On Nov 3rd, “Kameoka Nou Marché” (Nou stands for agriculture) was organized by the Executive Committee for “Making Kameoka an Organic Town” at KIRI CAFÉ in Kameoka City, Kyoto Pref. with the City of Kameoka, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), RIHN and Akitsu Labo of Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University as the supporters. This all started with WG2 Seminar “Making Kameoka an Organic Town!” on Nov 19th, 2018 which brought together some members from the FEAST Project, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, KOA as well as local farmers, chefs among many others. It led to organizing of this committee, adding some more of their acquaintances and colleagues as its members. After we made a plan to organize a marché event in this March, we got together almost every month for planning and preparation.
This event went well beyond a typical marché event involving sales of agricultural products, and included buffet using organic vegetables by chefs in Kameoka, field visit and talk session by farmers etc, bringing in a wide range of people who have various agri-related works from Kameoka and its vicinity. The FEAST Project showcased the exhibition of future school lunches based on four different scenarios and also hosted a talk and discussion session with the theme of “organic vegetables for school lunch”. The session started with a talk about how we could define “organic”, the current status of school lunch in Kameoka and the Tanba City (Hyogo Pref.) case which had already incorporated organic vegetables into school lunch, followed by a discussion with the participants. The crowd was not so big, a bit more than a dozen or so, but some farmers among the participants raised a very critical issue – specific challenges to tackle in incorporating organic vegetables into school lunch. Each municipality has different approaches and regulations on school lunch and how to leverage local vegetables. When it comes to organic farming and vegetables, however, this discussion shed a light on another but crucial gap in how the local government and local farmers approach and work, which made us recognize once again the need of close communication and coordination and careful and deep discussion among local farmers, school lunch centers, local governments and consumers.
We at the committee had some reservations about how many people would show up until the event actually kicked off, but it turned out that lots of people came from Kameoka City and the neighboring areas. The weather was unfortunately not that great, cloudy and sometimes drizzling, but it didn’t stop the participants from enjoying shopping and eating as well as listening to talk sessions. Lots of parents with children were also present. We believe that they enjoyed the event just as they liked.
Now looking back, it all started with our seminar last year. Yet, this event could never have ended with such success without extraordinary effort made by every single member of the committee including those who joined halfway. We will continue to explore and discuss how we can make the best out of this experience to move on to the next phase.
(Translated by Yuko K.)