Maison d’Éducation à l’Alimentation Durable (MEAD – the Education and Sustainable Food Centre) is a municipal initiative incorporating sustainably produced food with respect for health and the environment in the Mouans-Sartoux area. The initial motivation for this project was the ‘mad cow’ crisis in 1998, which led the municipal council to serve only organic (bio) beef in school canteens.

MEAD was set up to support land conservation, build local agricultural-food links, and offer everyone – from families to businesses, and from students and researchers – access to a healthy and sustainable diet.

Photo credit: Town of Mouans-Sartoux town

MEAD is the latest in a string of effective initiatives on the part of the municipality, including a 100% organic school canteen created in 2012 (for which 85% of vegetables are provided by the municipal agricultural board), a campaign against food waste that has reduced waste by 80%, and a local plan that has tripled agricultural land to encourage farmers to settle on Mouans-Sartoux.

Working in partnership with local associations and businesses, universities, students, researchers and citizens, MEAD fully supports local food policy. Surveys conducted in 2013 and 2016 revealed that a growing number of people are changing their habits towards more sustainable consumption. In 2016, 85% of parents said they had changed their eating habits, focusing more and more on healthier and more environmentally friendly organic food and other local products.

“This is a long-term and concerted effort involving a high capacity coalition of key local actors, achieving deep, sustained and far-reaching transformation of the local and regional food system in many different dimensions, robustly evidenced and exerting significant influence elsewhere.”
– Tom Henfrey

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