Food for tomorrow – three years boosting sustainable food systems.

How we eat can change the world – this is the fact that we have heard, questioned and proved right so many times during the initiative organised by SI in collaboration with talented young people and stakeholders in Western Balkans and in Sweden between 2017 and 2019.

The way we act in relation to food has a great impact on our planet and our lives. We need to come up with solutions that point to a sustainable food system. We also need new ways of thinking about food and what we eat. And these solutions have to be on the table now.

So, what happens when you bring together passionate persons working with sustainable food systems? This is what the SI initiative wanted to find out.

Under the name “Food for Tomorrow” numerous partnerships were initiated and workshops, regional networks, food talks, farm parties, instant actions, cookathons and social media campaigns without borders were organised. The aim of the initiative was to strengthen regional cooperation and to demonstrate local initiatives with global potential, but not only through institutions or organisations – our aim was to inspire food producers and consumers to put on their “green glasses” when it comes to food production. Only when all levels are activated will we be able to bring about change in the food supply framework. In order to motivate broad audience to re-think the food habits, we came up with the Eat Smart Challenge an online campaign that through seven hands-on challenges over seven days raises awareness and helps people understand why our choice of food matters and how closely food is connected to a sustainable planet. Participants are asked to be a vegetarian for a day, to cook their meals from scratch, try out new recipes, to make tasty dishes of leftovers and to explore where their food comes from and how it is produced.

The first Eat Smart Challenge proved to be a successful concept that took place in April 2019 and attracted more than 700 participants from 75 countries , among them numerours Swedish Embassies with partners, sharing their insights, comments and thousands of videos through social media by using hash tags. The Facebook page of #eatsmartchallenge reached more than 28,000 people.

Workshops, seminars and other activities show that education about food and nutrition is key. Effective solutions require expertise in different fields. People from different backgrounds can together power the co-creation of powerful things. The participation of chefs, culinary students and food bloggers made the initiative even more attractive to a broader audience.

The Food for Tomorrow project is a success in terms of engagement, future inspiration and results. The food supply system is still in need of change, but the many activities carried out in the western Balkans and Sweden from #forktofield created interest, awareness and new collaborations.  And it is with small steps that we move mountains.

Besides new collaborations and food related initiatives, the initiative has created tools for anyone to arrange an Eat Smart Challenge and to be inspired by the digital Agenda 2030 cook book which will be available before the end of the year.

Are you interested to hear more about Food for Tomorrow initiative, please contact: Birgitta Tennander.


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