Food For Generations
To inspire a brighter food future
Why are we doing this?
The current world population of 7.8 billion people is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and even 11.2 billion in 2100, according to a United Nations report (2017). As a consequence food production must increase with 50% by 2050 to meet the demand of the world’s growing population. Innovative strategies are needed to help combat hunger, which already affects more than 1 billion people in the world. On the other hand, an equal or even higher number of people suffer from lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc., posing an additional burden on society. Additionally, our planet is reaching its boundries on multiple levels.
With these figures in mind, the key question is: will global food and agricultural systems be able to feed humanity in a sustainable way while also accommodating additional non-food agricultural demands?
Food and agricultural systems are affected by trends that could jeopardize their future. Changing course is critical – “business as usual” is no longer an option. A more sustainable future is attainable, but getting there is not a walk in the park: significant investments are needed. Monetary investments, but definitely as important, attitude change by all actors in the agro-food chain. On the producer side – producing more food will be unavoidable, but the only way is doing so with less. Less food waste, higher efficiency and less unhealthy food. On the consumer side – raising consumer awareness will help to contain the need to unnecessarily expand food production and reduce the multiple burdens of malnutrition and lifestyle diseases. A large part of our healthcare cost, paid by society and governments, could be avoided when people adopt a healthier lifestyle. Food and agricultural sectors are key in this transition towards a sustainable food system providing healthy and high-quality food, but are no longer the only actors who are responsible to ensure equitable access to food.
While moving towards sustainability, food prices might increase significantly. Yet environmental sustainability and food assurance must go hand in hand to not jeopardize the ambition to end hunger and lifestyle diseases.
It is clear – time for action – and on numerous fronts!
Of course we should not forget that food brings joy in life and connects people. Even more, food is often deeply integrated in society and is part of human heritage. Therefore, the socio-cultural aspects of food should be kept in mind as well!
How are we doing this?
Jaycees are engaged and committed to create impact in their communities. With our Food for Generations-brand we want to inspire them to work on a brighter food future: with keynotes, workshops, inspiration sessions, networking events, company visits, tasting sessions, debates, community work and even leisure activities.
Four pillars in food will guide us in organizing these activities to achieve our goal:
Exploring innovative ways to make our food systems more sustainable, by learning what a sustainable food system could look like and ensuring our food production and consumption does not continue to have a destructive impact on the planet.
Stating the obvious: we need to diversify the agro-eco system, introduce alternative protein-sources, reduce packaging and move towards more sustainable packaging, aim for short food supply chains, reduce food waste all over the agro-food chain etc.
How will this look like in the future? Do we need to ban pesticides and fertilizers and risk losing an entire harvest because of crop diseases? Do we all have to become vegetarians or vegans even though these diets might cause vitamin B12 or other micro-nutrient deficiencies? Banning plastics might be perfect to reduce the plastic soup in the oceans,
nevertheless, we might increase the spillage of food because of shorter shelf life. And is reducing food waste not also one of the obvious goals?
Join us in the keynote speeches, debates, workshops and company visits giving insights into the different aspects of a sustainable food system.
Too much and unhealthy food leads to lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. On the contrary, the problem of malnutrition and undernutrition also grows in our society. Building a healthy relationship with the food we eat and optimizing food intake to enhance the working mechanism of our body and mind should be a daily reflex of every human on this planet.
Teaching and encouraging healthy food habits are part of the upbringing and education of a child. At home, and at school. Where is the balance between time for healthy food prep versus fast, easy and less healthy processed food? Is it a common misunderstanding that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food? Access to healthy food is key – but let’s start at the definition of it. Is there one and only one true definition of healthy food? And what about diets – there are uncountable new revolutionary diet-hypes, all promising to lose weight, but what is the right balance? Is losing weight the main goal? Isn’t providing our body with nutritious food also key? And in addition, the upcoming changes in our food system will have a great impact on our current eating pattern. How can we choose both healthy ánd sustainable food?
Science doesn’t stop. More and more research is being performed on the link between nutrition and health. Did you ever think about how food influences our brain? Our physical performance? Our immunity and microbiome? Is it possible to have a personal diet determined based on your DNA?
Healthy and sustainable food can be tasty as well. Both at home and in a restaurant. Being in Belgium, we invite you to get to know our world-renowned Belgian gastronomy, with plenty of Michelin star restaurants and world-famous chefs in the region of Bruges.
Being a star in the kitchen or not, there are a lot of ways to create a quick, healthy, tasty meal at home. Go shopping yourself, order a foodbox, get inspired by harvesting your own
crops at a community farm? No matter how the food arrives at your plate, a tasty meal can tempt everyone.
And what about the so-called latest food-trends, are they only a hype or are they really worth giving it a try? Are you in to taste some delicious dishes with chickpeas, insects, seaweed, matcha or even a fully 3D printed meal?
Become a foodie and indulge yourself in the principles of (Belgian) gastronomy by joining us in tasting sessions, food pairing workshops, cooking lessons, mouth-watering sessions with famous chefs, etc.
We are looking forward to enjoying and promoting the Bruges cultural heritage in all its glory with a number of enriching leisure activities all around the beautiful city. Bruges is listed as Unesco world heritage, renowned for its historical architecture, art and medieval city center. Part of the heritage we are very proud of are chocolate, Belgian French Fries and beer. We will be indulging your taste buds with our very own EC Bruges 2022 signature beer.
Not to forget the rich variety of the well known Flemish entrepreneurship: the base of agro-industry, potato and vegetable production found their origins in the clayey soils of Flanders.
Are you in for city games, museum visits, morning runs, guided tours, company visits, etc bringing heritage and food all together!
Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as a call for action towards 2030 to protect the planet, to end poverty and to ensure that every human being on earth can live in peace and prosperity. All of these SDG’s are connected to the food system in one way or another which makes it relevant for the entire world.
To raise awareness on this matter, JCI will gather active citizens from all sectors of society across Europe. We want to inspire these young people on food and develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions and take action. We want to make a “food” difference in their day-to-day life and (professional) activities.
Bruges as a host city
Bruges is a city with a rich history, incredibly welcoming to tourists and large events, green, and safe. We can’t possibly begin to list all the reasons why we chose Bruges as our host city, but let’s start with a few good ones:
- UNESCO world heritage : the inner city impresses with its cultural history and has been
recognized as UNESCO World Heritage City since 2000.
- Everything concentrated on walking distance : leave that map or smartphone in your pocket
and follow your intuition. Getting lost in Bruges is almost impossible (and in case you do get
lost, take advantage of it by discovering hidden gems or ask a local to help you out).
- Heritage meets innovation : city of Flemish Primitives and impressive historical buildings but
also city of inspiring makers, passionate creative souls and contemporary architecture. A
contemporary cultural destination with respect for history and tradition.
- Romance : the medieval canals, swans on the Reitjes, winding little streets and paved squares
make up for an instant romantic feeling, especially in winter.
- Green & safe city : the parks in the city centre, the ramparts around the town, the green belt
around Bruges with a mix of forests, castle parks, open landscapes, canals, … they make Bruges
an attractive destination for people looking for some green, to discover by foot or, why not, by
bike as Bruges is definitely a bike friendly city. Crime rates are close to 0.
- A wonderful destination with a vivid cultural offer
- A city with excellent hotels and meeting facilities in the heart of the city
- Culinary heaven
Who is JCI ?
We are young active citizens all over the world. Living, communicating, taking action and creating impact in our communities. Are you a young active citizen? Do you want to make a difference in your community? Join us on this journey of local action for global impact.
How is JCI different from other nonprofits?
JCI members take initiative to solve local challenges. More than a one-time donation or service opportunity, we focus on sustainable impact locally and globally. It only takes one active citizen to change the world. Be that active citizen today.
Discover more on jci.cc.
Why this logo?
The logo was created by Pavlov, a branding agency from Antwerp and also one of the partners of our conference. They wanted to incorporate elements from Bruges while also hinting at the international aspect of our conference.
A combination of elements? Look closely:
- The geometrical patterns surrounding it all refer to Bruges lace, a centuries-old tradition and known around the world
- Bruges is home to a lot of water in the inner city, and swans are seen everywhere
- The center circle refers to the globe and to the international aspect of the conference