13 Oct 2021 - 15 Oct 2021

Foodathon to empower young innovators from Europe and Africa to transform our food systems

From 13 to 15 October 2021, EUROPEN, EIT Food and JA Europe collaborated to build young people’s entrepreneurial skills to transform the future of food on the occasion of a Foodathon, which coincided with World Food Day 2021. The Foodathon brought together more than 100 students from secondary schools in Africa and Europe to come up with solutions to a range of important agri-food challenges, and generate new business ideas.

The Foodathon was an intensive two-day innovation and creativity hackathon which aimed to involve young people in developing solutions for key agri-food challenges, leading to the generation of new business ideas. It was organised in partnership with EUROPEN, with the support of Bayer.

Our global food systems are at risk. The huge environmental and nutritional challenges they face require the input of all stakeholders across the food value chain. To ensure solutions to these challenges are future-proof and break away from established business as usual patterns, it is imperative we include young people in their design, as well as leverage their creativity.

During the Foodathon, more than 100 students from secondary schools across Africa and Europe worked together in teams. The students were supported by business volunteers from EIT Food, Bayer and EUROPEN who worked with them to develop their ideas into business concepts. The students then pitched their solutions to a jury of agri-food and innovation experts, who selected the most promising ideas.

The winners were announced ahead of the World Food Day, on 15 October, during a dedicated Award Ceremony. Congratulations to the Food Waste Terminators team, composed of students from Slovakia, Zambia and Mauritius, who won the challenge on food loss and waste!

EUROPEN is delighted to have partnered with EIT Food and JA Europe in this project, focusing on the Food Waste and Food Loss challenge. EUROPEN was grateful to rely on the support of its members Bel Group, Ferrero, Huhtamaki, MM Group and Unilever who volunteered their time and expertise to guide the students through this unique experience!