Gastronomy Society, together with partners from Czech republic, Hungary and Poland is implementing project supported by the Visegrad fund on better food system for V4 youth.
In 2017 and 2018, the fact that multinationals sell lower-quality versions of their foods to consumers in CEE, came to light. In this moment, the problem is covered at political level, moreover, there is a clear common position of V4 and our countries are united and committed to finding a solution towards the fulfillment of the legitimate right of all consumers to have access to the same quality products. Even though this problem made our people angry and upset, our part of the responsibility consisting of the lack of public pressure and low levels of food literacy are unfortunately not a matter of the debate.
We in our organizations strongly believe that the real change only can be achieved by first embracing both, state and society, and raising the constructive debate. In this sense, the Slovak Agriculture and Food Chamber has repeatedly urged people to be more sensitive towards the topic and pay more attention to the idea of healthy and sustainable food system. Innovative approaches and courageous projects are still missing in our region. On the contrary, the interest of young people in areas such as gastronomy, agriculture or farming is radically decreasing, despite relatively high rates of youth unemployment among our countries. These areas are clearly not attractive enough for the young people. In Slovakia, the agriculture gets more interest last months – not because of its importance but because of political issues. Our main mission is to make the topic appealing for the broad audience and raise a public awareness in order to avoid future negative scenarios.
We want to come closer to the young people and launch mutual and bidirectional enrichment between youngsters and relevant stakeholders. In concrete, we want to: – Involve youth people in policy-making process regarding the sustainable food system in V4 countries and promote their active involvement – Identify the needs of young people connected to the food area and prepare recommendations for relevant stakeholders on youth policy – Raise public attention and making the society more sensitive towards this topic – Promote a concept of responsible and sustainable food policy-making We will pay a special attention to young people as a driving force for a change. In this sense, we will organize local food labs and food policy meetings, in which we are going to organize regional focus groups with young people and we will connect them with the relevant stakeholders involved in the food policy-making process, but also with the representatives of the NGOs, entrepreneurs and youth workers, in order to analyze the current situation in all 4 countries and highlight problematic areas, but also collect best practices. After that, V4 meeting will take place in which we are going to focus on the main issues that were subject of discussions on a local and national level. Possible topics are the role of youth, innovative and social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, etc. Finally, the involved organizations will prepare a training module which will be delivered back to the youngsters, with a special focus on the development of their advocacy skills in this area.