Latvian graphic designer Marta Zarin-Gelze has won the Think.Eat.Save –Reduce your Foodprint competition for the best ad to raise awareness on food waste.
Ms. Zarin-Gelze is a 26 year old Latvian from Riga, who recently graduated from the department of Visual Communication of the Art Academy of Latvia. Her winning ad is called The last wish was to be eaten.
The competition was organized by UNRIC (The UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels) and the Nordic Council of Ministers and open to citizens and residents of the 5 Nordic countries, the three Baltic countries and neighbouring regions in Russia.
Dagfinn Høybråten, the Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers handed over the first prize at a ceremony in Copenhagen.
“All food produced should be eaten and not end up as waste,” Mr. Höybratten said at the award ceremony. “In the course of the coming years, I hope to see a Nordic region where the awareness of food waste has increased drastically and I think the Nordic countries can become front runners in this effort.”
The winner said that the idea for the winning ad, a French fry in a coffin, came when she learned from the competition website that up to 30% of produced food was wasted.
“I wanted to approach people mind emotionally, so I chose to use such a strong element as a coffin instead of a trash bin. We are alive thanks to the food, but we can throw it away so easily. Why is it so? I hope everyone will find his own answer,” said Zarin-Gelze.
The competition is held in support of the UN campaign Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint, an initiative of UNEP (the UN Environment Programme) and FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization).
“UNEP is grateful to the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels for organizing this competition, the creative and compelling messages entries to which have played, and will continue to play, a vital role in communicating one of the most absurd and disturbing realities of this modern world of plenty: that global society throws away around a third of the food produced each year,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.
The award ceremony was held in the Town Hall Square (Raadhuspladsen) in central Copenhagen as a part of the largest event against food waste in Denmark: ‘United Against Food Waste’. Several thousands of people enjoyed a good and free meal made from good surplus food which otherwise could have been wasted.
The initiator of the event, Danish Think.Eat.Save partner Selina Juul, founder of the Stop Wasting Food movement Denmark, was a member of the Ad Competition jury with Tristram Stuart (Feeding the 5,000 UK), Nick Nuttall (Spokesperson of UNEP), Stefán Einarsson (Graphic designer), Bernt Ringvold (Head of the Nordic Waste Group, the Nordic Council of Ministers), and Afsané Bassir-Pour (Director of UNRIC).
A selection of the top 15 Ads were on display at the Food Waste event in Copenhagen and will be displayed in several countries in the coming months, starting with an exhibition on Grand Place, Brussels during the celebration of UN Day 2013.
The United Nations have campaigned against food Waste and food loss in connection with UN Secretary-General´s Zero Hunger Challenge.
“This is a world in which 870 million people go hungry every day. A world in which, according to FAO, the production process for the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted and lost each year consumes a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River and adds 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere,” UNEP´s Achim Steiner says.
“In face of such breathtaking figures, every individual, government and company has a moral imperative to commit to the simple actions that can tackle this global problem.”