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LUPPA is the Urban Laboratory of Public Food Policies

A collaborative platform to facilitate the construction of integrated, participatory and systemic municipal food policies.

Urban population has already surpassed rural population and cities have an important role as agents of food systems positive transformation. For the human right to adequate food and nutrition to be guaranteed, it is necessary to include the perspective of urban dynamics in any solution devised to face food systems current challenge.

We believe that municipal governments and local organizations are indispensable actors in this ecosystem of transformation and it was from this conviction that LUPPA - Urban Laboratory of Public Food Policies was born.

LUPPA was conceived as a tool to support cities to achieve healthy food systems for people and the planet, resilient to climate and economic vulnerabilities, and promoters of social justice, based on the democratic construction of integrated and coherent policies that deal address urban food challenges systemically.

A public policy laboratory responds to the need to increase the number of Brazilian cities that develop strategic and multi-annual food policies. It also responds to the need to expand the sources of data and information on local food systems.

Learn more about this journey by browsing our website.

Why do we create
the LUPPA?

One of the biggest challenges for cities, especially the most urbanized ones, is to guarantee sustainable food systems and a healthy diet for all their inhabitants. The population is increasingly demanding that cities facilitate the access to healthy food and also the international community calls on them to take strong positions in the fight against climate change.

The cities need to be supported to achieve healthy for people and the planet, resilient to climate and economic vulnerabilities, and social justice promotive food systems. A public policy laboratory responds to this need, and for this, we created the LUPPA.

We want to highlight initiatives that systematically address urban food challenges; disseminate relevant information; and strengthen the democratic process for the construction and implementation of public policies.

Why is it important to address systematic based urban food policies?

Access to food is guaranteed in Brazil's Constitution and it is also a human right. Despite this, the lack of such access is a reality, being the cause and also consequence of social inequality and increasing poverty.

Food systems are sick and present enormous challenges to populations and governments. We bring some national data that reinforce this:

  • Over 1/4 of the adult population is obese.1
  • Over 50% of the Brazilian population has some degree of food insecurity; 9% of this population is starving, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.2
  • The current food production model amplifies the climate crisis, but it also suffers the consequences of this change.3
  • The cost of healthy eating is a barrier to access for most of the population. In South America, healthy eating costs approximately four times the cost of a basic, calorie-sufficient one.4
  • Nutrition insecurity, caused by the lack of regular consumption of healthy foods, leads to an increase in obesity and all forms of malnutrition in the long term, generating an enormous cost to public health.5
  • In addition, massive urbanization creates stoppages in food distribution logistics. Sources: 1IBGE - National Health Survey, 2019. 2Rede PENSSAN 2020. 3According Obsevatório do Clima, 40% of the Brazilian territory is occupied by agricultural activities, which, together with the deforestation associated with this activity, accounted for 69% of GHG emissions in 2018. 4FAO - SOFI 2020. 5According to INCA, 50% of federal spending on cancer in the SUS, in 2018, and according to Revista Panamericana de Salud, 41% of total spending on chronic diseases in the SUS in 2018.

The answers to these challenges can come from different actors and sources, but the importance of the governments is undeniable. As it is a right, access to food needs to be guaranteed by public policies of different types and subjects.

When these policies are integrated, coherent, built in a participatory manner, strategically planned and monitored, based on a systemic view of food and focused on territorial dynamics, they can deliver efficient, enduring, legitimate and, thus, effective results.


LUPPA was designed so that municipal governments and other actors in urban food systems can collaborate in the construction of public food policies and respond creatively and disruptively to contemporary demands, based on a strategy of mutual support, exchange of knowledge, and inspiration in successes and failures.

Building healthy, sustainable and crisis-resilient food systems depends on effective policies – not just emergency policies.

In this context, municipal governments play a key role in this construction, but we also need to bring local civil society to LUPPA. The solutions are varied and there is no one model that suits everyone. Each territory has its challenges and its most prominent and emerging needs. Governments do not normally innovate, but they have the power to learn from society's experiences and scale them. The creativity needed to face the contemporary challenges of the food system often comes from the voices of the society.

However, food systems has not yet been included in the political agenda in most cities.

It's time to change this reality!

Discover the cities that have already started this journey with us!

Why work on
local policy?

To ensure that all forms of malnutrition are eliminated and that food systems are sustainable and resilient, the action of national governments, however significant, is not enough. Local governments and municipal food policies play a decisive role in this transformation.

What is municipal food policy for LUPPA?

At the LUPPA we understand by food policy any government program aimed at production or access to food.

Some examples of municipal government programs are: urban agriculture, urban gardens, food supply, street fairs and municipal markets, school meals, food bank, popular restaurants, community kitchens, sanitary control, regulation of food environments, educational campaigns, training cooks, cooking teachers, organic waste management, composting, and so much more.

Governments often have some of these programs, but not a structured policy that cuts across several government departments. And, even when there is a structured policy, with goals and indicators, the actions defined there must be aligned with the government budget.

A multi-year strategic plan for food should involve actions in different areas, such as health, education, social assistance or development, supply, agriculture and fishing, environment, economic development, employment and income.

What can cities do?

In their plans, cities can, for example:

  • promote and encourage local food production, urban agriculture and short food distribution circuits;
  • use institutional food purchasing to achieve healthy food and sustainable system goals;
  • ensure healthy school food from a sustainable chain; stimulate local fairs, agroecological and directly from the producer fairs;
  • fight against waste generation and promote composting, under a circularity concept bases; regulate activities related to the food system, including promoting income and occupation;
  • fight against food insecurity and support the democratization of access to healthy and sustainable food in all territories.
How does
LUPPA work?

O LUPPA começou com uma série de 5 webinars abertos ao público em geral que trouxeram os principais temas e desafios contemporâneos para a formação dos sistemas alimentares urbanos. Os LUPPA WEBs aconteceram entre agosto e outubro de 2021, e estão disponíveis aqui para serem vistos a qualquer momento.


LUPPA's 1st edition is completed with the realization of our LAB, a moment to get to work! It will be a meeting with workshops, round tables, challenges and dialogues so that together we can discuss and dialogue about the challenges of cities; share each other's experiences and difficulties and learn, in an immersive way, about themes and processes that are part of the construction of healthy and sustainable food systems that governments aims to deliver, and in which citizens want to live.

A cyclical and continuous project.

After the 1st edition, we will have other virtual meetings to engage and maintain the bond between the participants, always mediated by our team and with the participation of an inspiring guest. And so we will continue until the next LAB in 2022, where we intend to expand our audience and have Latin American cities. Virtual and face-to-face meetings will be held cyclically, for at least 3 editions.

Throughout LUPPA, a lot of information will be generated and systematized by our team and made available to the public. We will map the municipal food policies scenario across the country and create the LUPPA Map. We will also produce a series of contents throughout the process.

We will also encourage participating cities to adhere to international commitments for healthy and sustainable food systems and therefore take a singular role in this global agenda.

Soon, you will be able to bring your city to LUPPA and be part of this network of cities for healthy and sustainable food.

To learn more about the methodology and LUPPA, watch our webinars and if you still have questions, get in touch with us!

Browse the LUPPA map and learn about the food agendas of participant cities

Go to LUPPA Map

LUPPA Schedule

LUPPA Library

more than 50% of
brasillian population

has some degree of
food insecurity¹

41% of public
health costs with

chronic noncommunicable diseases are
attributable to obesity²

69% of GHG emissions
in Brasil

are related to agricultural activities and the deforestation associated with them²

less than 1% of
brazilian municipalities

have Municipal Food and Nutritional Security Plans²

¹2020 data ²2018 data

News and Updates

Se olharmos para os planos de segurança alimentar e nutricional que deram certo, em geral eles cumpriram cinco questões: foram tratados como uma agenda de governo e como prioridade; foram intersetoriais – algo complexo, mas sustentável e duradouro –; foram um trabalho em conjunto (o diagnóstico, o desenho, o projeto, o lançamento); tinham escala – comece pensando grande, senão a gente não muda a vida das pessoas! –; e, por último, envolveram a sociedade civil.

Tereza Campello, Professora da Cátedra Josué de Castro de Sistemas Alimentares Saudáveis e Sustentáveis da USP
Idealização e coordenação geral Comida do Amanhã
Correalização iclei
Apoio Pleno
Apoio Especial
Apoio Institucional
Parceria Metodológica
Cidades Mentoras
Organizações Mentoras