Go-Fooders came about as a result of a 12-day filming project that took me last summer across Europe to investigate social entrepreneurship initiatives dedicated to reduce food waste. After spending a long period of time obtaining information about this issue I decided to take a more active approach by getting a closer look at the entrepreneurial scene, the solutions being implemented and the key constraints. Given that in the last few years, the startup landscape regarding this problem – predominantly in Europe, although initiatives are currently sprouting around the world – has risen significantly, the selection of a representative sample of organisations to focus on became complex. After a brief research phase, I decided to contact six organisations in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain, that aim at finding solutions to reduce food losses and food waste at several points of the supply chain and to fix the global agrifood sector, to see if they were interested in the project. Although their initiatives differ in approach and area of focus, their members are motivated by a common goal: Achieving a global food system that is based on the principles of sustainability, quality and inclusiveness. They strive towards fixing up a broken food chain, at the local level, by implementing well tested, technology-supported systemic improvements. Through their actions they help raise awareness on food and agriculture-related issues. And they contribute to reshape mindsets and current consumerism patterns in society. So, once the dates were confirmed, my gear was packed and the logistics part of the trip was settled, I was ready to hit the road.
For as long as I can remember I have been sensitive to seeing perfectly edible food getting squandered, but it wasn’t until approximately four years ago that I started to be aware about food waste and everything else that either causes it or that is affected by it. Food has always been given special importance in my family. I was taught by my parents to value every bit of food that was bought. They have always considered it as an investment and not as a cost. Plates had to be licked clean and leftovers that were not eaten were properly stored to postpone consumption. I constantly found myself observing people’s behaviour regarding food at restaurants, events, family reunions, etc. And then, consequently, such concern transformed itself into curiosity and I began educating myself on this issue. The more information I accumulated, the more I realised that food isn’t just a physiological need, but a globally traded commodity. A commodity that, as it goes from its inception at a farm or a field across the supply chain down to its final destination, touches upon many different sectors and areas: agriculture, biology, ecology, labour, trade, economy, environment, energy, migration […]. So, given that food produced for human consumption that gets lost or wasted along the way equals about 1.3 billion ton per year, a lot of resources across all those sectors and areas vanish unnecessarily. And I am not sure if being angry about the global food waste scandal is what made me “passionate” about it; but last summer, this huge concern produced a spark: Go-Fooders.
Once the fieldwork was over came an obvious question: What to do with these interviews? Instinctively, my communications background kicked in and I thought, why not communicating it to the world via an online platform? Out of all the options I went over, I was convinced that audiovisual storytelling was the most adequate tool to capture the work of such inspirational and enthusiastic people. The website would feature every interview separately, choosing as the format a text interview and a short film/video teaser that highlights the main characteristics of each organisation.
All six interviews conducted during the initial filming trip are just the beginning. The goal is to shed light on as many “go-fooders” out there as possible.
The two main objectives intended to be reached through the dissemination of ideas and information on Go-Fooders are the following: 1) To develop a database of knowledge and expertise that can be commonly and freely used and shared, and 2) to join the individual endeavours of each organisation to push forward an overarching effort for a systemic change in the supply chain.
Today, more than ever before, it is of paramount importance to identify localised efforts that aim to undo unsustainable, short-term production and consumption trends by rethinking and redesigning the global food system from its core. We are currently living in a time where industrial and intensive agriculture is the dominant strategy to meet demands from an increasingly populated and urbanised world; Where the patent ownership of seeds and crop protection products is concentrating in the hands of lesser and bigger agrochemical corporations; Where anthropological climate change is endangering agriculture and farming across the planet at a level never seen before; And where the global food chain is so utterly inefficient that we are wasting a third of the food produced annually. In light of these blatant realities I deem it as a moral obligation to shed light and inform about the hard work of the organisations that envision a world where we meet our dietary requirements without endangering nature.
I hope you enjoy reading the content of this website and that you find it helpful and inspirational.
Carlos Cruz Diaz
IMAGE: Pasture is photographed on a sunny day. FreeImages.com Content License. /Claudio Sepulveda Geoffroy