Cargill and Gastromotiva team up to spread the message of food as a tool for social change

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Social Gastronomy Movement uses the power of food to address social inequality, improve nutrition education, eliminate food waste and create jobs.   Image: © Getty Images / Daisy-Daisy
The Social Gastronomy Movement uses the power of food to address social inequality, improve nutrition education, eliminate food waste and create jobs. Image: © Getty Images / Daisy-Daisy
A new joint venture between Brazilian non-profit Gastromotiva and Cargill is aiming to use the power of food to address social inequality, improve nutrition education, eliminate food waste and create jobs.

The Social Gastronomy Movement​ was pioneered by Gastromotiva and its founder Chef David Hertz. Chefs driving the effort in local communities. Cargill has signed on as a founding partner, which includes a three-year, $1.5 million commitment to scale the community-based approach to tackle these urgent societal challenges across the globe.

This partnership​ brings together two organizations focused on driving social and economic change through food,” ​said David MacLennan, Cargill President and CEO. “By combining Gastromotiva's community focus with Cargill's global footprint and experience, we can scale the Social Gastronomy Movement to have a positive impact on nourishing individuals around the world.”

Social impact

Gastromotiva was founded in 2006 by Chef David Hertz to create opportunities for those living on the margins of society, while also working to reduce food waste. It is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and is also present in Curitiba, Mexico City, San Salvador and Cape Town.

In its Refettorio Gastromotiva in Lapa it has rescued over 50,000 kg of surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. These ingredients have been transformed by students, cooks and great volunteer chefs into over 80,000 nutritious meals that are served restaurant-style to people in need, in a space that encourages dialogue and companionship.

“In a fractured world, Social Gastronomy can bring us all together, to a shared table. It can build the bridge between grass root solutions, policy makers and business leaders. This fast-changing world requires joint actions and solutions more than ever,”​ said Nicola Gryczka, CEO of Gastromotiva.

“Cargill and Gastromotiva are joining forces to make something much bigger than ourselves—to accelerate a movement that will reach the masses,”​ said Hertz. “By training people to work as chefs, feeding those in need and using food that would have otherwise gone to waste, we generate opportunities, lift up those who are struggling and empower the world through service.”

Restoring dignity and respect

Cargill's three-year partnership, announced this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was forged to take this model to scale. The partners will focus on launching an online platform and establishing new Social Gastronomy hubs in communities around the world.

“Food is the great connector—and the Social Gastronomy Movement can serve as an equalizer—restoring dignity and respect for anyone in need of a meal or in need of a job,”​ said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill corporate vice president. She noted that the partnership aims to address the same challenges underpinning the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. “Through hands-on education and training, Social Gastronomy helps the world address some of our greatest challenges, from hunger to unemployment and economic disparity to food waste.”

Watch the video below to learn more about the Social Gastronomy Movement:

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