Newsletter April 2021
It has been fantastic to see the influx of new partners during the first few months of this year. We are very proud to report that, at the time of writing, the municipality of Mjölby has over 20 registered partners. You represent a broad spectrum of actors, from logistics, digitalisation and production to mobility and health – all with a connection to food, farming and sustaina-bility. This makes us strong, and together we can now take the Activity Centre for Food to the next level.
“This is a very exciting project that is close to my heart, as a place with something for old and young alike, from the simple to the complex, but always with food as the common denominator,” says Cecilia Burenby, Chair of Mjölby’s Municipal Executive Board, who continues: “This is our first newsletter, which I hope you’ll find interesting. We’re planning to update you on the project’s progress every other month – enjoy!”
Project coordinator Caroline Davidsson has been in post since the middle of January, enabling us to accelerate the development work and draw up a project plan with an associated timetable.
The municipality of Mjölby has signed a Letter of Partnership with the municipalities of Ede in the Netherlands and Seinäjoki in Finland. They have similar concepts and plans to us and we believe an exchange of experiences will be valuable. It also creates opportunities for joint applications for EU funding, which is an important consideration.
We live in a region whose strengths include digitalisation, and that is a resource we want to draw on! The Activity Centre will be a physical but also a digital place, creating a wider catchment area across time and space. We are currently putting together a presentation where we describe the Activity Centre in Virtual Reality, which will also be useful for our partners, as they can use it to create an understanding of the centre’s potential.
What are our next steps?
We are in a situation where we have a gratifyingly large number of companies and organisations that wish to be involved in working up the concept. Being a partner in this early phase offers major opportunities to influence decisions on how this platform develops and takes shape.
Our next step will be to create working groups, in which the partners can collaborate to develop ideas and visions for what can be done on site. The key here is to highlight the opportunities that this public showcase offers. Which way is the wind blowing, what do the producers and the public think about today’s food and current research? How do we attract school classes and tourists – this should be a meeting place that broadens everyone’s perspective. We therefore ask all our partners to give a little extra thought to what your organisation might want to get out of the Activity Centre for Food. Remember to consider both the physical and digital opportunities that this platform could generate.
Kindly send us your feedback, or alternatively we’ll contact you to suggest an appropriate working group, which will get started in the spring. The working groups will operate under a confidentiality agreement to create a secure environment in which everyone feels comfortable to discuss their deve-lopment ideas.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact one of us below. Until the next time!
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas