The Power of Awareness: How a Joint Course Between the Department of Visual Communication at Shenkar and The Natural Step is Finding Solutions for Global Food Waste
Food waste is one of the most significant factors in the global climate crisis, responsible for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Fifty percent of fruits and vegetables that are sold globally are thrown out and not utilized. The world’s famine problem could essentially be solved using wasted food. Every year, Israel produces 2.5 million tons of food waste, and it is estimated that half of this is perfectly edible when thrown away.
Branding professionals have both a responsibility and opportunities to deliver messages and values that serve social and environmental agendas. Successful branding has the power to change public opinion, raise awareness, and lead fundamental changes in perception.
As part of the branding track in Shenkar’s Department of Visual Communication, 18 students created a campaign that proposes solutions for the issue of food waste in the world. The campaign is a product of the collaboration between the Department of Visual Communication and The Natural Step Israel (TNS Israel). It is the most extensive project in Israel tackling food waste.
As part of the collaboration, the students created the branding for initiatives and businesses which put forward solutions for the problem of food wastage worldwide. Among the projects is an initiative that helps restaurants find clever ways to use food and raw material leftovers, which, until now, had been thrown away; branding for soaps made from orchard and field leftovers; a children’s festival that produces paints from damaged fruits and vegetables; a communal food truck that makes food from produce that would have been thrown away, and more.
Yael Bodasher, who runs the course, explains, “As branding professionals, we have the ability to breathe life into initiatives and products, grant them a unique appearance and voice, and bring about the meeting with their target audience. Unfortunately, this ability is sometimes abused for goals that are not good for the world. In the “Ethical Branding” course, we wanted to give the students the opportunity and responsibility to be the initiators and to create their products and branding – the kind that will have a positive influence on the world.”
Yoav Gat, who co-directed the course with Yael, adds, “The students’ meeting with TNS opened all of our eyes and placed a depressing mirror in front of us. We learned how the competitive economy in which we work as branding professionals throws away incredible amounts of food, creates a surplus, and pollutes and harms our planet. Through our students’ creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit, we set out to create products and brands to bring the issue to the forefront, encourage new target audiences to change existing perceptions, and reduce food waste. We now hope to find the relevant partners who will step up to the plate and help these incredible initiatives come about and make a positive change.”
Dr. Michal Bitterman, CEO, and co-founder of TNS Israel, “The creative collaboration between Shenkar and The Natural Step Israel was inspirational. Our goal was to raise the burning subject that the organization has been tackling in the last decade – reducing food waste – to a high-quality group of students so they could suggest creative, innovative, interesting, and practical ideas for coping with the phenomenon. Food waste is a huge challenge with significant environmental, economic, and social ramifications.” She added, “We were lucky to be partners in a fascinating course with a professional and committed staff who accompanied the students in reaching their inspirational achievements. With the conclusion of the course, we will make sure to adopt the products for practical usage and to encourage increased awareness and changes in behavior, with the intention of getting as many people and organizations as possible involved in changing the current situation and putting an end to the unnecessary waste and disposal of food. The strongest message from the course was that the current generation is prepared and interested in making a difference and that the current situation must change.”
About the Projects:
- Nose to Tail / Maya Ben Arie
An initiative in collaboration with the leading restaurants in the city that enables them to make the most of their raw materials and to create packages of leftovers that are ready for use in recipes for their customers.
- SIEZ / Nitzan Friedman
An ecological soap and bathing products brand with products made from orchard and field leftovers and waste.
Nitzan Friedman’s project
- Festipigment / Michal Levi
The branding of an experiential children’s festival that invites the children to create paint from "damaged" or "tired-looking" fruits and vegetables.
Michal Levi’s project
- Good to go / Daniel Madmoni
A communal food truck that produces cooked food and juices from food destined for the garbage.
Daniel Madmoni’s project
- Food Waste Reduction Week / Hadar Luzon
A suggestion for branding and events for a Food Reduction Week