Menu for Change: Amplifying young voices in food systems transformation

2021 marked another step towards to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, with the first UN food system summit and the highly anticipated COP26 taking place. But, with food amongst the top five sectors driving climate change, who makes up the leading voices within these dialogues?  

Young people are among those who will be most impacted by decisions made today but they are also among those who lack access to these important dialogues.  With this in mind, EIT Food’s ‘Our Food, Our Food System’ campaign set out to find out how young people feel about the current – and future – food system, and what urgent changes they want to see from policymakers and food sector stakeholders.  

The dual phase campaign revealed concerns from young people about their access to healthy and affordable food as well as the sustainability of the food system. EIT Food surveyed over 2,000 18–24-year-olds from across Europe, with two-thirds stating that the current food system is destroying the planet. Nearly eight in 10 also said they want food labels to have information that extends beyond just the ingredients, and two-thirds stressed that they didn’t get enough education about healthy diets while at school. Read more about the health research here and the sustainability research here.  

Considering these findings, Greenhouse worked with EIT Food to send out a call for applications from young people to become ‘FutureFoodMakers.’ After being selected by a judging panel, 10 young activists from across Europe were then tasked with creating a list of their demands for the food system. The FutureFoodMakers shared their priorities and key demands on topics including regenerative agriculture, food waste and food education, to make up their final manifesto, the ‘Menu for Change’.
“We – the next generation of leaders, decision makers and consumers – deserve a voice about these changes and what our future food system should look like. It is time for young people to be heard.”
Júlia Montoliu Boneu

On top of discussing the calls to action in their manifesto at EIT Food’s annual Venture Summit conference, and in the Global Innovation Hub Pavilion at COP26, the FutureFoodMakers presented their manifesto to European food sector stakeholders at the EIT Food Future of Food conference. 

Greenhouse also launched the Menu for Change to pan-European media outlets and across social media channels, with coverage in publications such as Dagens ETCAgFunder and Food Navigator as well as praise from influential changemakers such as the EU Agriculture Minister, the UN Assistant Secretary-General and the European Commission’s Deputy Director General of Health and Food Safety.  

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“You’ve made us sit up, stand up, and listen. We are all part of the solution… keep using your voices in this way; be active and be part of the change we all want to see.”
Claire Bury
Deputy Director General of Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Using the power of design, playful asset creation and high profile changemaker engagement, the campaign hashtag #FutureFoodMakers has been used over 700 times since the launch of the campaign’s first phase in mid 2021. Take a look at the Menu for Change launch posts on EIT Food’s TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook channels.  

If you want to find out more about the FutureFoodMakers or download the Menu for Change manifesto, head over to EIT Food’s blog or FutureFoodMaker landing page. If you’re interested in how else Greenhouse supports positive change in the food sector, take a look out our food and agriculture case studies here.