28 Dec 2017


• An international event to discuss food and how our eating habits have an impact on our planet. World-renowned guests and a debate on food systems between Guido Barilla and Carlin Petrini.

• Over 1 billion migrants around the world, with food and climate change being among the root causes of this phenomenon. A newly released research conducted by MacroGeo and the BCFN Foundation was launched during the BCFN Forum on food and migration

• The Food Sustainability Index: France, Japan and Germany complete the top three, while Italy comes in seventh

• An Italian photographer and a reporter from the New York Times among the winners of the first edition of the Food Sustainability Media Award, in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Awards also went to media professionals from Canada, Ghana, Kenya and India

• The World Food Programme Italia is sponsoring the 8th edition of the BCFN Forum 

“Hunger, obesity, food loss, waste and limited resources are some of the greatest challenges to overcome in the next few years if we want to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Since we all share and consume the planet’s resources, we urgently need to change the current development models and raise everyone’s awareness about this issue. One of the BCFN Foundation’s most important initiatives is to make a practical contribution to empowering people with informed lifestyle choices. So, this year, once again, we have decided to hold an event specifically for sharing useful findings, scientific data and best practices to build food models which are good for our health and for the planet”, explained Guido Barilla, President of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation, behind the scenes of the 8th International Forum on Food and Nutrition.

The two-day event focused on all aspects of food, nutrition and sustainability, with important contributions from Jeffrey Sachs, the internationally-renowned economist, who spoke about the role of young people and what they represent for the future of the planet, Bob Geldof, a leading activist in the fight against hunger, Guido Barilla and Carlin Petrini, debating the role of food in the protection of biodiversity and sustainable development, while Melissa Fleming from the UNHCR explained why just helping refugees to survive is not enough. The Forum also dedicated time to rewarding young researchers from around the world who have designed outstanding research projects on food, nutrition and agri-food sustainability as part of BCFN YES!, as well as to getting children involved by encouraging them to try their hand at the activities in the interactive laboratories on the theme of food and sustainability. Creative engagement was provided by the new fairy-tales from Gunter Pauli – published by Edizioni Ambiente – which offer an-in-depth analysis on the theme of sustainability, specifically aimed at young people. 

Many more new developments were announced during the Forum, here are the main ones: 


1 billion people: this is the number of migrants around the world. Migrants who move within their own country of birth and residence stand at around 760 million while those who move to a different country to where they were born number 245 million. The causes are many and varied, however, when talking about migration, one should consider that every 1% increase in food insecurity forces 1.9% of the population to move (in a population of 1,000), while a further 0.4% (in a population of 1,000) flee their homeland due to war. In this context, the Mediterranean basin and Europe still have a key role to play as destination countries, even though it appears that the routes, from South to North, in particular from Africa to Europe, are taken by less than 10% of African migrants. In this process, both in terms of economic development and the integration of cultural habits, food continues to play an essential role, because it remains one of the main causes of migration and because it represents an opportunity, also in economic terms, for destination countries. These are some of the main evidence of the study “Food & Migration. Understanding the geopolitical nexus in the Euro-Mediterranean”, made by MacroGeo together with BCFN. (For further information, please refer to the separate press release).


France, followed by Japan and Germany: these are the three countries whose food is the “best” in the world. This is not simply due to how their food tastes, but because they came out on top, among the 34 countries analysed, in terms of the way they produce, distribute and consume food. These are the results of the new Food Sustainability Index, developed by the BCFN Foundation and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which analyses the planet’s food choices, not merely based on taste, but also considering the overall value which the food represents. In this new ranking, Italy is the seventh best, but it is at the top for sustainable agriculture. Among the new features of the 2017 edition of the Food Sustainability Index is a focus on the Mediterranean basin, which shows that, overall, France (1st), Spain (4th), Portugal (6th) and Italy (7th) occupy the top positions, thanks to policies implemented to tackle both industrial and domestic food loss and waste. The countries of the Southern Mediterranean ranked lower: Israel (15th) and Turkey (16th) were followed by Jordan (25th), Egypt (27th), Morocco (29th), Tunisia (30th) and Lebanon (31st). (For further information, please refer to the FSI-dedicated press release).


The Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) and the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation unveiled the winners of the 2017 Food Sustainability Media Award today. The announcement was made at a ceremony held as part of the BCFN Foundation’s 8th International Forum on Food and Nutrition in Milan. An expert panel of judges selected 1 winner- based on several criteria including substance, originality and creativity - in each of the six award categories; written journalism, video and photography, both published and unpublished. The Canadian Gloria Dickie, the Ghanaian Justice Baidoo and the American reporter from the New York Times Magazine George Steinmetz were the winners of the “published works” section, in the categories of written journalism, video and photography respectively. The winners of this first edition of the Food Sustainability Media Award will each receive a prize of €10,000. For the “unpublished categories”, the winners were Uzmi Athar from India, the Kenyan filmmaker Musdalafa Lyaga and the Italian Silvia Landi. Their work will be published on the websites of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the BCFN Foundation and they will all get the chance to take part in a media training course on sustainable food production, organised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The unpublished articles chosen will also be distributed through Reuters press agency, which has around 1 billion readers. The 6 winners were selected out of 500 entries from 72 countries around the world, divided into articles (over 330), photos (80) and videos (over 80), for the Food Sustainability Media Award – a journalism prize created by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation for the stories which best depicted the paradoxes of the food system. (For further information, see separate press release)


This year, the BCFN Forum is delighted to be sponsored by the World Food Programme Italia – the organisation which works to support the World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian organisation in the world, with the mandate of eradicating global hunger. According to Tiziana dell’Orto, Executive Director of WFP Italia, “bringing food means bringing life”. This edition of the Forum will give all the participants the opportunity to donate to the WFP, through a social media campaign promoted by the BCFN. The WFP, part of the UN system, is only funded on a voluntary basis. We need everyone to contribute: individuals, companies, institutions and governments”.

Thanks to the support of the students on the Master’s in Social Media and Digital PR at the IED in Milano, you can follow the Forum live on Twitter with the hashtag #BCFNforum or the official account @BarillaCFN. For further information, see the website: https://www.barillacfn.com/it/food_forum/international_forum/ 


For further information BCFN Press Office c/o INC – Istituto Nazionale per la Comunicazione

Simone Silvi s.silvi@inc-comunicazione.it 335 1097279 – 06. 44160881

Mariagrazia Martorana m.martorana@inc-comunicazione.it 333 5761268 – 06. 44160864


Valentina Gasbarri, Media Relations, valentina.gasbarri@barillacfn.com  , +39 338 7882700

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN Foundation) is a multi-disciplinary research centre which analyses the causes of economic, scientific, social and environmental factors and the effects they have on the food system. It produces scientific content which can be used to inform and help people to make responsible choices regarding food, nutrition, health and sustainability. The Advisory Board oversees the work of the BCFN Foundation. For more information: www.barillacfn.com; 

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