The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation launched a brand new international media award aimed at shedding light on the many under-reported aspects of food sustainability. The initiative invites media professionals, bloggers, freelancers and individuals to submit both published and unpublished work highlighting issues related to food security, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition.
In particular, the initiative aims to shed a light on three paradoxes affecting the global food system – and to find ways to address them:
Hunger vs Obesity – for every undernourished person there are now two obese or overweight people in the world;
Food vs Fuel – a third of agricultural cereal crops are used to produce animal feed or biofuels despite hunger and malnutrition;
Waste vs Starvation – 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted every year, four times the amount needed to feed the 795 million undernourished people around the world.
By leveraging the power of mainstream and new media, the Award aims to draw public attention to the issue of food sustainability, engaging a wide and global audience.
“For too long the issues surrounding food sustainability have been discussed among experts, cutting the general public out of the conversation”, says Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa. “With this Award we want to connect the every-day person with issues that are ultimately affecting all of us, and we believe media is the best route to make this happen”, she added.
“Since its beginning, the BCFN has worked to raise awareness around food and sustainability issues. Through this prize, we aim to feed the global debate on these themes, supporting the important work of media – both mainstream and new ones –to inform people about the huge problems we face and to find possible solutions to combat our food paradoxes,” said Guido Barilla, BCFN Chairman
The Food Sustainability Media Award is articulated around three categories: written journalism, video and photography. One published and one unpublished submission will be awarded for each category.
Winners awarded for their published work will receive a cash prize of €10,000. Winners awarded for their unpublished work will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend a Thomson Reuters Foundation media training course on food sustainability. Further, all winning unpublished entries will be distributed via the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the BCFN Foundation websites. The winning unpublished article will also be distributed through the Reuters newswire, reaching an estimated 1 billion readers.
All shortlisted entries will be assessed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of leading professionals in the fields of journalism, photography, food and agricultural sustainability policy and research, including:
- Founder of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Ruth Oniang’o
- Founder of Food Tank, Danielle Nierenberg
- Director of La Repubblica, Mario Calabresi
- Thomson Reuters Foundation Climate Editor, Laurie Goering
- Environment Correspondent at The Economist, Miranda Johnson
- Senior Editor at National Geographic Brazil Ronaldo Ribeiro
- Director of Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development at the Food and Agriculture (FAO) Organisation of the United Nations, Marcela Villarreal
- Director of Communications at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Cassandra Waldon
- Director of Global Advocacy for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Olly Buston
Submissions are open from 9th January until 31st May 2017 and participants can enter the contest via the Food Sustainability Media Award website. The work of all finalists will be made public on the website by mid-October. Voting for the Best of Web prize will also open in mid-October 2017. The winners of each category will be announced at the 8th International Forum of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation on 5th December 2017.