Map Your Meal
Map Your Meal is a project that is running as part of the EYD 2015, with Future Worlds Center (Cyprus) having the leading role and together with our European partners from Austria (Sudwind), Bulgaria (C.E.G.A), Greece (Fair Trade Hellas), and the United Kingdom (CDEC). As the name suggests, its primary goal is to enable consumers to trace the origins of their food through the usage of a mobile phone application, by scanning the barcode of a product; an action which will in turn bring consumers vitally closer to the production process, and provide them with additional knowledge of the conditions and standards under which producers work. The smartphone application will have the widest outreach in terms of project activities and will be available for free download in 4 languages, thus accessible and specifically promoted in six EU countries, but of course available in all other countries through its English language version.
The project expects to achieve attitudinal change in the way people, and especially young people, consume food, the choices they make and the type of products they support, and to contribute considerably towards increasing appreciation of global issues and challenges. Everyone can relate to food and we all purchase food items without thinking about their ‘links’, ‘connections’ and ‘stories’. Map Your Meal will use innovative tools to introduce a wide range of citizens (not engaged before) to global issues by inviting them to learn more about their food.
1. Contribute to the EYD2015 by enhancing public awareness and understanding of global interdependencies through exploring the global food system
An exploration of the global food system, the socioeconomic and environmental impact of production and the injustices that affect farmers, will provide the public with a deeper understanding of its complexities, and the interdependencies of the globalised world on a broader level.
Involvement in interactive learning environments will stimulate their own process of understanding to taking actions themselves. Community-based organisations and initiatives, of the target countries will also be involved.
3. Connect European initiatives for sustainable living with similar initiatives in the Global South, fostering greater understanding of the concepts of food security, food sovereignty and sustainable food production and supply chains
The project will enhance understanding of the complexities of the global food system and the specific problems faced in different contexts; it will strengthen solidarity among actors. It will add a global dimension to the often very locally oriented focus of sustainable agriculture/ sustainable living initiatives, promoting at the same time the concepts of global justice and equity. The project’s activities such as workshops and trainings that will be organised by each partner are purposely crafted to raise awareness about sustainability, equity, global justice and global interdependencies, in young people, youth workers/trainers, community educators, and the general public. Through the project the partners aspire to generate a strong and active coalition of citizens promoting human rights, equity, and sustainable ways of living. Additionally, the quality of lives of farmers, producers and their families will be benefited on a significant level.
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Increased understanding of global interdependencies, of global issues and challenges
Specifically, the smartphone application, which will be available for free download, will allow users to trace the origins of their food, provide insight in the manufacturing process while indicating the impact its production had on local societies, the environment and the economy and will therefore significantly increase users’ understanding of global interdependencies.
Furthermore, the Map Your Meal Toolkit Map Your Meal - Explorer's Guide, the workshops and public events will further increase understanding among those participating, including young people, those active in sustainable living initiatives on a local level, as well as the broader public. Understanding global interdependencies, the global issues and challenges that are part of today's globalised world, as well as understanding their history and their interrelations are key to acquiring global learning skills and to be able to take informed decisions that affect not only one’s very own life, but that will also have a positive impact on the lives of others, in the local as well as global community. Many times, global issues such as social justice, poverty, food security, sustainability, equity, human rights and power relations appear very disconnected from our every day life.
Attitudinal change in young people’s food consumption and production patterns
By understanding more about the interdependencies that exist in our globalised food system and by understanding more about the consequences of the production or supply on local communities, the environment, and the economic dependence of certain communities, these (especially young) people are expected to change their attitude towards at least some of these global challenges and thus change their attitude when purchasing food.
Young people engaging in the promotion of human rights, sustainable ways of living as well as global justice
Having gained greater understanding of the global interdependencies through exploring the global food system, and greater understanding of global issues such as social justice, human rights, environmental sustainability, food security and poverty, young people are expected to become active in these areas in their own ways, such as for example, by actively promoting human rights, global social justice and a more sustainable lifestyle. There are many ways for young people to become engaged. It could be through community actions, advocacy actions, through discussions, through projects of their own, through an increased collaboration with like-minded people and organisations in the Global South, or through their support for local initiatives that promote a fair and sustainable way of living.
Greater public awareness of global issues and their interdependence, exemplified with the global food system
This expected result refers to the wider public that the project is aiming to engage. Through the variety of public events, both within the European Year for Development, but also during the remaining two project years, the public in in the project partner countries will be engaged in numerous activities, such as street events, open discussions, movie screenings, treasure hunts etc, all aimed at getting citizens familiar with the global food system, its interdependencies, positive achievements in this regard, as well as challenges faced.
A stronger coalition of citizens, active in creating global justice, equity and sustainable living
The project will create a stronger coalition of citizens from around the world including the six project countries. The citizens will feel and also become more connected based on their common interest for a more just and equitable world and especially a more fair and equitable global food system that will ensure food sovereignty to farmers and local communities as well as promote fairer relations between Europe and the Global South, and ensure a greater respect for sustainable lifestyles. Citizens will have opportunities to connect through online groups and the website, as well as through the International Summer School of the project. The virtual and physical spaces will offer a forum for citizens across Europe to exchange their own knowledge and experiences, to learn from each other and to generate wider engagement of citizens supporting such initiatives and to advocate for positive change.
Target Groups and Final Beneficiaries
Through the project we aim to improve the situation of the Target Groups and Final Beneficiaries
1) Young People: The project will have a direct impact on the young people participating, by enhancing their knowledge and understanding on global interdependencies and of key global issues as well as their interrelations, thus enabling them to become active and responsible global citizens, and actors of positive change
2) Youth Workers, Youth Trainers, Community Educators: They will be engaged in workshops and events that will equip them with skills, tools and understanding on how to include global issues related to production and consumption patterns, sustainable alternatives, human rights, workers rights, economic interdependence, environmental sustainability etc. into their regular activities. As multipliers within their own environment, they will be able to add a global dimension to their regular activities, and thus engage other citizens and especially young people in taking action towards a more just and equitable world and global food system.
3) General Public: The general public will gain greater awareness and understanding of the global interdependencies and their consequences, especially by learning about the global food system. By using the Map Your Meal smartphone application, citizens will be able to make more informed choices that affect their very own lifestyle, as well as the lifestyle of those involved in the production and supply of the products.
4) Farmers, Food Producers and their families in the Global South (Final Beneficiaries): They will benefit from the long-term impact of the project, such as increased awareness and informed choices of consumers within Europe, as well as their mobilisation towards a more sustainable and fair food system. They will benefit from increased advocacy towards higher standards in human rights, fair salaries and additional sustainable production.
Future Worlds Center was awarded the Global Education Innovation Award 2017, mainly for the innovative mobile phone application of Map your Meal.
The Application allows consumers to evaluate the "greenness" and "fairness" of products available in the Cypriot market, and those of the partner-countries. It is available for free for both Android and iOS devices (on PlayStore and iTunes Store respectively).