Eat Better, Eat Less, Food For All: Barilla Center International Forum

Nina Sparling

Greetings from Milan!

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition's (BCFN) Seventh International Forum on Food and Nutrition takes place in Milan December 1st. The Forum will focus on the major global themes and challenges included in the Milan Protocol, established in 2013. 

Watch live now from Milan on and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #BCFNForum.

The Milan Protocol sets three objectives: to promote healthy lifestyles and fight obesity, to promote sustainable agriculture, and to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2050. And BCFN invites experts, opinion makers, and young researchers to come together for this interdisciplinary event to share findings, scientific data, and best practices to meet the United Nations Global Goals for food and agriculture-related issues.

The theme of the Forum is “Eat Better, Eat Less, Food For All,” and will bring together researchers, civil society, and policymakers to discuss the future of the food system. The conversation will focus on developing a food model that protects the health of individuals, communities, and the planet through practical proposals and effective measures to tackle hunger and obesity, the use of natural resources, food waste, the environmental impact of agricultural production, and climate change.

The Forum will also include a ceremony to announce the winners of the BCFN YES! Award. The BCFN Young Earth Solutions! (YES!) program was established in 2012 to encourage young people—specifically, university students under the age of 35—to develop innovative solutions to problems within the global food system. This year’s finalists hail from eleven different countries around the world, including Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, Taiwan, Mexico, Uganda, Jamaica, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Benin, and cover topics ranging from electronic management of beehives to the potential of edible insects to control food production.

Last year, the award went two projects. Nadia Ndum Foy and Oko Archibong Ukeme won for their work empowering minority Mbororo women in Cameroon through developing eco-friendly gardening systems. “With firsthand understanding of the plights of the deprived, we are driven by a belief that nobody, regardless of social status needs to suffer food deprivation.” Francesca Recanati of Milan, Italy also won for her work on strategies for productive conservation to fight deforestation and support local farmers. 

Luca Virginio, Director of External Relations at BCFN said of BCFN YES! program, "To me, food heroes are all the young researchers and activists who are working hard to build a better food system—and there are many out there! We need to celebrate and encourage their commitment and energy."

The 2016 Forum is open to the public, and visitors can attend the daylong event and listen in on debates and round tables for free. BCFN will also live stream the event on its website, the BCFN Facebook page, as well as the Food Tank website.

The Forum will also introduce the Food Sustainability Index and report, "Fixing Food." The Index, written in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit provides a ranking of 25 countries across the three pillars of the Milan Protocol: sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and food waste. “Fixing Food” analyzes the findings of the Index and features interviews with experts and leaders from across the food system. 

Speakers and panelists include Food Tank Advisory Group Members David Katz, Founding Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center and Hans Herren, President and CEO of the Millennium Institute.

The Forum also features the following speakers and panels:

  • Stefano Zamagni, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Europe and Member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences delivers the opening keynote address, “The call for an integral ecology and food systems sustainability: suggestions for action.”
  • Livia Pomodoro, Chairman Milan Center for Food Law & Policy will dive into “Food & Rules.”
  • Kanayo F. Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President, will discuss “Sustainable Food Systems: What needs to change.”
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, will outline a “2017 Outlook in the framework of Sustainable Development Goals.”
  • David Eisenberg, Adjunct Associate Professor of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan. School of Public Health – Director Culinary Nutrition, will discuss “Teaching kitchens as catalysts of personal and social change.”
  • Elizabeth Rasmusson, Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme

For more information please visit The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition website.