On 31st January, the COCOREADO Project organized a policy workshop in Brussels, on “Empowering young citizens involvement towards sustainable food systems”, where relevant policymakers from EU institutions as DG AGRI and DG RTD and other relevant institutions such as UN FAO, joined alongside the project partners and ambassadors.
Starting from presenting Multi Actor Approach jointly with the Ambassador Network, by our COCOREADO partners Lisa Van den Bossche (EV ILVO) and Miķelis Grīviņš (BSC), where the methodology and the work carried out throughout the project were highlighted.
Interest picked up after these sessions and the participants were very keen to find out more about the ambassadors, so our ambassador Carlo Celis shared his testimony from an ambassador perspective and outlined to the audience the future of the ambassador network.
Getting to learn all these about the project impressed the participants, mainly on how COCOREADO developed and fostered a significant network of young citizens from diverse backgrounds and from cross-wide Europe capable of co-creating innovative solutions towards strengthening the farmers’ position and fostering sustainable food systems across Europe.
After that, a more policy-focused session took place with the unveiling of the project Policy Brief on “Empowering young citizens involvement towards Sustainable Food Systems”, by Tomás da Cruz Machado (RYE). The explanation of the urgent needs of the agricultural sector identified throughout the project, such as the growing awareness and consciousness of consumers towards sustainability and fairness in the food system, consistent with the longing for change, together with the hurdles to generational renewal in agricultural systems, due to major bottlenecks in access to land and credit, combined with access to training and education, introduced the session, leading us to present the respective recommendations centred on educating, involving and connecting young citizens.
Following up on presenting the Policy Brief, all the participants had the opportunity to discuss and brainstorm among themselves in a World Café activity, on how these recommendations could promote empowering young citizens in general and specifically from a policy perspective and how better conditions can be created within European institutions to help young people have a true and fair space in decision-making processes, so that in this way is possible to empower young people to get involved with the transition towards a sustainable food system.
Overall, it was a great event that promoted high visibility for the activities of the COCOREADO project, namely the Policy Brief developed, as well as fostering connections and debates between policymakers from EU-level institutions and young citizens.