On 22 March 2019, the City of Da Nang in central Vietnam adopted its Food Smart City development strategy for 2020-2030 with a vision towards 2045. The strategy is the outcome of a fruitful collaboration between Da Nang’s Food Safety Management Authority, Vietnam National University of Agriculture and Rikolto.
Da Nang and Rikolto’s journey towards a more sustainable, inclusive and smart food system started in 2017 when both parties signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding on Food Smart City development. At the time, the collaboration focused on the development of safe food value chains, raising consumers’ awareness of safe and sustainable food, and rolling out Participatory Guarantee Systems to guarantee the quality of safe vegetables.
In 2018, Vietnam National University of Agriculture and Rikolto were selected by Da Nang’s Food Safety Management Authority to conduct an analysis of Da Nang’s food system and policy environment, and to support the drafting of a food smart city strategy. As part of this assignment, three important food value chains were mapped: vegetables, pork and seafood. Together with Pr. Erik Mathijs from the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium, Rikolto was also involved in developing a strategic framework of what “Food Smart” can mean in the context of Da Nang. Based on the result from these mapping and conceptualisation exercises, three workshops were organised to discuss the strategic orientations and role division for the strategy with various stakeholders in the city.
The paragraphs below present some of the key insights shared by participants and introduce the seven pillars of Da Nang’s Food Smart Strategy.