Category: Sustainability

09
Jul

Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables

Each year, we throw away over 300 million tons of fruit and vegetables worldwide mainly because they do not conform to retail standards of perfection (57% of total waste). The European Union has made 2014 the European year against food waste; and  Intermarché the 3rd largest supermarket chain in France decided to try and change their customers perceptions to encourage better behaviour towards imperfect fruit and vegetables by showing them that though they might be ugly, they are just as good to eat!

Intermarché made every effort to celebrate 5 “fruits et legumes moches” or “inglorious fruits and vegetables”. They received their own print and film campaign, their own local poster and radio campaign, their own in-store branding, their own aisle in store, their own labelling, and their own spot on the sales receipt. Finally, for people to realise that they were just as good as the others, Intermarché designed and distributed inglorious vegetable soups and inglorious fruit juices in-store.

The campaign celebrated the beauty of the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot, and the Unfortunate Clementine. Intermarché bought from its growers the products they usually throw away, and sold them in-store just like any other, but 30% cheaper and making them far more attractive to their consumers. They sold on average 1.2 tonnes per store in the first 2 days of the campaign, increased store traffic by over 24%, and reached over 1.3 million people with the publicity they received! “Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables”, a glorious fight against food waste!

02
Jun

Innovation in Food, Ag and Integrated Resource Systems

Workshop: Innovation in Food, Agriculture and Integrated Resource  Systems: Creating Sustainable Opportunities in Soweto

Presenters: Sander Mager and Dr. Christopher Peterson

Facilitator: Dr. Naudé Malan

When: Thursday 5 June 2014 11:00 – 17:00 Where: VIP Lounge , University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus , Chris Hani Road

South Africa is not unique in facing social, environmental and economic challenges. To address these three successfully would require innovative solutions that bring together state agencies and departments, non-governmental organisations and private enterprises. Two leading experts in the creation of sustainable enterprises will in this workshop share their experience of addressing these challenges. Dr. Christopher Peterson and Sander Mager are leading the creation of the Global Innoversity which is an innovation accelerator aimed at inspiring and supporting the world’s metropolitan regions in developing and sharing innovations in food, agriculture and integrated resource systems.

The workshop will share the methods used and experiences gained in creating ecological, social and economically sustainable enterprises and innovations in the food system from the Netherlands and Michigan USA. These methods and experiences inform the current work of the Global Innoversity which is a self-sustaining global program for mutual action learning on metropolitan agriculture in, between and for the metropolitan regions of the world. Its goal is to successfully develop, share and implement a globally acknowledged ‘methodology’ for developing metropolitan agriculture in innovation clusters in metropolitan regions. It aims at multi-stakeholder cooperation and innovation and a new approach to transdisciplinary and participative knowledge development. Sander Mager will present the experiences gained from working for TransForum in the Netherlands, which preceded the Global Innoversity. TransForum is a public/private consortium that has invested €60 Million in more than 100 projects that demonstrated tangible results by improving the 3P (People/social, Planet/ecological, and Profit/economic) dimensions of sustainable metropolitan agrifood systems.

Dr. Christopher Petersen is the Director of the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio that stimulates and develops business innovation and economic growth through business counselling, in‐depth market analysis and technical assistance for new entrepreneurs and existing businesses.

Brought to you by Izindaba Zokudla: Innovation in the Soweto Food System; Design Society Development & the Global Innoversity for MetroFood/Ag

20
Apr

World Without Fences

Will Allen CEO of Growing Power, Milwaukee, “I have worked with community gardening projects that don’t do a good enough job of involving the garden’s neighbours.”We’ve got to put up a fence to protect our garden,” people will say.  I tell them no, you don’t. You have to do the harder work of engaging the community. You’ve got to make sure the neighbours know that the garden is their own, not yours. Kids in the neighborhood threw rocks at my greenhouses when I first opening in 1993, but they stopped several months after my arrival.  I had not retaliated or chased them away. Instead, I invited the young people to come and see what we were doing. I gave them summer jobs. Neighbours started respecting the fact that I was bringing food into the community. They started being eyes and ears for me. The community felt ownership in our shared success. In order to build a new food system, we’re going to need a world without fences. We all have a responsibility to work together. We need everyone at the table. We’re going to need black and white, young and old, rich and poor. We’re going to need university folks who can study and foster new organic techniques. We’re going to need politicians who can help create an easier political environment and public space for a local food system. We need entrepreneurs who can create niche food products and graphic designers who can create packaging. We’re going to need planners who design inner-city neighborhoods with the idea of food security in mind. We’re going to need educators and nutritionists who teach people the benefits of healthy food. We’re going to need architects who can retrofit old warehouses and greenhouses to the new purpose of growing food. We need contractors. Composers. Plumbers. Not least, we’re going to need a new generation of farmers.” Allen, W & Wilson, C. 2012. The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities. Reprint, New York: Gotham Books, 2013: p. 236. www.growingpower.org

26
Mar

Cultivating Unemployment

“Cultivating Unemployment takes a hard look at the realities of rural economies in South Africa and begins to grapple with the policy implications of these realities. The video shows the challenges and difficulties involved in creating rural economies that can multiply benefits for rural dwellers.” Produced by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies

26
Mar

The Farmer and his Prince

“This film depicts a Prince, who has the vision to feed the world with organic agriculture and heal damaged nature. Alongside his charismatic farm manager David Wilson, he has been pursuing this goal for 30 years. Through poetically impressive images, this unique collaboration portrays how organic agriculture works, and the benefits that emanate from it. Bertram Verhaag observed these two visionaries over the course of five years – through all four seasons.

The Prince of Wales already felt strongly about the concept of organic and sustainable farming long before the word “sustainability” was on everyone’s lips. More than 30 years ago, he realised that other farmers could only be swayed to cultivate their land without poisons and in harmony with nature, if they were presented with a practical example. This example turned into an exceptional success and now, farmers from all over the United Kingdom travel to the Duchy Home Farm, to gather the courage and knowledge they need, to convert to organic themselves. Prince Charles appears in an entirely unusual light, which forces the viewer to throw all prejudices towards him and organic agriculture overboard.” from http://www.denkmalfilm.tv/index.php?page=prinz&l=en

03
Apr

Webcast: Finding a Focus for MetroAg/MetroFood: An Analysis of the Johannesburg Food System

Please join Dr. Naude Malan and myself on Monday at 14:30 (South African time) as we present a webcast exploring the Johannesburg food system and the focus of our MetroAg/Food research. You can find a printable and distributable flyer here (please ignore my position at UJ, I am in fact Senior Lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design)… If you missed the webcast you can find a recording of it here.