Through a joint venture between Cargill and Brazilian non-profit Gastromotiva and Cargill are teaming up to globalize the Social Gastronomy Movement, which uses the power of food to address social inequality, improve nutrition education, eliminate food waste and create jobs. Cargill has signed on as a founding partner, which includes a three-year, $1.5 million commitment to scale the community-based approach to tackle these urgent societal challenges across the globe.
Gastromotiva helped to pioneer the Social Gastronomy Movement, with chefs driving the effort in local communities. Strong public and private partnerships are vital to translate that impact on a global scale.
"This partnership brings together two organizations focused on driving social and economic change through food," said David MacLennan, Cargill President and CEO. "By combining Gastromotiva's community focus with Cargill's global footprint and experience, we can scale the Social Gastronomy Movement to have a positive impact on nourishing individuals around the world."
Connecting the world through food, education
Chef David Hertz founded Gastromotiva to create opportunities for those living on the margins of society, while also working to reduce food waste. Currently, they provide vocational kitchen training, entrepreneurial classes and nutrition education in communities across Brazil, El Salvador, South Africa and Mexico. The organization's impact is on full display at Refettorio Gastromotiva, a community kitchen in Rio de Janeiro that serves as both a school and a restaurant. There, students receive free vocational training and help prepare delicious, healthy meals made from food surplus that would otherwise go to waste. The meals are served restaurant-style to people in need, in a space that encourages dialogue and companionship.
"Cargill and Gastromotiva are joining forces to make something much bigger than ourselves—to accelerate a movement that will reach the masses," said David Hertz. "By training people to work as chefs, feeding those in need and using food that would have otherwise gone to waste, we generate opportunities, lift up those who are struggling and empower the world through service."
Cargill's three-year partnership, announced this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was forged to take this model to scale. The partners will focus on launching an online platform and establishing new Social Gastronomy hubs in communities around the world.
"Food is the great connector—and the Social Gastronomy Movement can serve as an equalizer—restoring dignity and respect for anyone in need of a meal or in need of a job," said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill corporate vice president. She noted that the partnership aims to address the same challenges underpinning the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. "Through hands-on education and training, Social Gastronomy helps the world address some of our greatest challenges, from hunger to unemployment and economic disparity to food waste."
"In a fractured world, Social Gastronomy can bring us all together, to a shared table. It can build the bridge between grass root solutions, policy makers and business leaders. This fast-changing world requires joint actions and solutions more than ever," said Nicola Gryczka, CEO of Gastromotiva.