The Chefs' Manifesto NYC Workshop

The Chefs' Manifesto workshop, which took place during UNGA and Global Citizen week, was an innovative event intended to join NGOs, farmers, nutritionists, chefs, campaigners, the private sector and UN agencies representatives to share their thoughts on how chefs can help achieve the global goals and SDG2.   

The workshop allowed those gathered to collate ideas and contribute to the building of a chefs manifesto. This was the first step in a much larger process which will engage over 100 chefs from 37 countries.

Global Citizen event

What is the Chefs' Manifesto?

The Chefs' Manifesto, which is in the process of being created, is a set of aims intended to involve and guide the cooking and hospitality sectors in achieving the SDGs. Created to commit people to this one common goal, the Chefs' Manifesto raises awareness of the issue of sustainability and also shows people that it is possible to use their skills and connections to help tackle this global problem.


What is SDG2? Why is it important?

In 2014 during the UN General Assembly agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The second goal, which aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”, will ensure that all global citizens, regardless of location and socio-economic background, have safe and affordable access to nutritious food.

Who were some of the people involved in the Work Shop?

Palmiro Ocampo –  Chef: Chef Palmiro aims to achieve zero food waste, and to eliminate extreme hunger, especially in his home country of Peru where 23 per cent of the population live in poverty, and 46 per cent of children under three suffer from anaemia.

“Goal is cocina con causa -- new generation of chefs in Peru are committing -- first action to achieve 2030 hunger goal.”- Chef Palmiro Ocampo

Ronni Kahn CEO of Oz Harvest: Ronni focuses on achieving food waste and believes strongly about the role of food in education. Oz Harvest has supported Policy changes in Australia the enable companies and reastarants to donate food without fear of liability. She runs a supermarket that is free.  It provides recycled and rescued food and has a pay-what-you-can policy.

“When starting a food waste campaign; it is an alignment – how to purchase, how to cook, and how to live a sustainable life. Chefs can teach us that.” - Ronni Kahn

Chef Alejandra Schrader: Alejandra is best known as one of the finalists in the U.S version of MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay. She is an ambassador for Oxfam, and believes that we have a responsibility to find an effective way to end world hunger and to develop better, more sustainable farming and food systems in underprivileged communities all over the world.

“We are currently in the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two -- 30 million people are getting hit by famine right now - 10 million people are on the brink of starvation.” - Alejandra Schrader

Dennis the Prescott shared on his experience with food being a place to connect people and grow community. Dennis is from Canada and taught himself to cook 6 years ago and today creates recipes and content on line that seeks to change people dinner plans for that day!  He has used his platform to advocate with World Vision HungerFree program and raise awareness on issues of inequality and access to see a HungerFree world.

There was many other great contributions from chefs and other partners that fed into the rich conversations in this event.

Workshop group

What came out of the NYC Manifesto working group?

Various discussions towards the creation of the chefs manifesto have identified the following focus areas:

  • The importance of farming sustainably to conserve natural resources and mitigate the generation of greenhouse gases
  • The protection of biodiversity and ecosystems
  • The enhancement of livelihoods of food producers
  • The improvement of dietary diversity
  • An increase in accessibility and affordability of nutritious food
  • The improvement of food safety
  • An Increase in access to nutrition education
  • The reduction of food waste
  • The improvement of resource efficiency
  • Creation and implementation of food based dietary guidelines to guide policy decisions in all countries
  • A partnership towards mainstream sustainable food systems that produce high quality diets.

The Chefs' Manifesto project is still progressing with a workshop in London in October to discuss the action plan and foundational principles with another group of Chefs. 

If you are a chef and want to get involved contact

Article by Sahar Khan Consultant with Global Citizen
Photos Jhila Farzaneh for Global Citizen