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Food and society

Special award for the Youth Manifesto

The document produced by BCFN Alumni has received a prestigious award from the Accademia dei Georgofili in Florence, a sign of the importance of the topics it promotes.

On 8th April 2016, in the Salone dei Cinquecento at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the 263° Academic Year of the Georgofili Academy was inaugurated. During the ceremony, Special Recognition was given to the Youth Manifesto.
The Georgofili Academy was founded in 1753 in Florence, with the aim of contributing to the progress of science and its applications for agriculture, environmental protection, agricultural land and rural development. And today, in congruence with the times, the Academy continues to contend with the new challenges affecting agriculture and all of man's relationships with the natural environment.
The Academy's recognition is a great honour. Not only does it vouch for the initiative and singularity of the Youth Manifesto, but it also contributes to the growing attention that the document has gained following its launch at EXPO Milan in September 2015, and the political debate with the institutions of the European Union (EU) in Brussels in December 2015.
The ceremony was attended by distinguished academics, including climatologist and President of the Academy Prof. Gian Piero Maracchi; Director General of the European Investment Bank, Luca Lazzaroli; and Aldo Longo, a top European Commission official. The latter, when announcing the Special Recognition award, stated that:
"The Youth Manifesto invites us to put aside generational and geographical boundaries, to listen carefully to the younger generations that will inherit the planet, and to remember that everyone has a part to play in ensuring a sustainable future. In particular, the Manifesto calls upon us to appreciate the significance of farmers, who have a crucial role in the food chain, and are key to restoring the balance between food production, respect for people's health and respect for the environment."
The Special Recognition award is also an opportunity to bring together the activities of the Georgofili and the Youth Manifesto, in view of the recent Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Primary importance is given to agriculture and agricultural ecosystems in the structure of the landscape, the maintenance and management of water systems and vegetation, and to ensuring the successful operation of major ecosystem services. Farming, thanks in particular to the involvement of the new generation, shall become responsible for environmental and ecological protection.

Once again, emphasis was placed on the significance of adopting a system of sustainable agriculture with reduced resource consumption and environmental impact. In the current economic struggle affecting agriculture and farmers, training, education and the resulting innovations become vital pillars supporting financial recovery.

A final point which was mentioned is the need to bring the consumer closer to agriculture: to increase awareness of the industry which produces food, its impact on the environment, and the responsibility of every consumer with daily choices of what to put on the table.

The Special Recognition is an invitation to continue supporting the solutions proposed in the Manifesto, so that the project can continue to translate into real actions, and can involve other young people in the future.
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