural plain, a dense urban or an industrial area. A systems-based approach contributes to a better understanding of the interdependencies between key parts of the systems (food supply, environment, nutrition, health, jobs), and makes addressing the issues in an integrated and holistic manner possible. A systems approach thus not only refers to food, but to all those people, other goods and the associated services that are connected to the local ecosystem (for instance, when leisure activities are associated with a rural agricultural landscape, or when community building and social inclusion are fostered in a community garden, or when jobs are created and fostered by a fishermen association that supplies local schools). We refer to cities and region because they represent the scale at which ecological, social, and economic relationship may be fostered through co-governance and active involvement of urban and regional institution and players.