France Paris
Sustainable diets & Nutrition

From fields to plates: Ile-de-France high school students are holding their États généraux de l’alimentation!



< back to initiatives

The context

Since 2014, the Île-de-France Regional and Interdepartmental Department of the Environment and Energy (DRIEE) has been working with the Paris, Versailles and Créteil academies to organise environmental and sustainable development education events in Paris Region high schools. The first event is a simulation of COP21 prior to its organisation in 2014, at the request of the Ministries of National Education and Ecological and Solidarity Transition. It was such a success that the initiative was subsequently made permanent:

  • During the 2015-2016 school year, high school students work on climate issues in the Paris Region and seek solutions;
  • In 2016-2017, they will study the oceans;
  • In 2017-2018, they will work on air quality in partnership with Air Paris;
  • In 2018-2019, they are working on the issue of sustainable food: the Île-de-France Regional and Interdepartmental Department of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (DRIAAF) is mobilised to organise the Sustainable Food Summit.

The project

The three academies publish a call for projects, to which volunteer schools respond. 500 pupils from 15 schools are mobilised for the whole school year.

The teaching communities are supported methodologically, trained on the themes addressed during three training sessions. A design office, Utopies, organises and supports the training sessions and ensures the regular production of the work done in class. This enables teachers to support students in their research, raising their awareness of the health, social, environmental and economic issues of each territory, choosing the actors they wish to represent, and developing their positioning and preparing their arguments while also understanding the discourse of other stakeholders.

The year concludes with a gathering of students, each high school being represented by 4 students. The objective? Through a simulation of the "Etats Généraux de l'Alimentation", to collectively develop a set of consensual principles concerning the future of sustainable food in Île-de-France. Each high school plays one of the roles in the food chain: agricultural producers, processors, distributors, collective catering, civil society/consumers and institutions.

The final agreement, a multi-stakeholder charter, is ambitious. It recommends:

  • 100% of farms engaged in actions in favour of ecological transition by 2030;
  • 30% of farms in organic farming and 20% in sustainable agriculture by 2025;
  • A 50% reduction in food losses and waste;

The organisers are pleased with the result, which they describe as "almost more serious than the real EGA of 2018". The students have taken up the game and show a real preparation, allowing an appropriation of the subjects negotiated, and a realistic defence of their position as actors.

The means used

An external service provider is mobilised throughout the project, paid up to €45,000 by DRIAAF. The logistics costs incurred are covered by the DRIEE to the tune of €8,000. Finally, the project mobilised approximately 50 hours of work for the DRIEE and the DRIAAF respectively, to which must be added the work of the three academies, all members of the steering committee following the project throughout its duration.

Objectives and results

The aim was twofold: to acculturate students via their teachers to the issues of sustainable development, in this case sustainable food in particular; and to make them aware of citizen participation. The students had the opportunity to meet actors in the field to formulate their positions and arguments, confronting them with realities that are often far removed from idealistic and utopian positions imagined.

The challenge was also to make the pupils aware that they can act at their own level. The first results are already observable: some pupils have encouraged a high school to reflect on its restoration practices, by questioning its stewards on this subject. The students also take their questions home with them, a process which may encourage parents to change their practices.

Finally, the challenge is also to raise awareness in schools that are still not very committed to sustainable development efforts, by offering them recognition for their future efforts through two incentive labels:

  • E3D": "Établissement en Démarche globale de Développement Durable", a label awarded by the Ministry of National Education to schools with ambitious actions;
  • "Eco-responsible high schools": label of the Île-de-France Regional Council granting funding to sustainable investment projects relating to biodiversity or waste management.

The little extra

At the end of the event, an educational kit is put together to facilitate the spreading of the initiative to other schools and regions. To be shared and publicised!

Rédigée par Eva Morel, volontaire LFC - Mars 2020.

Last modification : 10 May 2021.


DRIEE direction régionale de l'environnement et de l'énergie d'Ile-de-France Cours Louis Lumière Vincennes France

The Regional and Interdepartmental Directorate for the Environment and Energy (DRIEE) Île-de-France has been working, since 2014, with the academies of Paris, Versailles and Créteil, on the organization of educational events in environment and sustainable development in Ile-de-France high schools.


Tahnée Régent
Cheffe de projet "Associations, communication et éducation à l'environnement" à la DRIEE 01 87 36 45 24