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The new campaign empowering young leaders to change the future of food

08/11/2016 5:14 PM

Alexandra Iljadica, Founding Director of Youth Food Movement Australia (YFM), tells us about YFM’s new launchpad for young people and shares her zero waste tips. 

Tell us about YFM, how did it all start? 

The Youth Food Movement (or YFM for short) run buzzworthy food projects, events and campaigns for Australian millennials in cities. Started by 2 university students back in 2011 who wondered what it took to get food to our plates each day, today YFM is powered by the hungry enthusiasm of 120 volunteers and 4 staff who run 6 teams across Australia. Together our volunteers have have given a combined 36,000 hours of time to create a more sustainable food system for Australia.

What’s Upstart and how can we all get behind it? 

The Youth Food Movement is creating a launchpad for 100 young food leaders around Australia. The launchpad, which we’ve called Upstart is a 9-month training program to build the collective capacity of young people to be active change makers in the world of food and agriculture.

We smashed our $18, 000 target in 11 days, so now we’re aiming for $30K. This will mean we can’t put on not a bigger program, but a better program for our 100 food leaders. It means: better speakers; a more personalised leadership program and individual mentors for each volunteer. Think of it like upgrading from economy to business class, or from tuna pasta to lobster mornay!

There are 2 ways you can support the campaign:

  • Donate now and be a part of creating 100 young food leaders in 2017
  • Send this out to 3 of your food loving friends.

Why is it important to engage young people in these issues and give them volunteering opportunities? 

The program will build the food literacy of young adults in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and is all about driving a deeper connection between young people and where there food comes from. Previous YFM projects have had a strong focus on profiling farmings and challenges faced in the industry, and have included farm tours, farmer Q and As and online content profiling young farming champions.

To create a more sustainable food system we need to engage both consumers and producers and people of all ages. Millennials however are an untapped opportunity to engage in stories around sustainability and drive change, because the consumption patterns we take into adulthood are formed at a young age. Millennials are values driven and are more open to change than any other generation living right now. We want to know and see that the things we buy are contributing to a world that we’re happy to be a part of, and also hand to our children. We’re also a highly connected bunch and when something is good, we share it with our friends like an on-trend hair do.

4) What are your top 5 tips that will help us all work towards zero waste? 

  • Its easy being freezy– know what you can freeze to make things last longer. Eggs, tomato, herbs and even avocado can all be frozen and used later.
  • Free range fridge shelf– if you live in a share house, make a shelf in your fridge ‘free range’ and put all your about to go off things there for anyone to enjoy
  • Say “I’ve got a problem” – no-one likes a preachy kitchen nazi getting you down when you throw something in the bin. We’ve found the best way to get your friends and housemates on board with your food saving adventures is to say, “hey I’ve got a problem where I keep buying 2L milk and not drinking it in time, can you help me out?”.
  • Buy wonky– it’s cheaper, it helps farmers by giving them a price for their produce, and it helps the planet by making the most of the energy, soil and water that went into producing it in the first place.
  • Give and let give– Buy too much at the shops? Turn your shopping boo-boo into brownie points, and gift some of your load.

For more information go to Upstart’s Crowdfunding Page or YFM’s website.