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In June 2021, UNFSS-AT2 China Action Hub and China Green Development Foundation Good Food Fund jointly initiated a collection of sustainable food system reform best practice case studies. Organizations from different fields were invited to submit case studies of how they advance one more of the eight themes of Good Food Pledge: plant-forward, animal welfare, healthy eating, waste reduction, local seasonal, Circular Economy , biodiversity, and food education. We received a total of 36 submissions from eight provinces and municipalities across China. After reviewing submissions and interviewing representatives, we selected 24 cases to include in the Good Food Fund 2021 Sustainable Food Best Practices Case Collection.
When evaluating the cases, the expert judges focused on the following aspects:
• Promotes the shift of the food system and food industry in the direction of sustainable development
• Continuous impact
• Long-term planning and sustainability
• Relevance to other communities, regions, and institutions as a practice that can be referenced and replicated
After evaluating and analyzing all of the submitted case studies, we shared the results in the main forum of the 5th Good Food Summit in September 2021. We presented each of the 24 selected cases with one of three awards: Best Practice Award, Food Vision Award, Food System Friendly Award.
The Best Practice Award
The Best Practice Award recognizes organizations who engage in outstanding exploration and practice in one or more of the eight Good Food Pledge themes, and whose practices create a model for China's sustainable food transformation. The winners of the 2021 Best Practice Award were:
After entering the Chinese market, OATLY cooperated with boutique coffee shops and high-end coffee chains to replace dairy milk with oat milk in coffee drinks, setting off a new trend of plant milk upgrades.
GFI Consultancy (Plant-Forward)
GFI facilitates academic research in alternative protein and encourages young researchers to join the global alternative protein research ecosystem.
Xiao Lou Restaurant (Plant-Forward)
Xiao Lou Restaurant is China’s first restaurant to fully implement the eight themes of Good Food Pledge, particularly "plant-forward", “local seasonal”, and "animal welfare".
Research on Yak Pastoralism in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (Animal Welfare)
Professor Long Ruijun's team from Lanzhou University conducted field research on the grass-fed yak production system on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, hoping that this sustainable system can be adopted or referenced in developing alternatives to industrial farming.
Gansu Green Camel Bell Environment and Development Center (Animal Welfare)
The Gansu Green Camel Bell Environment and Development Center organized local herders and established cooperatives whose members could share pasture for grazing. The organization established sustainable pastoral agricultural standards by setting limits on cattle and sheep populations based on pasture area, ensuring pastures will not be overgrazed.
Happy Eggs Agriculture Development Company (Animal Welfare)
Happy Eggs took the lead in introducing the European cage-free egg farming system to China, giving hens an open living space and greatly improving their quality of life. In addition to improving animal welfare, the system also results in higher egg production.
Greenay Farm (Animal Welfare)
Greenay Farm adopts the concept of ecological agriculture and creates a circular agriculture method that combines crops and livestock. Greenay Farm also seeks heritage crop varieties to increase biodiversity, and raise native chicken breeds at low density under the forest to practice animal welfare.
Zhejiang University’s Smart Nutrition Canteen Project (Healthy Eating)
Zhejiang University initiated China’s first Smart Nutrition Food Service project. The project installs intelligent equipment in university canteens to retrieve consumption data from meals purchased on-site, including quantity and nutritional composition of food that is consumed and wasted, and sends all of this information to a central database for analysis. The system uses big data to personalize users’ meal recommendations based on their nutritional needs and automate food procurement calculations to minimize waste.
Sodexo WasteWatch Food Waste Prevention System (Reduce Waste)
The WasteWatch Food Waste Prevention System developed by Sodexo Group is dedicated to visualizing food waste data in corporate catering services, helping staff to make decisions that reduce waste.
Community Supported Agriculture Network (Local Seasonal)
Community Supported Agriculture Network helps CSA farms across the country improve their professional technical literacy and system planning capabilities, apply for organic certification, and improve market acceptance by building production and marketing channels and implementing PGS certification systems.
Nature Creation Technology Company (Circular Economy)
Nature Creation recycles food waste as feed for black soldier fly larvae, which can then be used as a safe and low-emission source of high-quality organic fertilizer, insect protein, and oil.
Yummy Natural Food School (Food Education)
Established in 2017, Yummy Natural Food School focuses on promoting sustainable food systems and positive human development. The school’s programs aim to help adolescents and adults to think about and practice healthier, more sustainable diets and lifestyles and to connect with food in different settings—from home and school to farms, villages, and cities.
Food to Tomorrow media team (Food Education)
The Food to Tomorrow team has produced podcasts, social media articles, and documentaries on a series of urgent food issues to raise public awareness and offer deeper understanding about food system sustainability.
The Food Vision Award
The Food Vision Award recognizes organizations that have proposed inspiring future visions and action plans. Their plans show a large-scale and inspiring vision with disruptive potential. The winners of the 2021 Food Vision Award were:
Global New Agriculture Sustainable Innovation Plan BIO & AI and Astral Food (Preserve Biodiversity)
This organization is planning a number of projects dedicated to preserving biodiversity: seek out forgotten local food sources and compile them into books to bring them back to the public eye; register intellectual property rights for heritage seed varieties; establish low-emission organic farms; build a healing and health center for the body, mind, and soul; and study the healing power of high-quality biodiverse foods.
Xiao Su Miao—A vegan catering social enterprise co-created by community residents (Food Education)
The Xiao Su Miao team explores a sustainability-focused community catering model which can accomplish the dual goals of building community and educating consumers on sustainable food.
The Food System Friendly Award
The Food System Friendly Award recognizes organizations that implement the Good Food Pledge and sow seeds of hope for sustainable food in China. Winners of the 2021 Food System Honorable Mention were:
JOOMA (Plant Forward)
To establish itself as a unique and competitive plant-based yogurt and alternative dairy brand, JOOMA chose not to go with the low-cost OEM partnership model and instead invested in its own state-of-the-art factory with custom-built machinery and circular waste management systems. JOOMA’s production line is guaranteed 100% free from animal products. Its product research and development is based on the whole food concept, using high-tech equipment that can finely pulverize plant fibers into a pleasant texture rather than filtering them out as waste.
Hey Maet (Plant Forward)
Hey Maet cooperated with many Chinese and international university laboratories to develop its proprietary plant protein extraction technology, and is now holds China’s only patents and equipment for wet protein extrusion using a proprietary compound plant protein formula. The result is a high-moisture plant protein with better structure and taste than traditional high-moisture plant proteins.
Tsinghua University Student Research Training
Launched in September 2020, the project reviewed sustainable university canteen case studies from around the world, conducted a case study on Beijing’s Tsinghua University to evaluate the sustainability of Chinese university catering systems, and proposed measures to improve them.
DZZ: Food Waste Value Solution (Reduce Waste)
The DZZ team uses Internet technology to spread information about surplus food supplies to city residents, with the goal of helping food retailers to reduce food waste and the extra costs it incurs, maximize the economic value of food produced, and enable consumers to access more cost-effective food resources.
The House of I (Circular Economy)
As a registered eco-village, the House of I is among the first cohort of Good Food Pledge certified organizations. The House of I strives to implement the eight themes of the Good Food Pledge in all of its operations and food services, offering plant-forward restaurant dining, irrigating farmland with recycled water, composting kitchen waste, using local seasonal vegetables and fruits, and planting biodiverse crops and ornamental plants.
Nanjing Puyu Ecological Technology Company (Food Education)
Nanjing Puyu organizes a series of school food service and agriculture education courses to connect children with the fields and farms that their food comes from.
Yi-Wen & the Plant-Forward LLAB (Food Education)
Chef Educator Yi-Wen and the Plant Forward LLAB which she co-founded spread the concept of sustainable diet through a wide range of teaching activities: focusing on plant-based food, using all parts of each ingredient to reduce waste, diversifying ingredients, etc.
Joyoung Food Education Workshop (Food Education)
Joyoung Public Welfare Foundation has built more than 1,000 Joyoung Hope Kitchens over the past 10 years and invested millions of dollars in funding. The foundation’s Joyoung Food Education Workshop project develops the food education curriculum system, empowers food education teachers, and takes action to advance food education in China.
Design Harvests: The NICE Kitchen Project (Food Education)
Founded by teachers and students of Tongji University, the NICE Kitchen Project has subtly influenced community residents to choose healthy and sustainable food through creative food activities, hands-on organic farming experiences, and incubation of sustainable catering models.
This is the Good Food Fund’s first annual case study collection. Through this program, we will gather and award food system reform best practice cases across China and share them with domestic and global audiences and practitioners to inspire and promote further innovation and change.