The food industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and a key part of food production is family farms—the theme of this year’s World Food Day. Family farms play a significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
In celebration of World Food Day on the 16th of October, PRiMEtime is taking the opportunity to feature some of the initiatives that business schools have put in place to raise awareness about local food challenges, as well as celebrate local food. To see the examples from part 1 click here.
Partnerships – local community
Bournemouth University Business School has been working in collaboration with the Sustainable Food Cities Partnership Board, an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations committed to promoting sustainable food. Through this partnership, a number of project areas were identified for students to engage in discussions around sustainable food. The school also hosted workshops on sustainable fish sourcing and consumption, and consumer attitudes to sustainability issues—such as protection of local and regional food and drink.
The recovered food CSA was founded at the University of Maryland in 2013 as a student run, revenue-generating club. The food stand embodies the community-supported agriculture model. Surplus produce is collected from local farmers and sold through the food stand on a regular basis. The produce is sold by 5-pound bag (for $5) and for every bag bought, a bag is donated to a hungry local family.
Western Michigan University has also collaborated with local farmers through their Food Diversion Programme, where food waste is gathered and picked up several times a week by local farmers and used as feed for their pigs. (The university also converts 100 gallons of used filtered oil from Dining Service fryers for use by Landscape Services lawn mowers).
JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland launched a specialised programme on Sustainable Gastronomy at the bachelor level. The aim of the programme is to consider the whole food system through the sustainable food lens, enhancing the dialogue between the food system stakeholders and education. In order to be able to develop their branch in a responsible way, graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the sustainable food chain and eco-gastronomy both on local and global level, and understand their value for responsible business.
The Alma Mater Studiorum at the University of Bologna’ MBA in Food and Wine explores the topic through the knowledge of the most successful Italian enterprises in gastronomy and oenology (the study of wine and wine-making). Bologna is famous for its excellent tradition in this field and renown for being “the City of Food.” This 12-month programme includes a focus on sustainable agriculture, exploring the specific food and wine characteristics at the local level.
For more examples see previous PRiMEtime blog posts Sustainable Food on Campus (part 1 and 2), which provide a range of examples of how universities are making the food on campus more sustainable by focusing on the local contexts, putting in place community gardens, creating farmers markets, and collecting food donations.