A group of 24 young leaders from around the world are pushing businesses and governments to engage in food system change as part of the Act4Food Act4Change campaign. At the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit in July 2021, the team will present the 17 actions they believe have the power to catalyze a food revolution.
Each initiative addresses a long-standing food system issue, such as food waste, meat consumption, and unhealthy and unaffordable meals. The global campaign encourages young people under 30 to vote for the actions most important to them. The top five stocks will then be unveiled at the official summit, which begins on September 1.
The campaign also includes a youth-signing pledge, which recognizes that “our current food systems are contributing to current health, climate and biodiversity crises, and human rights violations.” The signatories pledge to transform the food system by demanding “urgent, large-scale action from others, especially government and business decision-makers.” More than 1,300 people from 81 countries, including Norway and Egypt, have signed the pledge to date.
Act4Food Act4Change, which launched in May, grew out of a 2020 Bangladeshi Eat Well, Live Well campaign. The main objective of the campaign is to encourage young people to buy nutritious snacks. Additionally, the Eat Well, Live Well commitment is committed to working with food producers and policy makers to improve food production and distribution.
Eat Well, Live Well was “designed to improve the eating behavior of adolescents and make them understand the importance of a nutritious diet,” Dipty Chowdhury, one of the campaign organizers, told Food Tank. “Another goal was to empower teenagers to express their dreams.”
In Bangladesh, adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 make up one-fifth of the total population, or around 36 million people. More than a million young people have signed the initial pledge to eat nutritious and healthy foods.
“It is very necessary to make them healthy and educated,” says Chowdhury.
Sophie Healy-Thow discovered Eat Well, Live Well on Twitter. She believed that young people around the world would be interested in the campaign for healthier eating habits and a healthier food system. Together with her friend and fellow food activist Maureen Muketha, based in Kenya, Healy-Thow sent a proposal to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. The duo envisioned a global youth-led campaign calling for a change in food systems.
GAIN agreed to support the campaign and Act4Food Act4Change was born. Healy-Thow and Muketha recruited Chowdhury to execute their Global Vision.
“It will show the world the power and leadership of young people,” Chowdhury said of Act4Food Act4Change. “This commitment will mobilize young people around the world. “
The trio has since grown into an international team of 24 young leaders representing countries such as Nicaragua, China and Lebanon.
The campaign is already reaching out to governments and businesses around the world to demand a commitment to Act4Food actions Act4Change in the food system.
“We ask them very frankly, ‘Are you with us or are you against us?’ Because we have to work with you to make these actions a reality, ”Healy-Thow told Food Tank.
While some politicians and CEOs may be inclined to fire young people, Healy-Thow emphasizes their power. Millennials are the largest generation in the world, with just under $ 15 trillion in global purchasing power. Additionally, the support of young people – and the reach of Gen Z’s social media networks – has an impact on elections.
“When you think about the health of the next generation, if you want the people of your country not to emigrate, to be economically viable citizens, while having a happy country and a sustainable and sustainable environment in the future, you really have to listen to young people, ”Healy-Thow told Food Tank.
Healy-Thow and Chowdhury believe that the action “Ensuring that young people have a place at the table at all levels of decision-making” is one of the most important on Act4Food’s list of Act4Change.
“I firmly believe that young people should be at the board level or the board level,” Healy-Thow told Food Tank. “Especially in food systems, when business has such an important role to play, having a young person who is plugged into sustainability, climate action and human rights at a very high decision-making table, I think it does. can only be a positive thing. “