03 August 2021
Youth4Food Activist Event Launches Global Campaign to Change the Food System
100 young activists aged between 14 and 24 attended the first ever Youth4Food Activism event at Valleyfest, Somerset from Saturday 31st July to Sunday 1st August.
Connecting with young activists in Nicaragua, Kenya, Lebanon and India, they joined forces on a global food campaign Act4Food Act4Change in the run up to the UN Food Systems Summit and COP26 due to take place later this year, which the young activists will be appear at.
MPs, policy makers, food businesses, young food entrepreneurs and young people from over 10 national and global organisations attended the event whilst they debated the broken food system.
Over the 2 days the young people also:
- Heard from inspiring youth activists Dev Sharma (on food poverty), Mya-Rose Craig (aka Bird Girl) and Amy Meek (Kids Against Plastic) https://vimeo.com/582013844/aea39b7b43
- Quizzed MPs Neil Parish (Conservative) and Kerry McCarthy (Labour) and experts on the National Food Strategy and discussed how to get the recommendations taken up by Government https://vimeo.com/582015110/5c8643c1bd
- Debated the issue of whether retailer’s food waste should be the solution to food poverty
- Used art, poetry and music to capture their campaign priorities and led a march around the music festival to raise awareness on food poverty
- Heard from young food innovators in the UK and overseas – from growing seaweed to aeroponics
- Dame Emma Thompson also sent them an inspiring message and urged them to take their campaigning to an international stage Emma Thompson Message
Anna Taylor, Executive Director of The Food Foundation said: “These young people have blown me away with their passion for a better world. They can see a future where our food system regenerates nature, protects our climate, and keeps us well rather than makes us sick. Governments must now listen to them. It must be a priority if we are to mend our broken food system and protect the planet”
Matt Hales, 20, Student at Edinburgh University said: "It was an amazing weekend with some fantastically inspirational speakers. We finally had the opportunity to speak directly to MP’s, Policy makers and meet other young activists from around the country who all care about mending our broken food system."
Jess Guy, 20, Environmental Science student said: "This weekend has bought us together and I am excited that Government are finally realising that they must not only listen to young people but include us in the decision-making process. It’s our future and we must have a huge say in how that will look if we are to protect our planet from the food system that is currently damaging it so badly."
Ryan, 19, Food Activist, Glasgow said: "One thing I am passionate about is people being an individual in a wider group… which is society. I think we need to normalise this activism thing. I think you can just sit down and have a chat with folk, and that is activism. If you see something is wrong, put up your hand as far as possible. I’ve heard people say ‘You should always reach for the stars’. But I believe we should reach for the planets that we don’t know exist yet. And that way, one day soon, every child will have a Right to Food."
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About the Food Foundation
The Food Foundation is a charity working to influence food policy and business practice, shaping a sustainable food system which makes healthy diets affordable and accessible for all people and improve lives. We work in partnership with researchers, campaigners, community bodies, industry, investors, government and citizens to galvanise the UK’s diverse agents of change, using surprising and inventive ideas to drive fundamental shifts in our food system. These efforts are based on the continual re-evaluation of opportunities for action, building and synthesising strong evidence, convening powerful coalitions, harnessing citizens’ voices and delivering impactful communications.
Registered Charity Number 1187611