Guest Blog by SIMC Master Student, Adélaïde MORILLOT
As the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continue to gain importance and visibility in our societies and lifestyles, so too does the need to build a widespread understanding of the issues that relate to these goals. As the Strategy and Innovation (SIMC) students at the Vienna University of Economics and Business we were excited to collaborate with the Ban-Ki Moon Centre on a workshop about sustainable agriculture and food value chains. This workshop was designed by the BKMC to raise awareness about the impact of different agricultural food chains and to encourage more sustainable buying behaviors by capacity building.
After a brief introduction of the BKMC’s work, presented by Communications Officer Katre Olmez, we got to know more about the SDGs and food supply chains through a keynote from COO Katrin Harvey. The workshop continued with an eye-opening interactive exercise, in which as students we were divided into breakout rooms to research the supply chains of certain breakfast items, including almond milk, cow’s milk, avocados, tea, and coffee. We looked into indicators such as transportation methods, cold chain management, and water consumption throughout the process… did you know that it takes ~5 liters of water to grow a single almond?!
The event ended with a lively discussion about each group’s findings on where breakfast comes from. We gained many valuable insights into the impact of the supply chains of some of our favorite food items. This led to an interesting understanding of the ecological footprint of some items, and also to some ideas of how we can consume food more sustainably.
We look forward to more engagements with the BKMC, as we all need to shift towards more sustainable habits for a better future!
NOTE: The BKMC is focusing on a new program, Elevating Agricultural Adaptation (EAA), which aims to tackle the issue of agricultural adaptation of small-holder farmers and strive to secure new commitments. In this context, this event provided a platform to raise awareness about food systems and sustainable agriculture. Learn more about the program here.