Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation
BCFN recognises that we live on a Planet characterised by three imbalances or “paradoxes” that beset the global food system hunger in the face of food waste (nearly 1/3 of world food production), hunger in the face of epidemie levels of obesity (2.1 billion people impacted), and unsustainable agricultural systems (1/3 of world grain production is used for animal feed, foodstuffs are used for first generation biofuels instead of feeding people, etc ). These injustices pushed Barilla Group to found the BCFN Foundation, a private non-profit apolitical institution. BCFN functions as a multidisciplinary and independent think tank, analysing the cause and effect relationship economic, scientific, social and environmental factors have on food.
The BCFN Foundation promotes an open dialogue between Science, Politics, Business and Society to push the big topics relating to food, nutrition, well-being and the health of our Planet into the agendas of national and International opinion leaders and decision makers. The BCFN Foundation promotes evidence-based scientific information to help people to make conscious choices every day about food and nutrition, health and sustainability.
BCFN performs and promotes research to understand how to create a world wherein food is produced and consumed sustainably for the benefit of people and planet BCFN approaches research as a shared responsibility across disciplines based on a core principle of interaction among a broad range of stakeholders. To this end, BCFN facilitates multiple stakeholder workshops on the challenges threatening people and planet each year. Examples of BCFN research include the Double Pyramid concept and the Sustainable Diets Observatory.
- Support for younger generations:
BCFN notes that the conversation on sustainability often focuses on the fate of future generations. However all too often this generation that is at stake is left out of the conversation. BCFN empowers young leaders by giving them a voice in conversations on food, nutrition and sustainability. Notable examples of this outreach include the BCFN Alumni network of over 100 passionate researchers from the five continents and the BCFN YES (Young Earth Solutions) research grant, which awards innovative, high-impact sustainable Solutions from young thinkers. BCFN has also created teaching programmes in Italian schools called “Let’s save the Planet” in collaboration with Feduf Foundation with four modules how to become sustainable citizens (and why), people food and Planet, business and sustainability, and sustainability in finance.
- Policy monitoring:
BCFN provides an overview of key events and policies at national and International levels on the major issues related to food, health and sustainability.
BCFN communicates actively on the three strands detailed above in an effort to get the message out on the three paradoxes One notable example is the Milan Protocol on Food and Nutrition, proposed by the BCFN during the 2015 World EXPO "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The Protocol offers guidelines and commitments for EXPO participant countries to end the paradoxes National and International organisations, institutions, experts and opinion leaders carne signed the Milan Protocol. The Milan Protocol went on to inspire the Italian government to draft the Milan Charter as a legacy from the global conversation and focus on food and nutrition at EXPO. A second example is the annual International Forum on Food and Nutrition, now in its 7th edition. The Fora have attained International recognition for their contributions to the global debate on sustainability, hosting hundreds of highly reputed speakers from all over the world. In February 2016 the Foundation released Eating Planet, a publication offering a 360° approach to food and nutrition and the interactions affecting our Planet, promoting recommendations and solutions for a wide range of stakeholders.