As part of the co-creation activities that landmark its 150th anniversary year, BASF hosted a two-day Creator Space jamming event in Washington, D.C., to discuss the “future of food”. This event brought together more than 30 stakeholders from the entire food value chain including farmers, academics, food manufacturers and logistic companies. The attendees discussed long-term challenges and far-future trends that may impact the food value chain in the years to come.
During the jamming session, participants brainstormed ideas on topics such as affordability and access to food, personalized nutrition, transparency for consumers and food waste. “The future of food is complex. The themes that have come out here are interrelated and interdependent, and the complexities associated with them are major. The jamming session is an innovative way of identifying and creatively approaching the dialogue around these issues,” said Kyle Marinkovich, assistant vice president, marketing, Cargill Specialty Seeds & Oils, who participated in the event.
All ideas were condensed into three future scenarios: Brazil without water, personal “food-print”, and meat as a luxury item. This approach opens up a new dimension in understanding the needs related to food. The scenarios will be further discussed and refined March 5, 2015 to help find lasting contributions to society. “We’ve confirmed during this event that once we team up with partners and work together along the food value chain, we can better understand, develop and then deliver technologies and solutions for the upcoming challenges,“ emphasized Juergen Oldeweme, senior vice president, global product safety and regulatory affairs, BASF Crop Protection. "The beauty of this event is that we have this huge variety of people participating, from college professors to cattle farmers; all those different perspectives are absolutely amazing. We tend to work in our own fields and don’t see all the other topics that are being raised in a gathering like this one," summarized Josef Appel, Vice President Global Field Development, BASF Bioscience Research.
The event was jointly hosted by BASF’s Nutrition and Health division, the Crop Protection division and the Bioscience Research division. The concept demonstrates how BASF has evolved from a classical manufacturer to a creator of solutions for global challenges. “We can only meet the challenge of nourishing 9 billion people in 2050 if we collaborate. We need to explore what true value contribution in the food value chain means and replace the concept of just adding more with an approach of delivering more from less,” concluded Saori Dubourg, president BASF Nutrition and Health Division.
As a next step, BASF will be hosting a co-creation workshop in Chicago in June with the aim of turning the experts’ insights into new projects and initiatives to support the future of food.