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Sustainable Food Manifesto – ensuring human rights, conserving nature, reforming economy and embracing cultural diversity.

Sufficient and healthy food for everyone by conserving nature, reforming economy and embracing cultural diversity.

Photo of Catharina Any Sulistyowati
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Perkumpulan Kuncup Padang Ilalang (KAIL)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

This vision is developed by two organizations: KAIL and YPBB. Both have shared, mutually supporting visions reflected in our collaborations throughout the years. YPBB is a small NGO based in Bandung, Indonesia which promotes the vision of a high quality human life through an organic lifestyle and sustainable living. We have been collaborating to facilitate various multi-stakeholder workshops since 2002. Our joint facilitation collaborations were conducted in order to help stakeholders from various levels understand simple systems concepts and principles of sustainable development, identify the threats, develop a vision, and plan a strategy for sustainable systems. In these collaborative works KAIL is mostly responsible for the use of systems thinking and innovation diffusion theory as planning analytical tools. While YPBB team is responsible for ensuring the principles of sustainable development are applied and a stakeholders engagement strategy is developed.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Bandung Regency, West Java, Indonesia

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Bandung Bioregion (3.280 km2), covering Bandung City, Cimahi City, Bandung Regency and West Bandung Regency (167; 39; 1.768;1.306 km2).

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Our bioregions are homes to over 8.2 million inhabitants (2015). Bandung City is the metro center where 2.4 million of its population rely on agriculture from Bandung Regency (3.5 million people) for their food supply. In the food sector the relation of those two areas is urban and periphery. Bandung City is the urban. Bandung Regency is one of the peripheral regions. Bandung Regency supplies food for Bandung City and Bandung City supplies money to the Regency. Currently food is treated as a commodity and distributed through market mechanisms. However, the exchange cannot be seen as equal and fair. The farmers in the periphery receive low incomes due to the low price they receive from the middleman. On the other hand, it is hard for consumers in the city to get healthy food at a reasonable price.

YPBB has an office in Bandung City Center. This office now functions as an urban center for demonstrating and promoting an organic lifestyle. It includes an organic shop, TOKO Organis, which sells products to promote zero waste lifestyle. KAIL has an office of 2000 square meters in Bandung Regency. Since 2018, this space has been used as a lab to explore models for home based-gardening to ensure household food security. Jointly we have a site of 2 hectares of land and 2 coffee plantations in Bandung Regency. The 2 hectares of land will be used as an intentional community complex, in which we can experiment with sustainable living in a larger space. Since 2016 we implemented permaculture and organized community supported agriculture starting with staffs of both organization as the consumers. The coffee plantation is part of our strategy to conserve the forest. Through all those spaces we would like to influence others in this bioregion to transform their lifestyle into more sustainable living, including in food sector.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Bandung region is located in a mountain area (around 700 m above sea level). Since colonial times this place has been used as agricultural land, especially for tea, coffee, and vegetables plantations. It is also famous for its holiday places. Currently Bandung City is the main destination for food lovers, fashion shoppers and mountain tourists.

The population of this area is more than 8 million. The majority of people in this region is Sundanese. In more urban area there are more people from other ethnicities, such as Javanese and others. The religion is mostly Moslem. For a long time, most of the people in this area worked in the agriculture sector, with the exception in Bandung City where peoples’ occupations are mainly in service, industry, trade and government.

Rice is the main staple food for the population, especially for the last 40 years. In the past we had many varieties of rice, including black rice, red rice and white rice. All had sticky and unsticky versions. All varieties of rice were used for different purposes. Now, the majority of farmers is only producing white unsticky rice, which is the main staple food for this generation.

Sundanese people love lalapan, which consist of varieties of fresh vegetables, as part of their main diet. There are more than ten native species which are used regularly as their lalapan. Originally, these plants grew wild and naturally in their garden. Unfortunately, many of those plants are not known by younger generation. They do not exist in the market. And where these plants grow wild on the land, nobody knows that they can be eaten, except older people. Besides their special tastes and smells, some of the species also have medicinal functions. However, fewer people know this knowledge as they rely on modern medical systems.

The temperature in Bandung region is relatively cool. The minimum temperature is 19 degree Celsius, while the maximum temperature was 27 degree Celsius in 2007 and 33 degree Celsius in 2019. Average maximum rainfall has been about 250 mm over the last ten years. This region has two seasons, dry and rainy seasons. In the past, the timing of both seasons was more predictable. Currently, it is more irregular and heavy rain and storms are happening more frequently.

Increased population and modernization have brought about change in the region. The landscape changes from agriculture land to housing, touristic and industrial area. The culture is changing to more urbanized culture with increased television viewing. More children names use Moslem names or famous actress/actors name. Modern songs and dances become more popular than traditional ones. People eat more modern food. Wheat is the dominant grain. There is increasing use of deep frying process using palm oil and food additives such as white sugar, monosodium glutamate, artificial coloring and preservatives, compared to the previous generation which relies more on fresh or steamed food. This diet change has created more risk of many cardiovascular diseases in the younger generation.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

In Indonesia, agriculture is viewed as sector to support industry and services. Under this policy, the price of food will be kept as cheap as possible otherwise the wage of labor should be increased, which will increase the cost of industry and service, which will lower competitiveness of Indonesia’s product price in international market.

In that setting farmers will be in a difficult bargaining position to get a fair price for their production. As part of their survival startegy, farmers usually take the following options. Firstly, they will stop growing food and choose to plant other crops which have more money value. Secondly, they try hard to increase production, i.e. by applying chemical fertilizers and spraying pesticide in their farm land. Unfortunately, this will only increase food production in the short term. In the long run, the soil fertility will decline as well as the food production. When soil fertility is declining, usually they put more chemical fertilizer which means increase production cost. With increase cost and declining production, farmers’ income will be declining as well. Although there are government subsidy for chemical fertilizers and pesticide, this subsidy has not effectivelly helping poor farmers to be out of poverty. As the subsidy is given through price mechanism, more subsidy will be received by farmers with larger land ownership. This will create more gap between poor and rich farmers. In the long run, if poor farmers cannot get sufficient income anymore, they will sell their land and find other job. In the case they cannot find one, they will open new farm land illegally in the forest or other uncultivated area.

The current food system mainly view the environment as a resource to produce food and other needs for people. Technology is used to make nature exploitation can be done fast and in a large scale. With the increase of the population, the pressure on the natural environment is increasing, it will create resource scarcity which potentially increases conflict between people and other species as well as conflict among people.

Modern food production and distribution systems have higher ecological footprints than the traditional ones. The environmental pressure is also increased with the change from local food consumption into imported food and meat based diets. This diet change creates health impacts on the population. The trend of diet based diseases, such as diabetes and other cardiovascular disease, is increasing. The spending for medical treatment of these type of illness for individuals as well as state spending are increasing by time.

Modernization also offers instant food which is produced by factories from other places. Despite that its health and nutritional quality are questionable, these foods are cheap and easy to prepare. As instant food use is growing, it will reduce the number of people who produce and process local food. This will ruin the cultural diversity of food in this area as well as local economy.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Our vision is developed to address the mental model change behind the current food systems which is based on the belief that food needs to be distributed as commodity through market systems. This is to explore an alternative mental model from which the new food systems need to be developed.

This vision will transform the environmental condition which is currently degraded by the food production process. The vision will change that current practice through producing food by conserving nature, including the biodiversity of the regions. It will transform the current food consumption which is based on only small numbers of species into more diverse species, especially native species in the region. Ecological carrying capacity will be considered in designing food system.

Food culture will be developed based on the principle of sustainability. The food will be locally produced, rich in nutrition, delicious, interesting to look at, healthy, and ecofriendly. As people know this principle and its benefits, they become more creative. As the number of creative people in the food sector increases, it will create a new culture of healthy and ecofriendly food for the region.

The food economy will be based on a local closed loop material cycle, which will eliminate food waste. It will also develop in response to non-market forces. The goal is to ensure all people, despite their economic condition, can have access to sufficient healthy food. The new economy will be fair and provide equal benefit for all stakeholders involved.

Technology will be used as a way to promote new food systems, spreading this vision to various related stakeholders, from early adopters to mainstreamers. It will be used wisely in food production, distribution and consumption. All process and materials will be ecofriendly to ensure the circular economy can happen.

The vision will change the diet from unhealthy food to healthy food. It will also change the diets of people which are currently dominated by food products which have high ecological foot prints into local food which is produced in more sustainable way. The food will be more diverse, rich in nutrition and delicious.  

Policy will be supporting new food systems by creating necessary conditions so that all preconditions can be in place to support the transformation. It will see food production as very important priority, promote residents to be involved in food production and get benefit from it. It will drive the people to consume healthier and environmentally friendly food resulting in a healthier population and less spending on cardiovascular diseases.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

We envision that in the future food system, people will be happy and healthy. They eat diverse, nutritious, delicious and environmentally friendly food produced with love locally in the region. All people consume sufficient healthy food. They like their food very much.

Food production is done through conserving nature. Forest and lake become the region’s main source of food. Farm land is integrated with native forest, dominating with local biodiversity. The landscape is very beautiful and special. Diverse and abundant healthy food is coming from this healthy environment. Local biodiversity is used as part of food production and consumption, creating a special food culture for the region.

Food sectors created new economy which is locally based, sustainable and fair for all entities involved. The benefit of food economy is distributed fairly among all entities. The economy is following circular economy which is based on a closed loop material cycle, including in food sector. There will be no waste. All people are happy with the economy because it supports their livelihood, including food, sufficiently, efficiently, easily and affordable.

Everybody who wants to farm can have access to land. They can keep the land as long as they cultivate it. The harvest will be distributed among community members. Farmers will lives in decent life. Many young people would like to be a farmer.

Technology and policy are enabling factors which support above vision to happen. Technology is used wisely based on precautionary principles. Green food technology is used widely in food production. Many people can use it easily.

Policy is shaped through participatory process represented by various well-informed stakeholders. People are very proud of their food systems and are happily spread this model to other bioregions.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

We envision that all people in the region are healthy and happy. We can eat healthy and delicious food sufficiently. All food is safe and free of toxins. All has natural ingredients. No toxic additives, such as artificial color, preservatives, or taste enhancers. Yet, the foods are tasteful and yummy. All of them are delicious.

We live in a very healthy life. All people are healthy. Nobody is sick because of their food habits. Someone will die only because he/she is already very old and decide to die happily. Everybody know how to be healthy. Healthy food is part of daily lifestyle. All people have sufficient knowledge about it. It becomes a normal practice to consume healthy food. Produce and process food become a general skills and knowledge of everyone. Food is affordable and accessible for all people, despite their ages, gender, socio-economic status, nationality, ethnicity, race and religion. Community have high level of resilience in food security.

The food comes from the area close by near our residence. This bioregion can support all basic food needs for all populations to be healthy. The food comes from nature in this bioregion. Food production is also a process of nature conservation. Nature conservation is happening because people are using the nature in sustainable way. Sustainable natural resource management, especially in food sectors, is a general knowledge of all people.

This food system is ensuring the health of the ecosystem in the region. This region has beautiful nature. As the nature recovers from degradation, its beauty and richness is increasing by time. The ecosystem become healthier by time. This process is done actually because people are using nature and ecosystems wisely so that they can increase their wellbeing as well as conserving nature. Nature will be conserved to support the food systems. Conservation is not a separate process for human life. Our life is integrated with nature.

We love gardening, cooking and food processing. Collecting fruits, mushroom, leaves, honey and herbs from the forest are some of our favourite activities. Many people also love fishing in the lakes or rivers. Plenty of food can be collected from nature for our daily meals.

Abundant local biodiversity is used as part of food production and consumption, creating special food culture for the region. Knowledge about local biodiversity and how ecosystem functions in this bioregion is a general knowledge of the society. All of these are the basis of our local food culture.

Many people involves in food production activities. Farming is part of daily activities. Everybody who wants to farm can get land to cultivate. They can keep the land as long as they can use it. We produce a lot of local food from the farm land. It integrates plants, cattle, fish pond, poultry and forest in one integrated sites. All part links to others creating symbiotic relations which ensuring maximum harvest yields for us. The farm is beautiful and designed following the pattern of nature. Natural environment and built environment are integrated seamlessly.

We exchange recipes, seeds, products and this process increase the overall knowledge about food in the community. Most of the recipes are based on local native plants biodiversity. The uniqueness of food culture from every place is shared. Everybody enjoy those processes very much.

Most of the food consumed in this region are fresh or processed with love by people who really love food making. The supply is sufficient for everyone. Everything can be obtained locally. Everybody have skills in food production and processing. They know good quality of healthy food and how to make it. All is done with high ecoefficient technology.

Season is highly respected. Types of food will depend on season. Every season is special. We celebrate every season gratefully. Every season provides nutritious food for all people. All are harvested with care. Food processing becomes part of community culture. It becomes a social capital building session among community members. People gather together to plant, harvest, process, and eat their food. It is part of important cultural events of the region. It is a desired regular events for the community in the region.

This food system created new economy which is locally based, sustainable and fair for all people involved. The economy is following circular economy which is based on close loop material cycle, including in the food sector. There will be no waste. It supports circular economy in the region, creating sustainable livelihood for the population. Packaging is used only when necessary. However, nothing is wasted from the packaging. For example it can be compostable or even edible as well. All materials stays in the economy benefiting more people along the economic chain. The benefits are abundant and distributed equally among stakeholders who are involved along the chains. Everybody is happy with the economy because it supports their livelihood, including food, sufficiently, efficiently, easily and affordable.

All technologies are used wisely following the principle of sustainable development. It is used based on precautionary principles. Renewable energy is widely used for food production and consumption replacing depleting oil-based energy. Part is coming from the waste of harvest or unused part of processed food. All ingredients use natural products. Chemical is not used anymore.

We believe that growing food to nourish our body, re-creating our economies and cultures that enhance our wellbeing, and improving the health of our planet can go hand in hand. We see food to be the most direct and intimate way of our connection to our land, as well as to people around us. We see regeneration of our local ecosystem as the key. As the ecosystem improved, good foods are abundant, and more and more carbon in the air sequestered in the soil, reversing the climate.

Policy is shaped through participatory process representing by various well-informed stakeholders. Food policy is enabling factors which support above-mentioned vision to happen. People from various interest group support this vision. They influence and support the policy and economic reform to support this vision. They themselves become active change agents from their home, community, and the region. 

They use technology to speed up the process. As this vision starts to manifest, we start to get more benefit from it. We are very proud of their new food systems and happily promote this vision to other people. This vision will be spreading very fast, also to other bioregions, creating ripple effects of change around the world.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Website
  • Colleague

Attachments (1)

Dynamic of Food System.pdf

This is a causal loop diagram consisting multiple variables related to our food vision in Bandung Ecoregion. It describes the dynamic of food system in Bandung Ecoregion. The colors connect the variables which create loops, on of the potential places to intervene the food system.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ekaterina Egorova

Hi Catharina Any Sulistyowati 

We’ve developed this Pocket Guide to support you through the final days of wrapping up your submission.

This will give you the most important bullet points to keep in mind to successfully submit your Vision.

Go ahead, review the check-list and final words of advice before the deadline.

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