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5 reasons chefs can build a better food future

Chefs are at the heart of the food conversation. That’s why over 100 chefs from around the world have come together to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger. Paul Newnham, Coordinator of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub, shares their vision.

Paul Newnham
Paul Newnham

Coordinator, SDG 2 Advocacy Hub

Prior to the Advocacy Hub, Paul spent 15 years at World Vision International where he was responsible for campaigning, advocacy, communications and youth mobilisation. He led the way with a new and innovative approach to tackling hunger, which focused on youth and livelihoods in East Africa.

Paul is passionate about bringing new voices to the Global Goals conversations. He is committed to ensuring that members have the support and resources they need to work collaboratively and achieve SDG 2 by 2030.

We believe in a better future for food.

A future where ingredients are grown with respect for the environment, where no good food goes to waste and where everyone, everywhere enjoys the nutritious meals they need to grow and thrive.

The good news is that the SDGs, generated by the United Nations, offer a roadmap to succeeding. 193 countries agree with this vision and are onboard to achieve the 2030 targets. The journey is not going to be easy. Tackling food system challenges – such as undernutrition, food waste and soil degradation – are hugely complex. We believe that success relies on everyone rolling up their sleeves, from across the whole industry.

We need to start a new global conversation about food. It should be an engaging, inclusive movement that motivates everyone to come to the table and take action.

We envisage chefs at the centre of this conversation, inspiring people to make changes in their kitchens and communities and empowering them to call on governments and companies to also play their part.

Here are 5 reasons why chefs can be powerful advocates for a better food future:

  1. Chefs know the power of good food: They understand that food can be more than just fuel. It connects us across cultures and continents, inspires conversations and brings people together. They know that whether you are in a restaurant or a refugee camp, food speaks to people and that taste can be a powerful tool for spreading ideas and messages.

  2. Chefs bridge the gap between production and consumption: They bring the farm to the fork, transforming raw ingredients into delicious meals. In doing so, they can re-connect people with where their food comes from, and help promote farmer livelihoods and more sustainable supply chains.

  3. Chefs set food trends: Where chefs lead, we follow. Chefs can inspire us to eat differently and more sustainably. By showcasing ingredients, such as plant-based proteins that are good for us and the planet, they can influence what we ask for in supermarkets and choose to put on our plates.

  4. They are role models: As well as influencing what we eat, chefs can help us understand how to cook and eat better. Whether it is showing us ways to use up over-ripe veggies or to eat well on a budget, chefs have a key role to play in educating future generations about sustainable nutrition.

  5. Chefs are already driving change: The movement has begun! Chefs all over the world, from Massimo Bottura in Italy to David Hertz in Brazil and Arthur Potts Dawson in the UK, are taking action to tackle key SDG issues such as food waste, hunger and sustainable sourcing.

We want to elevate this great work and help others take action too. So, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub is working with chefs, including those from Unilever Food Solutions, to create a Chefs’ Manifesto. This is a thematic framework, which outlines how chefs can contribute to the SDGs through simple, practical actions. So far, 100+ chefs from 36 countries are involved and we are looking to engage with even more. Watch this animation to find out more.

Together, we can help deliver a brighter food future for all.

Paul Newnham Food is Life poster
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