Cooking sustainable development from the kitchen and beyond
Chefs influence what we grow, what we put on our plates and how we think and talk about food. The changemakers behind this project felt chefs could be powerful advocates for a better food future – motivating people to make changes in their kitchens and communities and empowering them to call on governments and companies to also play their part. Disruptive new voices like chefs could help translate SDGs into a language that resonates with the public and inspires them to take the action that will contribute to delivery of the goals.
Tackling food system challenges – such as undernutrition, food waste and soil degradation – is hugely complex. Success relies on everyone getting involved. By creating an online community and a Chefs’ Manifesto with simple, practical guidance on engaging in the SDGs, this initiative saw an opportunity to amplify existing activity, promote innovation and solutions and empower chefs all over the world to help deliver a more sustainable food system.
The SDG2 Advocacy Hub was uniquely placed to lead the initiative as it could draw on the expertise of Hub members – from NGOs to business and culinary organizations – to create a new movement for food. Over the last six months, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub has established a community of 130+ chefs from 38 countries who worked together to create a Chefs’ Manifesto. This is a document written by chefs, for chefs, synthesizing the SDGs into 8 thematic areas that chefs are most interested in tackling. The Manifesto is underpinned by an Action Plan which provides practical activities across each thematic area that chefs can take to contribute to the SDGs and inspire others to act. The Hub is also collating content and case studies of best practice across the chef network – from innovative ways of tackling food waste in kitchens to examples of chef-led social action in communities.
Notably, the initiative has helped give voice to chefs from all over the world and helped champion their vital role in engaging people in SDG 2 action. For instance, a group of chefs from India, UK, Venezuela and Cameroon presented the Manifesto at the Global Nutrition Summit in Milan in November 2017- providing an opportunity for the individual chefs to both profile their own work but also the power of collective action. The initiative will aim to change lives by equipping chefs all over the world with a simple set of actions to contribute to the SDGs and a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can access and share information that will help them drive change through their kitchens and in their communities.
The project´s aim is to continue to grow the chef network and engagement from all over the world – ensuring that the community is as inclusive and representative of the diverse role of chefs as possible. The Action Plan will be turned into a practical toolkit (translated into French, Spanish and English, in the first instance) which will serve as clear guidance for chefs as how they can – through areas such as purchasing power, kitchen practices and consumer education – contribute to the SDGs.