COVID-19 has certainly illuminated many deficiencies in our global food supply chain. With grocery store clerks suddenly shuffled to the forefront of the global response as reluctant frontline workers and chef’s who’ve stepped up to help cook meals for those workers, we’ve witnessed undeniable generosity in the face of one of humanities greatest challenges to date. It is hard to find someone on the planet today that isn’t familiar with how intricately connected our food system is to climate change – whether it be food shortages due to drought or pests, supply disruptions from natural disasters or the fact that nearly 40% of the food produced is wasted at some point within the food system. It seems overwhelming and rightly so, one may ask, “What can be done about it?” In comes an initiative from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – The Chef’s Manifesto.
The Chef’s Manifesto is a community of 700+ chefs from 77 countries equipped with a simple set of actions to drive progress against food issues. We all love food and are often motivated and inspired by a chef’s creative ability to entice and educate us about where our food comes from and how to best enjoy it. The basic premise is that ‘food is life’ and that food nourishes us, shapes landscapes, impacts livelihoods, and connects peoples and cultures across the continents. Chefs, with an inherit passion for food and all that food means to us as a society, has a unique position of power and influence to inspire others globally to share stories, best practices, and hope for a more resilient and equitable food system.
The Manifesto has identified 8 thematic areas that align with broader sustainable development goals. These include:
- Ingredients grown with respect for the earth & its oceans
- Protection of biodiversity & improved animal welfare
- Investment in livelihoods
- Value natural resources & reduce waste
- Celebration of local & seasonal food
- A focus on plant-based ingredients
- Education on food safety & healthy diets
- Nutritious food that is accessible & affordable for all
While solving our global food supply chain is a huge and complex need, this offers one simply solution for food service facilities worldwide. We can all be a part of solutions for a more resilient and sustainable future. Awareness is the first step. To find out more about this unique and inspiring movement, check out the website. There you will find links to their blog, their action plan and other ways to join the movement.