Barilla Foundation Brings Food Sustainability Index to the European Development Days

Barilla Foundation Brings Food Sustainability Index to the European Development Days

June 21, 2019

Barilla Foundation Brings Food Sustainability Index to the European Development Days

It’s one of the biggest development conferences in the world, bringing to Brussels some 67,000 participants, from 154 countries, and including 144 world leaders - the European Development Days.

This year, the Barilla Foundation presented its Food Sustainability Index developed with the Economist Intelligence Unit and its recent work on a Food and Cities Project.

Katarzyna Dembska, Researcher, led a brainstorming lab. She  explained how Barilla Foundation this year expanded the Food Sustainability Index to include countries from the developing world. The Index measures, among other indices, nationwide performance in fighting food waste and obtaining nutritional goals. It is difficult to get similar city-wide figures Dembska said.

Yet it is in cities where the globe’s food crisis is centered. Cities consume 70% of the world’s food and are home to about 40% of the world’s malnourished or undernourished population


These challenges are growing fast, as more and more of the world’s population move from the countryside to cities. Barilla Foundation’s study “Food & Cities shows how cities can make sizeable contributions to fighting food and nutritional shortages. The study presents seven case studies (New York, Rio de Janeiro, Milan, Ouagadougou, Tel Aviv, Seoul and Sydney) which highlight innovative policies these cities are undertaking to solve food waste and hunger

At the event, Dembska expressed her hope to gather the data needed to extend the Food Sustainability Index to urban areas. Representatives from the World Food Program, the European Commission’s Development Communication network, and expert policy makers, all present at her lab, agreed with her recipe. Together, they vowed to support innovative urban policies and projects that create food access, both in Europe and the global South. These included urban farming, where crops are grown hydroponically in large buildings at the heart of cities and food fortification, where vitamins are added to basic staples or and nutritional school programs. 

By William Echikson

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