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Fostering cooperation- YPARD Europe and the BCFN Alumni group

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN Foundation) is a private non-profit apolitical institution, working as a multidisciplinary and independent think tank. The foundation has a strong focus on determining the effect of economic, scientific, social and environmental factors on food. The foundation also offers valuable scientific content that inform and help people to make conscious daily choices about healthy living, sustainability, food and nutrition. The main mission of the foundation is to promote an open dialogue between Science, Politics, Business and Society to push the big topics relating to food, nutrition, wellbeing and the health of our Planet into the agendas of national and international opinion leaders and decision makers.

BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) and its Alumni group

In 2012 the BCFN foundation first launched the BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) - an international competition for young researchers from all over the world. The competition aims at rewarding the best ideas about food and sustainability. The 2017 Research Grant Competition is designed for individual or multidisciplinary and cross-national research teams of a maximum of three components. See here for more details on this year’s call for participants.

BCFN Alumni group are represented by the young finalists BFCN YES! The vision of the BCFN Alumni group is to make the best use of the potential of the young people involved with the issues of agri-food sustainability around the World. The objective of the group is to create a community of active and committed Alumni, which, through projects and other activities, contribute to the development of a more sustainable food system. YPARD (Young Professionals for Agricultural Development) shares a similar vision and mission to serve as a collective global network that enables young professionals to realize their full potential and contribute proactively towards innovative and sustainable agricultural development. YPARD has also introduced the BCFN YES competition among its global community of young professionals in agriculture development.

YPARD Europe and BCFN Alumni group - Boosting youth inclusiveness in agriculture and agri-food sustainability

In May 2017 Libuska Valesova - the YPARD Europe Coordinator and Francesca Allievi - BCFN Alumni Operative President officially formed the collaboration between both platforms with the objective to boost and improve the involvement of youth in agriculture and agri-food sustainability in Europe and around the World. To achieve the objectives of this collaboration between both platforms, a matching list between the one hundred BCFN alumni members and YPARD national chapters across the world will be developed to boost the scientific youth cooperation on national levels. The collaboration will also serve as a source of knowledge exchange between both platforms.

A work plan will be developed to give structure to all activities to be implemented under this partnership. The plan will contain events, activities and or competitions to encourage youth participation in agricultural related issues and to open a space for discussions where the youth will be able to have a voice and share their opinions and thoughts on related topics. A good example of potential activities is the Twitter chat on the question “Are we ever going to feed the world and nourish the planet effectively?” organized by BCFN Foundation and the Milan Center for Food Law & Policy. The Twitter campaign provided a space for young people to share their opinions and thoughts on the topic. Here is a recap of the discussion from the YPARD Italy country representative - Virginia Cravero who participated as one of the selected panelists of the discussion.

 YPARD Europe and the BCFN Alumni group believe that strength comes with unity. Yes! We are stronger when we work together and together we will continue to encourage youth inclusiveness in agriculture and sustainable agri-food systems.

Stay tuned to discover new developments and outcomes of this collaboration.

Picture credits: picture 1 & 3 YPARD, picture 1  & 2 BCFN