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A Well-Fed World Global Food Sustainability Conference review

A Well-Fed World Global Food Sustainability Conference review

2015-04-14 
| by Editor

VegfestUK hosted our first ever Global Food Sustainability Conference at our Brighton event on the Sunday March 29th 2015, and we’re delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response that we had from the conference.

 

This conference focused on solutions to food sustainability both locally and globally. The global section began with a general overview of global solutions and then zoomed in on a case study on implementation of these solutions in Ethiopia.

 

USA-based hunger relief and vegan outreach organisation A Well-Fed World were major players at this conference. As well as providing funds for this event, AWFW also helped source speakers and made invaluable suggestions for the format of the conference.

 

 

 

The conference began with an opening speech by Bristol East Labour MP Kerry McCarthy who’s also vegan. Kerry’s speech was followed by a series of 5-minute quick-and-easy solutions by a number of speakers in the local area.

 

 

 

 

 

A speaker who stood out in the local section was Vic Borrill, a director of Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, who recently won a Silver award in the UK Sustainable Food Cities Network, and involved with the Eating Better campaign group. Much of their work includes connecting people with food growing, working with public sector procurement, and promoting less meat menus.

 

There were also representations from local food groups including: 

 

Then Dawn Moncrief, founding director of A Well-Fed World, took over for the sessions on global sustainability. One major project she funds organises vegan school dinners in Africa where children otherwise have no food provided, and there is no stigma with plant-based food. She gave a good talk on the facts around global food production and how there are just not enough resources to satisfy the ballooning demand for meat worldwide. She is keen to engage with organisations globally who are working to relieve the pressure on the food system by promoting plant-based food and may be able to help them.

 

 

There was also time for a screening of the thought-provoking food documentary “What’s for Dinner?” during the general global section. Produced by Brighter Green, the film provides a unique look into the rapidly growing consumption of meat in China and the increasing industrialisation of agriculture. Through interactions with people across Chinese society, the film examines the impacts this big shift in food production and consumption is having on sustainability, public health, food security, climate change, and animal welfare

 

Dawn Moncrief was joined in the Ethiopian global section by Anteneh Roba M.D., co-founder and president of the International Fund for Africa. Dr. Roba is a board-certified M.D. in emergency medicine and works through his oragnisation to improve the healthcare for children in Ethiopia and to make medical care more accessible to the people of rural Ethiopia. Dr. Roba also promotes the adoption of a plant-based diet.

 

 

 

 

The day ended with an uplifting series of short videos and speeches on the joint Ethiopian school lunch programme between AWFW and IFA. Current food availability in many Ethiopian schools is sporadic and inadequate. Many children go without food and teachers even give some of their own limited pay to help. AWFW’s partnership with IFA is developing a vegetable garden and building bakeries to increase onsite food availability, and to generate income for long-term supplementation and self-sustainability.

 

We’re delighted with the positive feedback we’ve got both from our audience and our speakers on the conference. And big thanks to AWFW for making this conference possible. We wish them all the best of luck with their future projects and in particular their Ethiopian school lunch programme. We’ll be doing charity collections for this programme at our Bristol event too.

 

There’re also plans for making this food conference a 2-day event at Brighton 2016 – dates and plans TBA shortly...

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