Spotlight: FoodUp! Brabant
Students of ILS learn their profession in real life. That is why International Lifestyle Studies works together with companies from the Netherlands and abroad. In the first two years of the programme, these companies act as project owners. In their third year, students can also approach them for their internships. On Join ILS, these companies introduce themselves on a regulary basis.
Company name FoodUp! Brabant
Representative Veerle Slegers
Has collaborated with ILS since 2017
What kind of company is FoodUp! Brabant?
“We are an organization that belongs to the regional government of Brabant; a province in the south of The Netherlands. FoodUp! consists of a group of people that brings parties together who need to find solutions for social issues around food and the food system. At this point in life we see many problems in the production of food regarding environment, climate, public health and animal welfare. Our goal is to build a new, sustainable food system where healthy, honest and tasty food is the center. Food that is good for people, animals and the environment. And yields a fair price for the ones that produces food. In order to do so, we want to support and think along with different stakeholders such as education, projects, companies and primary producers who are trying to make a change and want to find solutions for the food system. As FoodUp! we use the network, facilities and expertise of the province to help, listen and connect.”
What is your relationship with ILS?
“At FoodUp! I’am the education advisor and therefore I visit different schools such as MBO and HBO, to advise them about their education content. I assess what changes their study programmes need regarding the sociability and sustainability of the food system, from different points of view. For two years I have been a commissioning party for first year International Lifestyle students who explore the food industry. They create a trend analysis report for our organization that focuses on a specific mentality group.”
What is the added value of this type of collaboration?
“We regularly need to convince our partners in the field about the necessity of change. Partners encounter problems, but often do not know how to tackle them. They hold on to what they know and are familiar with. ILS conducted trend research for us several times, which enables us to say ‘look, we have young people who show social trends which indicate that these changes are necessary and that they offer possibilities instead of threats’. ILS provides us with tools to reach out to our target groups and help us tell a well-founded story.”
What do you like about ILS?
“What I like about ILS is the creativity of the people who are studying and working there. Both students and teachers think freely and have an exploring and curious mindset. I visit quite some schools who have less of an atmosphere and mindset like that. They tend to think and work according to how things are established now. We need to change this. I notice that at ILS it comes more natural to find new solutions. Just like us, ILS collaborates with all kinds of disciplines and areas to work on new solutions for social issues. We try to look at the world with a helicopter view: the whole world is our work field. And ILS shares that same view.”