While the food professionals were talking about circular food chains on World Food Day in the Mauritskazerne, over 200 young people were working on their own approach to food waste at the Smaakpark. This Youth World Food Day was therefore a worthy end to the Dutch Food Week.
The DIY festival started with a lunch prepared with vegetables that were nominated to be thrown away. The alderman of Ede, Leon Meijer had come along for the occasion and encouraged all those present to do the most. Do a lot and talk less.
There were conversations with live connections abroad and the young people could go through SharedStudios talk directly to young people in Nigeria and Gaza.
The Wageningen Youth Institute organized the 'Fruit for all' workshop that provides insight into the complex issues surrounding food security. Important questions that we must answer if we all want to have enough food in 2050. With a Kahoot Quiz everyone could test their knowledge.
During the festival, groups of young people presented their ideas to combat food waste.
It has been almost a year since Foodvalley NL announced a partnership with ScaleUp Accelerator program to start using the facilities of the World Food Center. The program of Foodvalley Accelerator focuses specifically on scale-ups in the agri-food sector. Dutch companies with a scalable product or service and a turnover of at least 100,000 euros.
The first participants started in April and the first results can now be shared. Marian Peters, CEO of New Generation Nutrition (NGN) followed the Foodvalley Accelerator program this year to steer the rapid growth of its company in the right direction. "Participation forces you to make clear choices."
Knowledge about insects
NGN, based in Den Bosch, develops new applications with insects and at the same time focuses on knowledge development. "We want to build an insect chain and accelerate developments in this sector," says Peters, who founded the company in 2012 together with her then business partner Marleen Vrij. & #8220; We have a coordinating role in the sector. "
In just seven years, NGN has grown from a two-person to a company with fourteen employees, various products and projects in Europe and Africa. In order to continue to steer this rapid growth in the right direction, Peters decided to participate in April this year Foodvalley Accelerator.
"This setup forces you to think about who you are and what you stand for," says the CEO, who is now halfway through the program. “You will be put into a thinking process for a longer period of time that you will never let go. That way you make well-considered, clear choices. "
Peters is also enthusiastic about the applicability of the tools she is offered during the program. “For example, we have adopted the one-to-one approach to daily team sessions. Our employees now know better what is expected of them and are encouraged to think along with each other ”, she illustrates. "I also learned how, together with our employees, we can examine our business processes."
In October 2016, the city of Valencia and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome signed an agreement. Various forms of cooperation were agreed in this, aimed at improving sustainable urban food systems. It World Sustainable Food Center (WSFC, or CEMAS in Spanish) is one of the most important results of this agreement.
The WSFC wants to promote, manage and coordinate activities related to sustainable food protection. It lists the many initiatives, in cities around the world, that are aimed at setting up sustainable local food systems. In addition, a physical location has been opened from which knowledge is shared and all issues related to food, nutrition, the fight against hunger, climate change and sustainable local food systems are cooperated.
Last week, prof. Cristina M. Rosell in the Netherlands. Rosell is a professor at the Spanish Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC) and a member of the advisory board of WSFC Valencia. She met her colleague & #8217; s from the municipality of Ede and from the Swedish region of Östergötland. She also participated in World Food Day at the World Food Center.
We have just started
“WSFC in Valencia was only officially opened in July this year and is therefore still in the initial phase. And that is just one of the many things we have in common with the World Food Center in Ede, "begins Cristina M. Rosell.
“The World Food Center is a great initiative and there are certainly many opportunities to work with WSFC Valencia. We share common goals, in line with key FAO strategies, in the fight against hunger, sustainable urban food systems, climate change, nutrition and food wastage. & #8221;
“That is why we are now looking for the exchange of information and the joining of our forces, because sharing knowledge means that desired and required changes and transformations can proceed faster. We are open to any initiative regarding food, food management and food systems. And want to help make this visible to the world so that others can build on those experiences. & #8221;
These initiatives take time “The WSFC started with two people who shared a common concern about food systems and food issues in the world. These were the former director of the FAO and the mayor of the city of Valencia. They jointly decided that something had to be done and saw that cities became increasingly important in the implementation of FAO policy and the implementation of initiatives. Cities bring the policy to the citizens. & #8221;
“They already signed the agreement in 2016 and from that moment they work together. It shows that these things take a lot of time, from idea to realization. Legally there are so many things to set up, and although we now have our own location for meetings and presentations, there is still a lot to do. & #8221;
Local initiatives with global impact “WSFC is an institution led by the Valencia City Council and the FAO, but other local authorities and institutions must be actively involved in order to make CEMAS a success and to promote global activity. It must become the reference for sustainable food in cities. From a global perspective, the WSFC goal is to gain knowledge and to map all initiatives worldwide when it comes to creating sustainable food systems. Get inspired by ideas from different parts of the world and help by exchanging these ideas and projects. ”
& #8220; WSFC is still a government organization, but & #8211; like WFC Experience & #8211; we are investigating the possibilities of creating another legal entity with which we can work more independently & #8221 ;, Cristina Rosell adds. “I believe that in organizations such as ours, which work for citizens and municipalities, the government plays an important role. However, it should not be the only party. The initiative may be local, but the impact and scope are international, so organizations such as WSFC and WFC should be independent of governments and also include initiatives and ideas from the private sector. ”
“Just like the World Food Center, we have an advisory committee consisting of experts from different areas. This committee is still expanding. We wanted this Advisory Committee to be neutral because the WSFC is not about commerce. It's about social engagement. & #8221;
Ede and WSFC cooperation “My visit here was really useful. I am impressed because I did not know much about the WFC nor about Ede. I did not know what I would find here, but I was pleasantly surprised! The World Food Center is a really good idea and I am sure we can join forces to work on improving both local and international food systems. We are now discussing how the collaboration can be made more tangible. "
How do we start? “For me, the success of those initiatives will come if we think globally but act locally. Locally, citizens must believe in and be enthusiastic about these initiatives. They must think that these initiatives are worthy of the support of their local and regional authorities and other stakeholders. We therefore have to convince them jointly with specific actions and clear results, "Cristina Rosell continues. “We can start by sharing experiences and exchanging ideas on how we can better involve the citizens of our cities. "
Local food, local initiatives “Local food can be a starting point. How do we add value to local products through local markets? What is the experience of the two cities in making local food more attractive for the local market? How can we make local markets more lively? These markets must be more than points of sale, they must be meeting points. To make meeting points of it, you need concepts that attract people. The experience of buying food in a market is more than just the purchasing process and the product. We need to make local food markets more attractive, offer more experiences. I think Ede and Valencia can share their knowledge in these areas to see what we can learn from each other. "
“It applies to every consumer: if you see something every day, you no longer attach the right value to it. It has then become too 'normal'. People therefore often seem attracted to new and different products that come from the other side of the world. Probably because they seem more exciting. So how can we make local goods more exciting? We must make changes in taste, colors and the preparation of the food, then people will appreciate the new added value of the product. We must integrate innovation with local food. "
Experience Center has great potential “CEMAS is not an experience center. It is about knowledge exchange and communication. Unlike the WFC, it is not an attraction or permanent exhibition. In the WFC Experience you focus on children. This makes sense because they have the potential for the long term, for future generations. But you also have to balance this with short-term successes and things with short-term impact. People want to see fast results to support the long-term initiatives. "
International challenges “The biggest short-term challenges are different for different parts of the world. Every country has different problems. In Europe it is about waste, plastics and sustainability. For cities, the biggest challenge is to have a food system that is local, with enough food for the cities and close enough to keep logistics simple. You cannot create solutions that are equally valid all over the world. While for us this concerns nutrition, health and well-being, the focus for many other countries is still on basic food and survival. & #8221;
“But all choices and solutions are interrelated, so you have to think globally. People want to be surprised by food, and this creates hypes, like quinoa and teff. But with that practice we take away the basic or basic food in the countries where production takes place. It is ironic that health-conscious people in particular do not always seem to be aware that they sometimes cause such problems in other parts of the world. & #8221;
Let's start! “The biggest goal now in the short term, for both WSFC and WFC, is to start activities and deliver on the promises. And for us together, this means that we have to share our experiences as well as possible, try to improve and keep our communication open. I'm really looking forward to this collaboration! & #8221;
From left to right: Frnrkje Idema (program manager Food Municipality of Ede), Cristina M Rosell member of the Advisory Board of the World Sustainable Urban Food Center in Valencia), Thomas Högman (EU adviser in the Östergötland region), Leon Meijer (alderman of the municipality of Ede and chairman of the WFC steering committee) and Martin Tollén ( member of the Östergötland region)
Research shows that you make around 200 food choices every day. For example, you decide what you want for breakfast, what food you put in your basket and whether you have another cup of coffee. The majority of those choices are impulsive, automatic and unconscious. They are strongly influenced by the food environment.
& #8216; Go for Color Lab & #8217; with Dirk
How strong that effect can be was demonstrated during the & #8216; Go for Color Lab & #8217;. A project aimed at increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables, whereby a supermarket branch (Dirk) in Leidschenveen was transformed into a nudging laboratory for 6 weeks. Nudges are small nudges that make it easier for people to use certain & #8211; in this case, healthy choices & #8211; to make.
The National Fruit and Vegetables Action Plan (NAGF) wants & #8211; in the context of the National Prevention Agreement & #8211; increase Dutch consumption of fruit and vegetables and at the end of 2018 started an experiment on the potential of nudges in the supermarket. This shows that consumers can be encouraged to buy more fruit and vegetables with a few simple nudges.
For the experiment, the Dirk branch in Leidschenveen was transformed into 'Go For Color Lab' for six weeks. Fruit and vegetables were given a more prominent place by subtle changes in the shopping environment. For the first time in the Netherlands, so many different nudges have been tested in a supermarket at the same time. It involved seven variations, including access gates, shopping cart inlays and a healthy selection at the checkout. The changes in sales figures have been comparedand with a Dirk control supermarket without nudges.
The lab was developed and carried out by Food Cabinet in collaboration with the Free University of Amsterdam and commissioned by the National Action Plan Fruit and Vegetables (NAGF).
Get started together After the successful experiment, the NAGF is calling on other supermarkets to also get started and use nudging to stimulate fruit and vegetable sales over a longer period.
In the coming period, work will be carried out on a follow-up to the Go for Color Lab where nudging will also be used at other locations to help Dutch people eat healthier.